Bus given ticket after bus left unattended at bus stop

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by aformeruser, 18 Aug 2015.

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  1. aformeruser

    aformeruser Veteran Member

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    http://travel.aol.co.uk/2015/08/18/bus-driver-fined-parking-at-bus-stop-kent/

    I find it strange the bus apparently can't be left unattended at a bus stop. As well as popping in to shops I've used services where there's been a change in driver and the first driver has left the bus before the second driver arrives to take over or when the driver has left the bus for a toilet break.
     
    Last edited: 18 Aug 2015
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  3. GrimsbyPacer

    GrimsbyPacer Established Member

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    I've seen similar unattended buses. Often toilet / chats.
     
  4. Class 172 Fan

    Class 172 Fan Member

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    Looking at the Traffic Regulation Order I would deem the ticket correctly issued
     
  5. KendalKing

    KendalKing Established Member

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    Some years ago a Kirkby Lonsdale Coaches, minibus, which was working a Cumbria CC subsidized bus service 550 Silverdale - Kendal, was given a ticket when the driver was unloading passengers at a bus stop in Kendal. The excuse given by Traffic warden, was it was not a Stagecoach bus, so was not allowed to use the bus stop.
     
  6. CatfordCat

    CatfordCat Member

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    Legally, there is a difference between a 'bus stop' - where buses may stop to pick up and set down passengers, and a 'bus stand' where buses may park up.

    In practice, a few minutes' leeway at a bus stop is allowed for recovery time within the timetable, but I'm aware that in areas of heavy competition (I'm guessing that Edenbridge is not one) bus operators have been jumped on for having buses sat on bus stops either to block the opposition / wait until another one of their buses is approaching.

    Likewise, I've known bus / coach operators take the proverbial and park vehicles on bus stops either for a driver meal break or while waiting to pick up a party, which isn't really on (although in some cases they are careful and used a bus stop which has no buses using it at that time of day / week.)

    I'm aware of somewhere not far from where I am now that had been used in practice as a bus stand since deregulation where buses started getting ticketed soon after the local council took on parking enforcement in the mid 90s and it caused a bit of a row.

    In these circumstances, the passenger transport bit and the highways bit of the council's involved (I suspect Kent CC is both) ought to have talked to each other, but it's easy enough for things to have carried on for some years without it being a problem...
     
  7. SpacePhoenix

    SpacePhoenix Established Member

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    What if the driver had been due his mandatory rest break when he arrived at the stop?
     
  8. Antman

    Antman Established Member

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    I had a similar experience at Heathfield in Sussex years ago.

    About half an hour stand time so I popped into a nearby cafe for a cup of tea, when another customer came in told me there was a parking ticket on my bus I thought they were having me on but sure enough there was.

    I handed it in when I got back to the garage for them to deal with.
     
  9. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Established Member

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    if the bus was stopped at the stop to comply with the timetable then the ticket is nul and void... whether the driver had nipped off the bus for a drink/ snack/ toilet or whatever.
    yet another instance of over officious traffic wardens.... strange how they never seem to manage to ticket any cars stopped on bus stops!

    when I worked at TGM in London TfL changed the timetable of one of the routes we operated... the stand had a plate stating that there was a time limit of 20 mins... unfortunately the new timetable meant the vehicles had to wait for 30 minutes.. guess what? a warden (employed by TfL!) stood there on the first morning and ticketed every bus that came onto the stand to comply with the timetable that was forced upon the company by.. you've guessed it.... TfL!
     
  10. the101

    the101 Member

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    Then the operator should be planning things better so that a break can be taken where the bus is legally parked. A bus stop is for loading, unloading and brief layovers, not for parking during a meal break.
     
  11. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Established Member

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    Sorry but you are misinformed... unless there is a local traffic regulation order (usually in places where there is or has been severe competition) there is no time limit on how long a PSV can sit at a bus stop... if you look on the plate that is at the bus stop it usually states "no stopping except buses".

    in many rural areas where services operate irregularly the bus needs to stay somewhere between trips... if what you say is correct then there would be hundreds of buses driving round in circles throughout the country awaiting their next departure!
     
  12. aformeruser

    aformeruser Veteran Member

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    Strangely in my town it used to be the case that there was a maximum 10 minute layover at the bus station but no specific limit at bus stops around the town. Fortunately, the council changed that.
     
  13. Skutter

    Skutter Member

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    I'd say if the driver has gone off then it's not stopped, it's parked - like the difference between loading and parking for other vehicles.
     
  14. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Established Member

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    the point is that there is, generally speaking, no time limit for psv's on a bus stop... the only restriction on bus stops is that only buses are allowed to stop there...

    more to the point, as I have already posted, this seems to be a case of an over zealous jobsworth considering that traffic wardens tend to be incapable of putting tickets on cars, lorries, delivery vans or any other tom dick or harry that park on bus stops to "nip into the shop", go to the cash machine, get a kebab, or just park to avoid car park charges! I would suspect that in a place like Edenbridge the bus was hardly likely to cause an obstruction to another bus wanting to use the stop.
     
  15. Peter Sarf

    Peter Sarf Established Member

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    Around Croydon there are bus stops that effectively block the flow of traffic so a bus parked rather than in service would be an obstruction. I know not to stop my car at bus stops because CCTV will get me.
     
  16. CatfordCat

    CatfordCat Member

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    I refer to my previous that there's a difference in law between a bus stop and a bus stand, and a bus operator can't just decide to use a bus stop as a bus stand because it suits them.

    While the 'jobsworth' argument may be superficially attractive, and I don't know Edenbridge well enough to say whether or not this would have caused any difficulty (e.g. passengers not being able to board / alight at the kerb if another bus due at the same stop before this bus departed), neither a timetable or drivers hours rules over-ride other traffic law.

    I think few people would consider it reasonable or common sense if a bus operator scheduled a bus to be parked up on a busy, on-street city centre bus stop for an hour or so.

    I can find a reference to a two minute time limit (or longer if passengers are still getting on / off) at bus stops in The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 - here (see section 3)

    When registering a local bus service, the operator has to state any lay-over points etc, and the local authority (with its highways authority hat on) may object to this.

    (The position in London is of course under different law, and Scotland / Wales / N Ireland probably are as well.)
     
  17. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    I can see both sides of the argument on this one. Bus stops shouldn't really be used as places for buses to park up and wait for the convenience of the timetable or the operator, particularly on a high street in a small town where such a thing may well cause problems, both for passengers and traffic if the road is congested or narrow.

    On the other hand, it seems a little over zealous to ticket the bus seemingly because the driver has left it. Presumably, the said warden knows that the bus parks up for a short time there, but hasn't done anything when the driver has remained with the vehicle. Looks a bit sneaky to me!

    If the council really thinks that buses remaining at bus stops there or anywhere else is a problem, they should have talked to the bus company to find a resolution. Resorting to traffic wardens skulking around waiting until there's no driver in sight before issuing a ticket is not he way to solve issues.

    I think it's more likely the case that the council is just wanting to publicly back the warden up, what they may have said privately could be entirely different!
     
  18. Amberley54

    Amberley54 Member

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    In my part of the world parking enforcement staff are instructed to wait for a Minimum of 5 minutes by the illegally parked vehicle before issuing a ticket. A practice that I understand is the industry norm. Therefore, hardly 'skulking' and plenty of time for a driver to use the cashpoint, drop grannie at the post office, unload the buggy etc.

    Also, Many would jump to criticise a white van driver who parked in a bus stop for 10 minutes ( during which no scheduled services were timetabled to pass) to pop into the shop to get his pie & chips.

    The operator should have made themselves aware that a marked bus stop is not for unattended lay-over parking of their vehicles and have made suitable arrangements rather than criticising the issue of a perfectly valid penalty notice.
     
  19. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    Like I said, if it's an issue then why isn't a ticket issued more regularly than once in a blue moon? A more constructive way to deal with things would be for the council to approach the bus company and discuss the matter. this is why I think that, regardless of whether the penalty notice was technically correct, there is no real issue here, it's more that the council is now caught between a rock and a hard place.

    I wouldn't be at all surprised if the warden had been advised not to do the same thing again. As for skulking, why not approach the driver first? Or wait around afterwards to explain? Although I have respect for traffic wardens, and one of my friends was one for a number of years, some do indeed skulk before and after issuing a notice.

    A white van driver would rightly be criticised because bus stops are for buses!

    Like I say, I don't think companies should schedule long stops there for their convenience, but there has to eb an allowance made for timetable regulation somewhere, and drivers should have the right to go and get drink or use the toilet without being penalised.
     
  20. SpacePhoenix

    SpacePhoenix Established Member

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    Looking at what I think is the bus stop concerned there's a stretch with car parking bays on one side but it's basically double yellow lines down both sides so there isn't really any other place the bus driver could have legally parked
     
  21. the101

    the101 Member

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    Tip: know what you're talking about before telling others that they're 'misinformed'.
     
  22. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Established Member

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    a tip in return... I have worked as a traffic manager, scheduler, driver and inspector... it has always been my job to KNOW what the regulations regarding any stop/ stand are... so I DO know what I'm talking about.

    as an aside I currently work a long distance bus route which has to be worked under EU law. I terminate at a bus stop and have a 2 hour layover... so by the argument that a bus cannot park on a bus stop can YOU explain how I comply with the driving regulations without parking on the bus stop that I terminate at?

    as I have stated before the yellow plates at bus stops state "no stopping EXCEPT buses" normally there is no stipulation of a time limit for how long the bus may stop there for! IF the plate in question DOES state a time limit then the traffic warden will have been correct to ticket the bus if it exceeded that time limit. If, as I suspect, there is no time limit stipulated then the ticket will be invalid.

    also, if you look at the original post you will see that the bus was sat at the stop taking a BRIEF layover NOT a scheduled break...

    as an aside, knowing how rural Edenbridge is I suspect that the service will be a tendered service with the timetable devised by the county council... please explain how, if a bus cannot wait time at a bus stop the operator (and driver) are able to comply with both the contract and PSV law by NOT leaving the stop early?
     
    Last edited: 20 Aug 2015
  23. Tom B

    Tom B Established Member

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    Outwith London it is rare to see bus stands defined, usually out of town termini are sufficiently quiet for there to be no problem in a bus waiting for a few minutes before returning.

    There is a stop near me on Holloway Road which is routinely used for driver changeovers. There are two high-frequency routes which change drivers, plus two other ones which don't. When there has been disruption it is quite common for a bus to park up and the driver to leave it unattended awaiting a new driver. If another one then parks up to change over, there is no further space and a third bus which turns up blocks the busy road whilst waiting to get past or load passengers.

    I dearly wish they'd start issuing tickets here to get Metroline to get their house in order!
     
  24. quarella

    quarella Member

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    There appears to be confusion between “Stopping” and “Waiting”. Stopping i.e clearway in some locations marked by a red diagonal cross on a blue background with red perimeter means just that though there may be exceptions. No waiting, sometimes marked by a similar sign but only has one red diagonal line permits a momentary stop to enable passengers to board/alight, loading/unloading subject to other conditions that may apply but parking is not permitted.
    Simple version
    http://www.lgcplus.com/bus-stop-dont-stop-regulations-for-councils-to-be-simplified/1363752.article

    More complicated version can be found on page 465 of this exciting document -http://www.ukroads.org/webfiles/TSRGD-2002.pdf
    There are further exceptions and I am aware for example in Bath where waiting for up to ten minutes is permitted at certain stops. However if the stop adheres to the regulations and there is no exemption then alternative locations to legally park for extended layovers need to be found.
     
    Last edited: 24 Aug 2015
  25. 34D

    34D Established Member

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    Parking is a subset of 'stopping'.

    If I went into town in the solo I would regard it as wholly legitimate to park it on a bus stop clearway (signed 'no stopping except buses') for a couple of hours, regardless of whether it was a bus stop or bus stand.
     
  26. K99ward

    K99ward New Member

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    At the risk of being labeled a plonker, people absolutely hate restrictions applying to them. They don't mind them applying to others though. It is about time people started obeying rules and laws because the alternative is lawlessness where the strong take all. I am strongly in favour of the outlaw being outlawed.
     
  27. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    Bus and Coach Week have recently had a coouple of articles on this operator - in one, the owner admits he can be very stubborn and unwilling to back down to authority!

    I'm claiming no knowledge of the regulations and laws, but would just observe that what a bus might be able to do at its scheduled terminus would not seem to me to necessarily apply en route e.g. a driver picking up a snack from a bakery: also, commonsense says that a stop in a bus bay is different from a stop on a main road which may slow or halt other traffic.If a bus in my home town of Penzance stopped in the main street, Market Jew Street, and the driver popped into Warren's Bakery for a pasty, not only would the driver be showing execrable taste but traffic would grind to a halt.
     
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