A motorist overturned a fine issued by Essex Council as there were too many confusing bus lane signs. This links in with another case about a journalist with the Hackney Gazette who had a similar experience with bus lane signs and result.


A psychologist was fined for inadvertently entering a bus gate in November 2018.

She stated that the bus gate, which is a short section of road blocked off to all traffic except buses, cycles and taxis was endangering lives. Once you are committed to turning left on this street, you have no way of safely turning around.

There were so many signs by the bus gate with information that cannot be consciously absorbed and processed in sufficient time for motorists to make an informed decision.



She lodged an appeal and won on the basis that there are too many signs that are confusing motorists’ brains.

This lady is clearly qualified to offer such opinions as she has published several academic papers on how people process visual information.

Essex County Council raked in about £1.5m from 53,000 motorists within 18 months, so it’s clearly lucrative. This reinforces the points that this individual has successfully addressed and opened the floodgates for retrospective appeals being made.


Motorists are finding inspiration from high profile celebrity cases where celebrities have hired Nick Freeman (otherwise known as ‘Mr Loophole’ for his ability to find loopholes in badly drafted legislation and sloppy administration errors by the authorities trying to enforce the laws). This has become known as the Mr Loophole effect and Nick Freeman has published a book to shine a spotlight on the techniques he uses.


The Road Traffic Act cuts both ways. I see it around Edinburgh with so many signs that are confusing and contradictory to the point where nobody takes any notice.

Councils just see this as a ‘nice little earner’. It just takes one individual to make a stand and it opens up the floodgates for others to follow suit.

You cannot be expected to comply with road signs that are cluttered, obscured and confusing to the point where you cannot be expected to make a conscious and informed decision.

This has been confirmed by an adjudicator. Illegal signs = illegal fines.

This is an interesting case which raises valid points that other motorists can use to successfully lodge appeals against various traffic infringements.

Have you been fined by a bus lane camera due to confusing bus lane signs? Did you appeal it?

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