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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 66156
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Stopped for a minute in a Red Route Loading/Unloading Bay to

Customer Question

Stopped for a minute in a Red Route Loading/Unloading Bay to let off my niece from the car and to retrieve her bag (goods - dictionary definition covers chattels) from the boot so that she could get on the nearby tube and we could carry on our journey on our way back from a weekend away. Loading dictionary definition does not preclude passengers.

There is nothing that I can find that precludes a motorist from unloading a passenger/bag from their car in a specifically marked loading/unloading bay. I was not engaged in a commercial activity, but then again, it doesn't say it must be commercial, not was I "shopping" in that sense. Goods need not be bulky (as per some case law).

Finally, TfL's own guidance for use of a Loading/Unloading bay does not define any particular activity or mention that passengers and their goods are not included -

Therefore would it be reasonable to presume that stopping briefly in a designated loading area for a passenger to get out and for me to unload her bag was permissible? There is nothing in the Highway Code or on TfL website to say otherwise, so therefore the offence in this instance, was not committed.

Thank you in advance.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Traffic Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

So, in short, you stopped so your passenger could alight?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Jo

In short, I did, but she could have jumped out at the red lights ahead if she had not had the bag, which necessitated me stopping in a designated place.


This wasn't an instance of trying it on & hoping to get away with it, it was my believing, based on what I knew, that I was OK to stop & unload my niece's bag in a particular signposted place.


Hence why I am a bit aggrieved if this is not the case as there clearly isn't any clear guidance as to what constitutes unloading on any official site and a general member of the public was using reasonable logic in applying the rules that he was aware of.


You say "alight", which I'm guessing is going to be covered by some regulation or case law someplace, but it is not obvious anywhere. In this respect, a Red Route is discriminatory if it does not allow for a member of the public to stop to drop someone & their bag off, yet allows a delivery vehicle to stop, unload a small box into a nearby shop, then depart.



Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Jo


Thank you


Sprake Vs Tester is alluded to here


along with a number of other instances, such as Richards Vs McKnight. I don't think this judgement backs up the fact that an item has to be "too bulky" and indeed this instance says that "

It seems

to me that had the draftsman who was applying his mind at this point to the meaning of goods and what goods

should be covered intended to limit the definition of the word “goods” to heavy or bulky goods he would have

said so at this very point - or at least left the word to stand without further qualification". Being within the courier industry, I know that an item for delivery can sometimes be a small envelope, so there is no restriction as to size for someone delivering/collecting.


So I see that she had goods, which needed to unloaded and there's no limit to minimum size of load based on that adjudication. Also nothing to preclude a private vehicle from loading/unloading.


I will certainly request a de minimis breach as well as at 20:00 on a Sunday evening, there was not a great deal of traffic and certainly no other un-loading going on and I am aware that Gov guidelines allow/dictate for discretion at any point of the PCN process, though I won't hold my breath.


Not trying to be antsy, I just want to explore my options prior to going to PATAS and using the tools/information that I can find, none of which would appear to define loading/unloading contrary to my circumstances.


Thanks again.


Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
all the best.

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