James Evison 17 October 2016

Newcastle to refund 5,100 PCNs over bus lane signage lighting issue

Insufficient lighting in a bus lane in Newcastle has resulted in the council refunding potentially 5,100 penalty charge notices, the local authority has announced.

It undertook a review of traffic adjudicator’s decisions on John Dobson Street, and found that it had issued 5,100 PCNs during hours of darkness between February 23 and April 22 during which time bus land signage was not lit up.

As a result, the local authority will now contact drivers who have been incorrectly issued with PCNs and refund their payments.

Newcastle City Council said the issue had happened because it was ‘working with new Department for Transport regulations, which did no require lighting, and which came into force later than we had anticipated’.

It also stated that any PCNs on the affected route during the same time period during daylight hours would not be considered for refunds.

Confusingly, a separate issue has also arisen over an adjudicator’s judgement that there was insufficient signage on the route as well.

An appeal to the adjudicator was upheld after it was found that signage warning of the bus lane was ‘not adequate’ and the driver did not have to pay the PCN.

But the council said this was not a ‘landmark ruling’ and was based on the specific circumstances of an individual case and therefore ‘decisions do not set legal precedents for other cases’, and therefore refunds would not be offered to other drivers.

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