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Rising Box Junction PCNs concern from London's cabbies following installation of new cameras

London's taxi drivers are facing an increasing number of Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) for box junction violations, according to Suzanne Sullivan, the Airport Representative for the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA).

Some of that spike in PCNs is attributed to the recent installation of new CCTV cameras by Transport for London (TfL) at key box junctions across the city, including notable locations along the A4, Gliddon Road, North End Road, and Marloes Road.

Box junctions, marked by yellow crisscross lines on the road, are designed to keep intersections clear and traffic flowing. The rule, as set out in the Highway Code Rule 174, states that entering the box without being able to exit is prohibited, except when turning right and impeded by oncoming traffic or other vehicles also turning right. Despite this, the nuances of these rules lead to a significant number of PCNs, challenging drivers who find the appeals process daunting and unpredictable.

Sullivan emphasises that while many aspects of the Highway Code are not directly enforceable by law, instructions accompanied by terms like "must" or "must not" reflect legal obligations, highlighting the importance of adherence to these rules. She advises drivers receiving PCNs for box junction violations to appeal, highlighting the appeal process's impartiality, though acknowledging its unpredictability.

The issue of box junction fines highlights a broader challenge on London's roads, calling for a balance between traffic management and fair treatment of drivers, especially professional drivers for whom such penalties can represent a significant burden. The LTDA's concerns suggest a need for clearer guidance and a more consistent application of the rules governing box junctions, to ensure that penalties are fair and reflective of the actual circumstances of the alleged offence.

Suzanne Sullivan, Airport Rep for Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA), said: “We are increasingly getting enquiries from members who are receiving box junction PCNs. It appears that new style CCTV monitoring cameras have been installed by TfL at box junction hotspots, noticeably along the A4, Gliddon Road, North End Road and Marloes Road.

“These box junction contraventions are very difficult to appeal against as the offence is for actually being in the box, as opposed to how you got there. Although Highway Code Rule 174 states: "However, you may enter the box and wait when you want to turn right, and are only stopped from doing so by oncoming traffic, or by other vehicles waiting to turn right. At signalled roundabouts you MUST NOT enter the box unless you can cross over it completely without stopping.”

“Even though the Highway Code is not law. many of its instructions are backed up by law, for example wording such as "must", "must not", rather than "should" or "should not". Like all PCN appeals it's hit or miss whether you'll be successful, but in general it's always worth appealing, as the initial fine stays at the original reduced rate, as long as it's within the 14-day time period allowed.

“All TfL and council PCN appeals personnel look at each case on its own merit and are totally impartial. It is however very difficult to assess the outcome of any appeal, as some appeals do seem quite promising and have evidence to back them up, but fail to convince the adjudicator, whereas a blatant and obvious contravention may sometimes be unexpectedly accepted and be overturned, so you never know.”


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