|By Kabelleger / David Gubler|
Mr Mustard didn't have to wait long before he was asked to advise about a snow related PCN issued to a resident who thought, from memory, that they were parked within a bay on the next road to their own. It turns out they were slightly outside it but given that the whole road was snow covered when they parked they cannot be criticised for being slightly outside the bay, which is what the PCN was for.
This PCN was issued just after 11am on Wednesday 13 December. The road in question, a quiet cul-de-sac, had not been gritted. It is evident from the snow on the pavement that traffic wardens should not be sent out by management in these conditions.
Barnet Council keep worrying about the reasons why residents are unhappy with the performance of the parking department. It won't take a report by an external consultant to tell them that if you send traffic wardens out to ticket cars which have been parked as well as possible in the snow, or even abandoned and not yet collected (we can't all drop everything the minute the snow goes), that the public are rightly going to feel hard done by. Yes, the ticket can be challenged, but motorists should not be put through unnecessary processes.
What should the council do? They should send traffic wardens out, suitably equipped, to grit the pavements and not send them out to issue PCNs until at least 24 hours after all pavements are 99% clear of snow throughout the borough. Anything else looks like profiteering from the council's own failure to properly grit the borough, which shocking story you can read at the Broken Barnet blog here.
Mr Mustard will take this PCN all the way to the tribunal. He has a decision in which an adjudicator says that if councils want to issue PCN they must clear the snow first.