Red fazed

Last October 18th I drove my registered technically blind daughter to Sutton so that she could buy a mobile phone suitable for use with her impaired sight. The store was based in the High Street but I could not find this location (even my satnav did not feature this) so when I saw a postvan and a postman emptying a postbox outside the main post office I stopped to ask him for directions. Would you believe he did not know where the High Street was, so I drove off and then parked in a disabled bay as my daughter has a disabled blue badge and we walked around and eventually found the High Street that is a traffic free area. Around a week later I received a Penalty Charge Notice from Transport for London charging me with an alleged parking contravention: '46: Stopped where prohibited (on a red route or clearway'). I sent an email to TfL confirming I was the driver etc but had stopped only to ask for directions that according to their photos took all of 39 seconds from start to finish. I duly received a response stating they had considered my representation that was rejected as I did not establish suitable grounds or reason for the penalty charge notice to be cancelled. According to the letter I received, I was issued with a penalty charge notice because I stopped in a 'bus cage' (yet the initial charge was 'stopped where prohibited on a red route or clearway') so I am unsure as to what I am being charged with? I stopped because I saw a postman and a postvan partially parked in the 'bus cage', and where we live in West Surrey we do not have red routes, clearways or bus cages so I had no idea I was breaching any regulations. The penalty charge notice states only buses are allowed to stop in a bus cage yet the postvan was stopped in the cage !! I have formally appealed and have asked for a personal hearing as I can ill afford to pay a £60/£120 fine being a senior citizen in my mid 70s, and in any case 39 seconds to ask for directions seems an innocent event in my opinion. I have also appealed to Mayor Boris Johnson and asked him to intervene but to date I have yet to receive a response from his office. We sure do live in a 'Big Brother' society and for 39 seconds of ignorance on my part I could end up being £60 or even £120 out of pocket. If you are able to offer any advice please feel free to do so.

Asked on 28 November 2011 by BH, West Byfleet

Answered by Honest John
I received another e-mail about an identical ‘offence’ just a few days ago. That's what TfL is like. Boris has been unable to change it. You might be able to get Barrie Segal to fight this for you: www.appealnow.com
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