David 'Kupkake' Kupler (Y74), whose Call Sign column has
reflected many of the problems of this trade in poetic form, had one published
in this magazine last year which told how he was given a Penalty Charge Notice
(PCN) for using the end of the Upper Street bus lane reserved for buses only.
This followed a Call Sign article where we were the first to point out that the
signage along the lane was incorrect and we took and filed the photos that
proved it. Kupkake went one step further and refused to pay the fine. Now,
after a long battle, a Judge in chambers at Ilford County Court has ordered
that David was correct in his view that the bus lane signage was incorrect and
as such, dismissed Ken Livingstone's TfL's claim against him for the unpaid
fine - thereby giving Kupkake a KO win. This is a round by round synopsis of
the events leading up to David Kupler's victory...
Ding...round 1: TfL starts the fight with a below-the-belt punch in the
shape of a PCN for being in the Upper St Bus Lane. Kupkake is winded, but has
the presence of mind to point out that they are wrong and hits back with an
uppercut to the outstretched jaw of a bureaucrat that sent TfL back to their
corner to confer.
Ding...round 2: TfL doubles the fine to £80 and send a volley of
denials that the bus lane is badly signed. Kupkake takes this on the chin
without so much as a bead of sweat - and tells them to shove it!
Ding...round 2: TfL doubles the fine to £80 and send a
volley of denials that the bus lane is badly signed. Kupkake takes this on
the chin without so much as a bead of sweat - and tells them to shove it!
Ding...round 3: TfL refuse to back down and increase
fine to £120, but secretly knowing they were wrong, grudgingly allow
Kupkake to appeal. However, they supply the wrong details to David forcing
him to miss the deadline.
Ding...round 4: Kupkake is forced to get an affidavit
sworn, but it is returned...
Ding... round 5: David gets angry and demands another
Ding...round 6: TfL agree providing he files another
sworn affidavit before a Notary (someone licensed to prepare legal
documents) but TfL are planning another below-the-belt shot.
Ding...round 7: A letter from a Bailiff agency smacks
Kupkake with demands for £136 in unpaid fines or else...
Ding...round 8: David discovers that TfL has no right to
issue the writ, as his latest appeal had NOT yet gone before a court.
He smacks TfL with the force of the law as directed by a clerk in the
office and the bailiffs are called off. This was TfL's scare tactic
and showed how desperate they were not to lose the case with so many other
drivers watching for the result...
A happy Kupkake celebrates his victory over Ken
Ding...round 9: Kupkake gets a hearing with a Judge in
chambers at Ilford. Judge believes David's story of incorrect signage and
issues an order to that effect.
Ding...10th and final round: Defeated TfL stand to
lose a lot of money in returned fines charged to Taxi Drivers in the period
pre-resignage of the Upper Street Bus Lane because, as TfL did not appear at
the Ilford hearing, the Judge has ordered that no appeal can now take place. A
real David v Goliath victory for Kupkake...
The last word goes to David Kupler:
"The original signs did NOT comply with the 1994 regulations
and therefore NO infringement occurred. If you were one of those drivers who
were caught before the signs changed to the present ones, demand your money
back quoting my case. That should knock 'em back for a few grand. Don't forget
TfL just took away your 'extras', what's going in the next fare rise? The right
to work as you wish, when you wish?"