Red routes

Red routes Freedom of Information (FOI) requests

This page contains the most common Freedom of Information (FOI) requests from drivers challenging PCNs issued for red route contraventions.

There are a lot of websites and forums dedicated to helping drivers challenge a PCN. While these can provide assistance to drivers who are unfamiliar with the enforcement process, the advice given is often out of date or does not apply to the red route.

Some websites provide templates for drivers to make representations against a PCN, and encourage drivers to make an FOI request for 'evidence' to support their representation. As a result, we receive many FOI requests from drivers who have been led to believe this will result in TfL cancelling their PCN.

However, FOI requests are governed by separate legislation and are dealt with by a separate team, so& making an FOI request has no bearing on decisions we make about PCNs.

Myths and complaints about red route enforcement

Camera approval certificates

Enforcement of the following types of contraventions can only be carried out using an "Approved Device" which has been fully certified by the Secretary of State for Transport.

  • Red route stopping, parking and loading contraventions enforced under the Traffic Management Act 2004
  • Bus lane contraventions enforced under the London Local Authorities Act 1996

The DfT publishes a list of certificates granted for approved devices.

VCA CCTV camera approval/authorisation

CCTV cameras and associated recording equipment used for the enforcement of red route parking and bus lane contraventions must be certified by the Secretary of State for Transport to show that the complete system is an "approved device".  The Vehicle Certification Agency (the VCA) has been appointed to do this on his or her behalf, in accordance with the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (Approved Devices)(England) Order 2007 and the Bus Lanes (Approved Devices)(England) Order 2005. The "approved device" used by TfL for this type of enforcement is the Digital Traffic Enforcement System.

This document consists of the VCA's confirmation that it has considered TfL's application for certification of the Digital Traffic Enforcement System as an "approved device", that the device meets the requirements set out in the above Orders, and that the device is therefore certified accordingly.

For accessible versions of the documents contact CCcorrespondence@tfl.gov.uk.

  • Camera approval certificates

    PDF 123KB

  • The "Approved Device" in question is our Digital Traffic Enforcement System (DTES). All of our individual CCTV enforcement cameras are components of that system.

    Moving traffic contraventions such as "entering and stopping in a yellow box junction" or "failing to comply with a No Entry sign" are enforced under the London Local Authorities and TfL Act 2003. Under that Act, there is no requirement for the equipment used to be approved or certified. However there is nothing in the 2003 Act which prevents us from using certified equipment to enforce moving traffic contraventions, therefore all of our CCTV enforcement cameras can be used to enforce any type of contravention.

Camera maintenance and calibration

Our CCTV enforcement camera assemblies undergo regular planned maintenance inspections every six months. The maintenance contract is managed by professionally qualified engineers at the contractor's head office and within TfL.

CCTV cameras do not need to be calibrated because the camera itself does not have a timer. The time and date displayed on the recording of a contravention is not transmitted from the CCTV camera on the street. The camera captures images which are sent back to the CCTV matrix at TfL's enforcement operations centre. As the images are processed (viewed by our camera operators), they are overlaid with the data from a Network Time Protocol (NTP) server via TfL's network switches. This gives us a time stamp in the recording which is synchronised with Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), therefore displaying the accurate time on all images.

Camera warning signs

We have a number of CCTV signs located across the red route network warning drivers that camera enforcement is in operation, but we do not currently hold a list of their locations. The purpose of this type of sign is to ensure that any organisation using CCTV complies with data protection legislation. There is no legal requirement within either the DPA or enforcement legislation to place camera warning signs at every location where we may issue a PCN. The current requirement is that, where these signs are used, they must be of the correct size and type prescribed by the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (TSRGD) 2002, as amended 2011.

Signs and road markings

We are only allowed to use signs and road markings authorised by the Department for Transport (DfT).

Signs and road markings specific to the red route are authorised by the Authorisation of Traffic Signs and Road Markings for Red Route Controls on GLA Roads and GLA Side Roads.

Other signs and road markings that we use are authorised by the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (TSRGD) 2002, as amended 2011, and can be found in the Highway Code.  

There is a lot of incorrect and out of date information on websites and forums regarding legal and technical requirements of signs and road markings, and what information you should ask for in an FOI request to "prove" that a PCN can't be enforced.

In an important decision in the Court of Appeal in 2011, the court ruled that a technical failure to comply with the TSRGD does not invalidate signage as long as signs are substantially compliant with the regulations and not misleading to motorists. Because decisions of the higher courts are binding on the independent adjudicators hearing appeals against PCNs, this has effectively prevented further successful appeals on the grounds of a technical failure to comply with the regulations where no harm can be shown.

Signs and road markings which are not specific to the red route or compliant with the TSRGD need special DfT authorisation

See the DfT authorisations issued to TfL for yellow box junctions on the red route network that deviate from TSRGD requirements.

DfT authorisations of yellow box junctions

Traffic Signs and Road Markings in the UK are regulated by the Secretary of State for Transport. The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 (as amended) sets out prescribed signs and markings for use on public roads. An authority may seek special authorisation from the Department for Transport (DfT) to use non-standard forms of the signs or new sign types entirely where the regulations do not provide appropriate solutions.

The documents in this section consist of the formal authorisations issued by DfT to TfL for the placing of non-standard yellow box junction designs. The documents consist of a legal description of the authorised road marking and how it relates to the relevant sections of the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions. The documents also contain a drawing of the yellow box junction design and location to which the special authorisation applies.

For accessible version of the documents below email CCcorrespondence@tfl.gov.uk.

PCNs issued and challenged

The following table lists the locations where we have issued the highest number of PCNs due to low compliance with red route restrictions. The table shows a breakdown of the number of PCNs issued between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018 and the number of PCNs challenged at those locations. We have also added further information that we are often asked for in Freedom of Information requests.

Red routes parking spaces and revenue

These factsheets include information that we are required to publish under the Local Government Transparency Code 2015.

Motorcycles in bus lanes

We ran trials in 2009 and 2010 allowing motorcycles in bus lanes. Following completion of the trials, motorcycles have been given permanent access to bus lanes on the majority of the Capital's red routes.

Benefits include shorter journey times for motorcyclists and reduced carbon dioxide emissions. The safety of motorcyclists and other vulnerable road users is unaffected.

Read the independent report from the trial and appendix:

Listen to our radio safety advert highlighting the importance of looking out for motorcycles in bus lanes.

Evaluation criteria

Initial data for the first six months of the trial shows little variation in casualty figures or commuter habits:

Customer research report:

View the first and second phases of customer research undertaken as part of the trial:

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These factsheets include information that we are required to publish under the Local Government Transparency Code 2014.

We ran trials in 2009 and 2010 allowing motorcycles in bus lanes. Following completion of the trials, motorcycles have been given permanent access to bus lanes on the majority of the Capital's red routes.

Benefits include reduced journey times for motorcyclists and less carbon dioxide emissions. The safety of motorcyclists and other vulnerable road users is unaffected.

Read the independent report from the trial and appendix:

 Listen to our radio safety advert highlighting the importance of looking out for motorcycles in bus lanes.

Evaluation criteria

Initial data for the first six months of the trial shows little variation in casualty figures or commuter habits:

Customer research report

View the first and second phases of customer research undertaken as part of the trial:

If you have any questions about the bus lane trial, please contact us:

Email:STEngagement@tfl.gov.uk
Post:
Surface Transport Stakeholder Engagement
Transport for London
Level 11 Palestra
197 Blackfriars Road
London SE1 8NJ