Is it worth contesting a £50 fine?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
RakG
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Is it worth contesting a £50 fine?

Postby RakG » 18 Sep 2017, 8:48am

This morning on Edgeware Road I received a £50 fine for being on the pavement for all of 5 seconds. I'd locked my bike up at Tescos for to grab breakfast, when I was leaving I didn't want to join Edgeware Road from the pavement as that's hugely dangerous, so I coasted down the pavement for 5 seconds to the first available corner where I could have joined the busy road. I received a £50 fine, no warning.

It's really annoyed me as I think I should have been given a warning. I fully intend to contest this by writing to the court about what happened.

Has anyone been in a similar position and had the fine revoked or is it just not worth it and should I pay the fine?

Thanks,

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Is it worth contesting a £50 fine?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 18 Sep 2017, 11:45am

streetview?
Pedestrian count?


In essence there is a good chance you were cycling somewhere where it is not allowed - and that results in the appropriate fine.

However there is also guidance from the government that says that cyclists using a footway courteously and out of fear of the road should not be penalised (I don't have the quote on hand). Note of course that that is guidance, not law.
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mjr
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Re: Is it worth contesting a £50 fine?

Postby mjr » 18 Sep 2017, 11:55am

RakG wrote:[...] I received a £50 fine, no warning.

It's really annoyed me as I think I should have been given a warning. I fully intend to contest this by writing to the court about what happened.

Has anyone been in a similar position and had the fine revoked or is it just not worth it and should I pay the fine?

What's the penalty for contesting it unsuccessfully and is the principle worth it? That may form part of your decision-making.

Was it a FPN? If so, it may be worth querying it with the police station of the issuing officer, taking a printout of the Boateng statement (and maybe its reassurance by Goodwill) with you and explaining why you felt a short coast along the footway to the next junction was far less dangerous than entering the carriageway directly from the footway. They may cancel the ticket and have a word with the officer about targetting people exiting cycle parking - it's about as sensible as trying to ticket motorists for driving across a footway to leave a car park.

But if it really was only five seconds, I would have walked the fifteen/twenty seconds to within a reasonably distance of the corner and mounted there in a clearer "I am going to enter that side road" way. If you mounted up from the parking and didn't make any move towards the nearest carriageway, you may have looked to the officer like someone who was going to ride the whole way down Edgware Road along the footway. :-(
Last edited by mjr on 18 Sep 2017, 11:57am, edited 1 time in total.
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gaz
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Re: Is it worth contesting a £50 fine?

Postby gaz » 18 Sep 2017, 11:56am

Probably hereabouts, in which case I can't see it being anything other than a footway at the side of the road and a FPN under the Highways Act 1835 s.72.

[XAP]Bob wrote:Note of course that that is guidance, not law.

A search for "Boateng" on the forum will yield further details but I can't see that you'll have any mileage in contesting the fine.
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thirdcrank
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Re: Is it worth contesting a £50 fine?

Postby thirdcrank » 18 Sep 2017, 12:22pm

It depends what you mean by worth it. In purely financial terms, the fixed penalty represents a bargain ie £50 compared with the risk of a higher fine on conviction, plus prosecution costs, plus the so-called victim surcharge, which AFAIK applies across the board. Plus all the time taken attending court, plus your own legal bill if you choose to be legally represented rather than do it yourself.

The relevant law is archaic and not straightforward and is to be found in s72 Highways Act 1835


Penalty on persons committing nuisances by riding on footpaths, &c.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F1 If any person shall wilfully ride upon any footpath or causeway by the side of any road made or set apart for the use or accommodation of foot passengers; or shall wilfully lead or drive any horse, ass, sheep, mule, swine, or cattle or carriage of any description, or any truck or sledge, upon any such footpath or causeway; or shall tether any horse, ass, mule, swine, or cattle, on any highway, so as to suffer or permit the tethered animal to be thereon;. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F2; every person so offending in any of the cases aforesaid shall for each and every such offence forfeit and pay any sum not exceeding [F3level 2 on the standard scale], over and above the damages occasioned thereby.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Wil ... section/72
In plain English, that means that cycling on a roadside pavement is an offence.

Paul Boateng MP said that it was a matter for police discretion (my words) and that's pretty much what you have experienced. It was Boateng's then boss, David Blunkett MP, who had extended the fixed penalty system to cover this offence.

I've only ever had to deal with a fixed penalty once, when my car was in at a garage to trace an intermittent fault and during their road test it broke down on yellow lines, quickly attracting a ticket. The garage gave me a discount for the amount involved because it wasn't cost-effective to contest the ticket (breaking down on yellow lines is a defence.) I secured the fixed penalty "bargain" by stumping up and then I wrote to the police with the garage's documentation. (In those days, traffic wardens were police personnel.) A little while later I received a refund cheque from the Clerk to the Justices with a letter saying that the police had rescinded the ticket.

Whether it's worth it in non-financial terms is one for you.

It's a contentious subject so I imagine others will have posted while I've been typing. :oops:

============================================
PS Another thing I forgot to add which will be in earlier threads but I'll reiterate is read the info with the ticket and stick to the timetable. If you just decide to ignore it and see if you get a summons, the ticket will be registered with the court and the sum collected as though it were a court fine. If you decide to fight the case at court, you have to exercise the option, rather than wait and see.
Last edited by thirdcrank on 18 Sep 2017, 12:40pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is it worth contesting a £50 fine?

Postby mjr » 18 Sep 2017, 12:38pm

thirdcrank wrote:It's a contentious subject so I imagine others will have posted while I've been typing. :oops:

But largely agreeing, for a chance from recent practice! Your experience sounds like good guidance - I'd ask/persuade the police to rescind the ticket but pay the fine because if it goes to court, it's going to cost lots more and it sounds like there's not much leg to stand on in a strict legal sense.
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thirdcrank
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Re: Is it worth contesting a £50 fine?

Postby thirdcrank » 18 Sep 2017, 12:48pm

The difference with my own ticket was that I knew there was a defence: car breaking down is an exception to all manner of offences and rightly so.

We have had a couple of cases where people have been advised to use the Boateng Gambit and at least one reported getting a letter back saying the ticket would not be scrubbed. (Edit: I've not looked back so I may be dreaming but I have a feeling that the senior police officer who wrote the original reply had to query was the rider was referring to.) There's one thread on here - possibly to be found by a search on Boateng - where the CDF tried to fight a test case with helmet cam footage. IIRC, the CPS dropped it. I can't remember the details because there was another at broadly the same time involving traffic lights and the CPS dropped that as well. It's not fair if they won't stand and fight. :wink:
Last edited by thirdcrank on 18 Sep 2017, 12:59pm, edited 1 time in total.

Bonefishblues
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Re: Is it worth contesting a £50 fine?

Postby Bonefishblues » 18 Sep 2017, 12:51pm

Not if you were doing what you say you were. Many times you'd get away with this. This time you didn't.

Your grounds for appeal would be; yes I did it, but only for a bit, and anyway I should have had a warning. I think you'd look a bit daft TBH.

Bowedw
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Re: Is it worth contesting a £50 fine?

Postby Bowedw » 18 Sep 2017, 3:58pm

Perhaps a letter to the Chief Constable,congratulating his force on being so diligent, for having the safety of pedestrians in mind and then enclose a list of car registration numbers, from a street where you know that overnight most of the residence park on the pavement, or at least half the width of the pavement. Offer him photographic proof should he need it and ask him for a crime number so that you can follow up on their progress.

thirdcrank
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Re: Is it worth contesting a £50 fine?

Postby thirdcrank » 18 Sep 2017, 4:01pm

On a point of information, I think Edgeware Road is in the Metropolitan Police District so rather than a chief constable, they have a commissioner Ms Cressida Dick.

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Re: Is it worth contesting a £50 fine?

Postby MikeF » 18 Sep 2017, 4:11pm

gaz wrote:Probably hereabouts,
It won't help the OP, but what's needed here is provision for cycling, and there looks like room for doing so. That way we wouldn't have much need for enforcement of archaic legislation. Does anyone know what cycling infrastructure Sadiq Khan has had built since he's been in office? He was supposed to be "spending" much more than Boris.
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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Is it worth contesting a £50 fine?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 18 Sep 2017, 4:58pm

Hi,
Ah.............but its OK for a four wheeled vehicle to mount the kerb and park on the pavement :!:
You have to drive it there with wheels moving....................a bit rich, so there is odd's that if I ride on pavement because it will not annoy car drivers, or annoy them less than overtake a traffic queue, a smart bored in authority will fine me or is it just if they have camera's ?
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hamster
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Re: Is it worth contesting a £50 fine?

Postby hamster » 18 Sep 2017, 5:09pm

Parking on the pavement is illegal in London (but not elsewhere) IIRC.

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Re: Is it worth contesting a £50 fine?

Postby Bonefishblues » 18 Sep 2017, 6:49pm

Bonefishblues wrote:Not if you were doing what you say you were. Many times you'd get away with this. This time you didn't.

Your grounds for appeal would be; yes I did it, but only for a bit, and anyway I should have had a warning.* I think you'd look a bit daft TBH.


ETA
* and lots of other people do inconsiderate things and get away with them (by the comments of one or two other posters)

bertgrower
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Re: Is it worth contesting a £50 fine?

Postby bertgrower » 18 Sep 2017, 9:38pm

thirdcrank wrote:The difference with my own ticket was that I knew there was a defence: car breaking down is an exception to all manner of offences and rightly so.

We have had a couple of cases where people have been advised to use the Boateng Gambit and at least one reported getting a letter back saying the ticket would not be scrubbed. (Edit: I've not looked back so I may be dreaming but I have a feeling that the senior police officer who wrote the original reply had to query was the rider was referring to.) There's one thread on here - possibly to be found by a search on Boateng - where the CDF tried to fight a test case with helmet cam footage. IIRC, the CPS dropped it. I can't remember the details because there was another at broadly the same time involving traffic lights and the CPS dropped that as well. It's not fair if they won't stand and fight. :wink:


You are thinking of the fpn given for riding on pavement in new kent road by kristian gregory, curretly cuk trustee.
Last edited by bertgrower on 18 Sep 2017, 10:57pm, edited 1 time in total.