Dispute over Mount Pleasant 'no motor vehicles' traffic signs

The location of traffic signs on Mount Pleasant Lane where it meets Springfield Gardens were disputed at an appeals tribunal

The location of traffic signs on Mount Pleasant Lane where it meets Springfield Gardens were disputed at an appeals tribunal - Credit: Derek Dishman

A dispute over traffic signs has erupted following a challenge to a fine imposed for travelling along Mount Pleasant Lane. 

A Hackney resident won an appeal against a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) with support from parking campaigner Derek Dishman, who is known as Mr Mustard.

Mr Mustard argued that the 'no motor vehicles' sign was metres from the location identified in the council's Traffic Management Order (TMO).

The location being on Mount Pleasant Lane, five metres west of the western kerb line of Springfield Gardens.

The council countered by saying the resident's vehicle "clearly passed the no motor vehicle signs" and that there was "nothing to suggest" the signs were in the wrong location.

But the Environment & Traffic Adjudicators (ETA) tribunal found in November 2021 that "the dispute is therefore not really about the positing of the signs, but whether the vehicle has passed the 'virtual barrier' created by the TMO.

"I find that the location identified by the TMO cannot possibly exist."

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FOI requests show that between April 2021 and January 2022, the council issued 5,746 PCNs over the Mount Pleasant Lane restriction. 

A map showing the intersection of Mount Pleasant Lane and Springfield Gardens

A map showing the intersection of Mount Pleasant Lane and Springfield Gardens - Credit: Google maps

It has collected a total of £195,290 since it started sending out PCNs in April 2021. 

And in more than 700 cases, the council sent in bailiffs to enforce the fines.

Critical of the council's actions, Mr Mustard said: “Rather than take down the signs or correct the regulation, the council simply carried on penalising people regardless and even sending in bailiffs.”

He says motorists generally believe a council when a PCN comes through the post, often paying immediately to get a reduced rate.

Mr Mustard says this means only a minority of cases are fought all the way to tribunal.

However, transport chief Cllr Mete Coban said  all signage is "fully compliant". 

He added that the council has won 85 per cent of cases heard by independent adjudicators, having won 17 out of 20 Mount Pleasant Lane cases. 

"This demonstrates the scheme is both clearly signposted and correctly set up," he said. 

"Since its implementation, 86pc of PCNs issued on Mount Pleasant Lane have been issued to drivers from outside of Hackney, which demonstrates why enforcement is needed to protect our residential roads from the scourge of rat running."