Wembley couple win driving fine appeal as ‘no right turn’ signs in Alperton were obscured
PUBLISHED: 16:58 03 May 2016 | UPDATED: 17:07 03 May 2016
A Wembley couple have won an appeal against a driving fine after they successfully proved a ‘no right turn’ sign in Alperton was obscured by bushes.
Following their victory Jagjivan and Kaltana Master, of Copland Avenue, are calling on Brent Council to refund the thousands of other drivers who were slapped with the £130 penalty charge for turning into Glacier Way.
According to figures obtained from a Freedom of Information request, 2,911 people were caught in 2014 and a further 2,982 by mid-September last year.
Mr Master said: “It has been a long and frustrating battle with Brent Council. I knew that they were wrong and there was a principle at stake.
“It is annoying that they refused to see sense and forced me and my wife to spend five months fighting our case. There are so many thousands of people who have paid, Brent should pay them back the money.”
The fine was issued after Mr Master was taking his elderly neighbour to Sainsbury’s in Ealing Road but roadworks at the top of Glacier Way, which leads to the entrance to the store, meant he had to drive on a further yards where he turned right.
However that right turn was prohibited and warning signs were hidden by bushes on the opposite side.
When Mr Master received his fine he returned to the junction with his wife where he took photographic evidence to prove the sign was obscured.
The couple were warned by Brent Council that they an increased fine of £195 if they did not pay within 28 days but took the issue to the traffic adjudicator who ruled in their favour as they were “unable to be satisfied that the signage was good enough”.
According to Mrs Master, the council has now put up a new clearer sign.
She added: “The new sign can only have been put there in the last two or three weeks.
“Just imagine how much money Brent Council has been making just from that one road.
Paul Lorber, a former Lib Dem councillor who supported the couple, said: “The council should acknowledge their mistake and refund any unfairly fines issued to drivers using this junction.”
Brent Council denied any changes have been made to the signage.
Cllr Eleanor Southwood, the council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “Our primary concern is the safety of road users and keeping traffic moving. We want people to obey the road rules, not end up with fines.
“This particular restriction is in place to prevent vehicles blocking oncoming traffic by attempting to turn right and potentially causing a collision.
“The number of drivers ignoring the restriction has been reduced significantly by reliable camera enforcement and we hope this will continue to encourage safer and more considerate driving.”
Earlier this year Brent Council were forced to add extra ‘no right turn’ signs in Kensal Rise after several drivers won an appeal after being fined £130 for turning into Bolton Avenue from Chamberlayne Road.
The motorists successfully argued that the signs warning that right turns are banned were obscured if a bus is in the outside lane.
Dr Afshan Malik, who lives in nearby from Burrows Road, successfully contested three penalty notices issued to her after she mistakenly made the forbidden manoeuvre.
She said: “I got three in a row and got really cross at how unfair it was so I took it to appeal. Most people don’t have the time to argue.
“It’s very complicated to appeal... if you miss details, you have to go back. It’s all very stressful.”