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Strayed into a bus lane during a snow storm - can I contest the PCN?

On Sunday 20th January, I found it necessary to drive in Kingston upon Thames. It was snowing hard and some signage to my destination was partially obliterated by the snow attached to it. Being a disabled driver on my first visit to Kingston for over thirty years and not conversant with the area, I relied upon the signage to reach my destination. Whilst following the signage I found that I was in a 'bus lane' and was unable to turn around. I saw no visible sign stating that I should not turn left into this bus lane until it became obvious that I was in it and 'trapped'. Previous signs had directed me to this junction and indicating that my destination was to the left, all very confusing whilst negotiating streets that were new to me.

I have now received a PCN for £130 for this minor transgression caused by following the apparently inadequate and/or obliterated signage. On contacting Kingston Council today by telephone, I was told that had I followed the signs correctly I would not have 'strayed' into a bus lane nor received a PCN. How is one able to follow signs that are partially obliterated with snow in a town that one has not been to for over thirty years? I am able to pay the PCN at a reduced rate of £65 if paid within fourteen days.

Asked on 9 March 2013 by RHC, via email

Answered by Honest John
Unfortunately, that is the sort of brick wall we can all find ourselves up against after the nasty way in which penalty culture has taken over our lives. I'd be inclined to challenge Kingston to take your to court over this on the very obvious grounds that you cannot follow signage or markings on the road when they are obliterated by a snowstorm.
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