Legal question about bus lane penalty and general comment
LEGAL ISSUE: This morning the police issued me with a fixed penalty notice for cycling in a bus lane between Holborn and Tottenham Court Road. I haven't cycled this route into town for a while and so wasn't aware the rules for this small stretch of road have changed. I was in the bus lane from Old St roundabout and was concentrating more on drivers around me on this busy stretch of road than keeping an eye out for new signage. The OFFENCE CODE was 304 "Contrvening a Bus Lane". But i have a feeling this offence code only corresponds to CARS and NOT BIKES. Does anyone know if I have any room to appeal on this basis?
GENERAL COMMENT: According to the officer, the police are cracking down today across London on cyclists' misdemeanours as a response to recent deaths. Ok, fine, issue penalty notices for cycling on pavements, running red lights etc. But there were at least three other cyclists ensnared in this bus lane trap in the 20 mins i was talking to the officer. None of us had ANY idea we were in the wrong, and were shocked to have been stopped by police in the first oplace. Making us aware of it would be the first step, not handing out penalty notices to all of us. This heavy handed and cynical approach has the effect of further polarising the space for cycling debate and further establishing a cyclists vs everyone else dynamic. It is now turning into a proper fight. The police and the Mayor of London have positioned themselves in opposition to cyclists in my view.