A COUNCIL has defended fining motorists for stopping in yellow boxes – as a self-confessed guru claims drivers should be appealing them.

Sam Wright, who calls himself the ‘Yellow Box Guru’, has argued that yellow boxes in Reading are too large and go against Department of Transport (DfT) guidance.

However Reading Borough Council has hit back, saying their boxes meet requirements.

In a report for the RAC, Mr Wright claimed the restrictions on Kings Road, Eldon Road, Oxford Road and Bedford Road are against the Department for Transport Guidance.

Reading Chronicle: The yellow box at the junction of Kings Road and Eldon Road in Reading. Credit: Google Maps / Sam Wright, the Yellow Box GuruThe yellow box at the junction of Kings Road and Eldon Road in Reading. Credit: Google Maps / Sam Wright, the Yellow Box Guru

He says in these locations, the yellow boxes extend to the far side of the T junction which is against government guidance.

And he pointed to a number of others which he claims fail the guidance including: London Road with Chomeley Road, A33 and Rose Kiln Lane, Bath Road and Berkeley Avenue, Bath Road and Burghfield Road and A329 and the A33.

READ MORE: Listed: places where drivers in Reading will be fined for breaking yellow box rules 

Mr Wright’s research was used by police officer Clive Treacher to appeal a yellow box fine incurred in Redbridge, London.

He said: “Mr Treacher from London took the article and used it in an appeal.

“The adjudicator read my article and agreed with it, he said the fine was invalid.”

Reading Chronicle: Clive Treacher, a former MET police traffic officer, who was successfully able to appeal a yellow box fine at a junction in Redbridge, London. Credit: Clive TreacherClive Treacher, a former MET police traffic officer, who was successfully able to appeal a yellow box fine at a junction in Redbridge, London. Credit: Clive Treacher

While Mr Wright did stress that adjudicators do have discretion to uphold fines, Mr Treacher’s successful appeal and his case can be cited for appeals in Reading.

Mr Wright said: “Every adjudicator can make different decisions, but if they want to they can dismiss a fine using that decision.”

He shared his concerns about the eight offending yellow boxes in Reading earlier this year.

Reading Chronicle: Sam Wright, the Yellow Box Guru, who has exposed that yellow boxes do not comply with Department for Transport guidance. Credit: Sam WrightSam Wright, the Yellow Box Guru, who has exposed that yellow boxes do not comply with Department for Transport guidance. Credit: Sam Wright

Mr Wright said: “I contacted Reading Borough Council in February before enforcement started.

“Cllr Page did reply, he cc’d in a council parking manager. The parking manager’s reply was dismissive, they said ‘we know what we are doing’.

“They did look into it but it appears they didn’t do anything about it.”

After being confronted with Mr Wright’s concerns, a council spokesperson stated that yellow boxes were changed where necessary prior to enforcement.

The spokesperson said: “Yellow box junction enforcement began in Reading in February 2023 to help keep traffic flowing, including local buses, and to reduce congestion, which is a major contributor to poor air quality in parts of the town and which has a detrimental impact on the health of local residents who live or work close to these busy junctions.

“All yellow boxes which have gone live so far have been reviewed to ensure they are in line with current DfT guidance and redesigned and re-marked where necessary before any enforcement began.

“The same will apply to the remaining junctions which will go live on a rolling basis over the coming months.

“Obviously, should DfT guidance change in the future, the council would take that into account.

“It is worth emphasising that, as with all traffic and parking enforcement penalties, the law requires any surplus revenue raised to be re-invested in transport or highways improvements across Reading.”

The yellow box junctions currently enforced are:

  • King’s Road/Orts Road
  • King’s Road/Eldon Road
  • Queen’s Road/Sidmouth Street
  • Oxford Road/Bedford Road west bound
  • Oxford Road/Grovelands Road
  • Bath Road/Burghfield Road east & west bound
  • Bath Road/Berkeley Avenue west bound
  • Schedule for yellow box enforcement in 2024

Next phase in early 2024:

  • London Road/Cholmeley Road
  • London Road/Eldon Road/Craven Road
  • London Road/Kendrick Road

To follow (dates to be confirmed):

  • Oracle gyratory junctions with Southampton Street, A329 slip road, Bridge Street/car park

In each of these cases, drivers who break yellow box rules will get a warning letter for their first offence for six months after enforcement goes live.

After repeated offences and the six month period, fines will be issued.