The Motorists' Guide to Appealing Parking, Bus Lane, Yellow Box Junction and Moving Traffic Tickets

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Yellow Box Junctions
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Many London authorities ruthlessly enforce yellow box junctions. The law is surprisingly complex and the following points should be checked if you receive a ticket for getting stuck in one. 

 

The Offence...

  • The yellow box regulation only applies to a vehicle which is stopped. A vehicle which is moving slowly cannot be ticketed. Ensure the authority has evidence that your vehicle was stopped. A single still photo does not prove the vehicle was stopped.

  • The offence as stated in the regs below is "no person shall cause a vehicle to enter the box junction so that the vehicle has to stop within the box junction due to the presence of stationary vehicles" It is therefore committed when you enter the box. So if circumstances afterwards change, such as a vehicle changing lanes and blocking your exit, the ticket is invalid. Two lanes merging into one, bus lanes and bus stops on the exit for example can cause this to happen as in case reference 2100446400 (search for the case number on the PATAS site). The Place Invaders v TfL case also makes the point that it is when you enter the box that is relevant. However a note of caution! Another adjudicator has recently completely contradicted these cases and stated that "It does not occur at the vehicle's point of entry to the box but at the point at which the vehicle stops". Suffice to say I and the appellant do not agree with this. The implications are huge. In practice it means that every vehicle would have to wait for the one in front to clear the junction before they go!  PATAS case reference is 2120171327. This adjudicator Andrew Harman also stated that the principle of De minimis (the law does not concern itself with trifles) does not apply to any parking or moving traffic case, again contradicting his colleagues!

  • The authority must have video evidence of your vehicle when it enters the box (as show in this case) and stopped and this evidence must show also that the exit was not clear when you entered.

 

  • As detailed in the regulations below, the offence is stopping in the box due to the presence of stationary vehicles. Therefore stopping for another reason such as a red light, pedestrians etc is not an offence. The authority must prove there were stationary vehicles in front of the box. See below for two cases won on this point.

 

  • Stopped for only 2-3 few seconds? Appeal on the basis of De Minimis - the law does not concern itself with trifles. The motorist in a case at Stamford Hill/Clapton Common/Amhurst Park won on this basis, case ref 2120090258. As always though, this does not guarantee you will win with another adjudicator.

 

The Box...

  • A yellow box at a T or cross roads junction must have four sides as shown in diagrams 1043 and 1044 below. At a gyratory or roundabout the new diagram 1044.1 must be used

  • A yellow box must be at the junction of at least two roads, a fire, police or ambulance station. Thus for example a yellow box at a bus garage exit and a road would not be valid as in this case from Haringey.

  • The internal yellow lines must go into at least two corners of the box, as shown in the diagrams below.

  • The diagrams below show two or four corners of the box should go up to the kerb. There have been several cases won at adjudicator against TfL on this point. You can search for the case number on the PATAS site for full details. Cases include:

        Battersea Bridge Rd / Westgate Rd / Parkgate Rd - 2110069641, 2110138201

        Archway Rd / Jacksons Lane / Highgate Ave / Shepherds Hill - 2110166604

        (This includes a request for a review which TfL lost).

        Green Lanes / North Circular Road

  • However another adjudicator recently contradicted this decision (2110096757). As is always the case, adjudicators can decide what they like and there is no guarantee of victory. However I think the lesson is it should come close to the kerb and a small gap eg for double yellow lines would not be worth appealing as it would come under "de minimis"

  • There should be only one yellow box at a junction (see this case). However this junction was unique and other adjudicators may disagree.

  • A yellow box at a T junction should cover only half of the junction (the half next to the side road), as shown in the second picture below. Go to the PATAS site and search case reference 2070406174 for a case in Haringey and 207049423A for a case in Ealing won on this point.

  • A box which deviates from the standards requires approval from the Department for Transport (DfT). You may request evidence of this approval when appealing your ticket and you can search for DfT approvals here. Please note many boxes in London do have DfT approval!. If the authority doesn't have DfT approval then the box is invalid. Even if they have approval, get a copy of the drawing and check it matches what is on site. Often contractors put the markings down wrong. In case 2090257179 the adjudicator actually ruled that a DfT approved box was still illegal as it extended beyond the junction. You can search for DfT approvals here. Please note many boxes in London do have DfT approval!

  • Yellow boxes do not require a traffic order.

  • As is the case for all markings, yellow boxes must be clearly visible and not worn. Case  211055173A was won at Archway Road / Jacksons Lane against TfL on this basis.

The Legislation...

  • Click here for the law on what information a yellow box junction ticket must contain. All of Islington, Waltham Forests and TfLs tickets have at some point been invalid. How many others?

  • The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (TSRGD) 2002 governs the format that a yellow box junction must take and the information below summarises this legislation. All adjudicator decisions are interpretations of this. However please note that on 30th January 2012 an amendment to the TSRGD came into force which has added new diagrams and changed part of the regulations. However if you received your ticket before 30th January then the amendments do not apply. Annoyingly the 2 documents are not combined online and you have to switch between them, but Ticketfighter has been nice to you and combined them below J

 

 

Original 2002 Regulation 29(2) and Part II of schedule 19 here and 2012 amendment here. I have combined them below.

 

 

PART II of Schedule 19

SIGNIFICANCE OF BOX JUNCTION MARKINGS


Interpretation of Part II of Schedule


6. In this Part of this Schedule - 

(a) "box junction” means the area of carriageway marked with yellow cross-hatching—

 

(i) at a junction between two or more roads;

(ii) at a gyratory system or roundabout;

(iii) where that area of carriageway is not greater than 4.5 metres wide at its narrowest point; or

(iv) on the length of road adjacent to the vehicular entrance to the premises of a fire, police or ambulance station,

 

on which there has been placed the road marking shown in diagram 1043, 1044, 1044.1 or 1044.2; and

 

(b) a reference (however expressed) to a vehicle which is stationary or stops within a box junction includes a vehicle which is stationary whilst part of it is within the box junction.

 

Prohibition conveyed by markings in diagram 1043 or 1044

7.  - (1) Subject to paragraph 9, the road markings shown in diagrams 1043, 1044 and 1044.1 shall each convey the prohibition that no person shall cause a vehicle to enter the box junction so that the vehicle has to stop within the box junction due to the presence of stationary vehicles.
 

(2) The prohibition in sub-paragraph (1) does not apply to any person where the box junction is at a junction between two or more roads (but not at a gyratory system or roundabout) and the person—

(a) causes a vehicle to enter the box junction for the purpose of turning right; and

(b) stops the vehicle within the box junction for so long as the vehicle is prevented from completing the right turn—

(i) by oncoming vehicles; or

(ii) by vehicles which are stationary whilst waiting to complete a right turn

8.  Subject to paragraph 9, the road marking shown in diagram 1044.2 shall convey the prohibition that no person shall cause a vehicle to enter the box junction so that the vehicle has to stop within the box junction due to the presence of oncoming vehicles or other stationary vehicles beyond the box junction.

9.  When a vehicle is being used for relevant authority (as defined in section 6 of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 (asp 5)) or, in England and Wales, fire and rescue authority, ambulance, bomb or explosive disposal, national blood service or police purposes and the observance of the prohibition in paragraph 7(1) or 8 would be likely to hinder the use of that vehicle for the purpose for which it is being used, then that prohibition shall not apply to the driver of the vehicle

 

Previous Cases

 

Jennings v Transport for London (PATAS case no. MV0285GT01)

 

Page 11 from the link details this case:

"The local authority issued a Penalty Charge Notice, asserting that the vehicle entered and stopped in a yellow box junction when prohibited. The local authority relied on contemporaneous videotape, which did show the vehicle approaching the box junction and substantially crossing it, so that the vehicle could draw up at the lights beyond the box as the first vehicle in the queue. However, because of the length of the vehicle, part of it was left in the yellow box.

 

The Regulations provided that, “no person shall cause a vehicle to enter the box junction so that the vehicle has to stop within the box junction due to the presence of stationary vehicles”. The contravention is only established when the subject vehicle stops due to the presence of stationary vehicles. In this case the vehicle stopped in order to comply with a red light. The contravention was therefore not established.

 

The Adjudicator was not satisfied that the local authority had accurately asserted in the Penalty Charge Notice the contravention. The function of a Penalty Charge Notice was to make an allegation so that the recipient was aware of the allegation against them and in a position to deny or accept it. Here the local authority failed to assert an essential element of the allegation, namely that the vehicle stopped due to the presence of stationary vehicles. Where there are other reasons for stopping (as here) the allegation was not made out. It was vital that an allegation was correctly stated – otherwise a recipient might well concede an allegation where an essential element was not made out"

 

Sheikh v London Borough of Newham (PATAS Case no. MV0071NE02)

 

In this case Mr Sheikh was in the right hand lane which was blocked by stationary vehicles. However the left hand lane was free and he could've moved over, but chose not to therefore his appeal was successful.


 

Ealing Council's Illegal Yellow Boxes

 

Six box junctions in Ealing were deemed illegal by the DfT and Parking And Traffic Appeals Service. Yet still the arrogant officals at Ealing carried on enforcing them. Now they have been forced to remove them and repay some motorists. More information here

Cllr Bassam Mahfouz at the Ruislip Road box junction which the council stopped policing after it was declared too big by a parking ombudsman.

 

Ticketfighter helps reveal illegal box junction in Leytonstone

 

"THOUSANDS of pounds in traffic fines will be refunded by Waltham Forest Council after the Government said a controversial box junction may have broken official guidelines."

"A DfT spokesman said: "We have offered a view that the road marking may not meet the Traffic Signs and General Directions 2002 because it appears to overlap a cycle lane."

George Panteli with his measuring tape at the controversial box junction

 

Place Invaders Ltd v Transport for London (Parking and Traffic Appeals Service ruling against TfL)

"The terms of the prohibition refer to causing the vehicle to enter the box. The evidence produced by Transport for London in support of its case does not, however, show the entry of the vehicle into the box; it commences later, when the vehicle is already stopped in the box. It seems to me that in order properly to consider whether the contravention has occurred the video recording needs to show the entry of the vehicle into the box since that is the start of the events that will or will not lead to there being a contravention. In the absence of this evidence, bearing in mind that the burden is on Transport for London to prove the contravention, I cannot find that it has discharged this burden of proof. I accordingly allow this appeal."

Driver wins yellow box junction challenge

"Dr Fielden, who works at the Department of Health, said it was impossible to negotiate the crossing in one manoeuvre because the phasing of traffic lights forced drivers into the junction. She also said the lines marking out the junction were faded and difficult to see.

This week, the adjudicator agreed with Dr Fielden, 46, of Cheshunt, and quashed one of her fines.

After studying photographs of the scene, he also said the yellow box junction was painted incorrectly as it did not run right up to the kerb."