18 November 2017

Mind the gap

Torrington Park
A contractor working on behalf of the council has blocked the width restriction and left the only possible route as the bus gate. Mr V therefore drove through it and made representations against the inevitable PCN that there was a truck in the way which was broken down or was there for some other reason. Here is the council's response:

 What Mr Mustard expects is:

a. the video to be looked at more closely so that the council realise the van is almost certainly engaged in works at the location and a cancellation on the grounds of common sense
b. the workmen not to block the route unless it is necessary by reasons of safety
c. a road closure order to be in place to make the council's actions lawful
d. the council to make enquiries of its workers as to what they are messing about at and to instruct them not to obstruct the Queen's highway in the future nor to act in such a way as to make moving traffic contraventions more likely
e. diversion signs to be posted well in advance of the restriction.

Anyway, the vehicle owner appealed to the tribunal and the council cancelled the PCN as soon as they were notified of the hearing by the tribunal.

The council look to have behaved cynically in rejecting the prior representations.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

11 November 2017

Council errors are OK, apparently, yours are not.

The errors of new drivers are a useful revenue stream for Barnet Council.

They don't want it ruined by having to pay out compensation for the blunders of brand new traffic wardens.

If your PCN was issued by a traffic warden (CEO) with a number above 650, take a close look at it.

The council's attitude to error is morally dubious.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

29 October 2017

Are you illiterate? Barnet Council will employ you.

You are? well you can get yourself a job writing case summaries to send to the parking tribunal on behalf of Barnet Council as you will fit right in. All of the above errors came form one 3 page case summary.

The errors won't lead to the PVN (sic) being cancelled but there are some other procedural blunders in the case summary which will.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

This is what happens when you contract out services (although it is never clear in parking if an NSL or a direct employee has written a particular item) as the contractor saves money by employing cheaper people than the council did hitherto. Cheaper isn't usually better.

28 October 2017

Wrongful rejection by Barnet Council

all Barnet parking restrictions available here http://www.barnettraffweb.co.uk/main.html
Mr B received a PCN. Mr Mustard compared the local parking sign to the Traffic Management Order which sets the rules, which the sign must then follow, and identified a discrepancy i.e. they were for different times. He made an informal challenge in response to the PCN.

The council rejected them.

It seems that the writer did not go and look at what the rules where as otherwise he wouldn't have said that the hours were restricted at that time, as they weren't.

The writer didn't understand the point about London Councils either. Mr Mustard did not mention TPT (in front of which he occasionally also appears) so why the council did he isn't sure. In any event had the TPT made a decision on this point it wouldn't be irrelevant, it would not be a precedent either but it would be persuasive so should be considered carefully.

Once the Notice to Owner arrived the identical challenge was made. It doesn't matter that the council have already rejected it, the Owner has the right to make the same representations as the driver (who may be one and the same person) and it is in fact good practice to be consistent.

So there you have it, a reverse ferret, and clearly Mr Mustard was 100% correct at the earlier stage.

The worrying aspects about this case are:

  • the council don't appear to be considering informal challenges properly
  • an unrepresented Owner would assume the council are correct because surely they only write the truth and paid up at 50% (which is intended to reward motorists who make honest errors and pay up promptly but appears to Mr Mustard to be used more as an inducement to settle even when the motorist is correct) and payment kills the PCN so the council would have had unjust enrichment of £55
  • there is no sanction against the council for wrongly saying No at first and then Yes.
If you think you are correct, just keep fighting until all 3 stages of the process are complete. The worst that happens is that you end up paying 100% and learn something and on the other hand you have cost the council a tribunal fee of £30 which they don't see again.

Yours frugally
Mr Mustard

The Judge's Walk - 12 November 2017

17 October 2017

TfL - Turn fractionally Late = PCN

If there was ever any doubt that those public servants who have been given huge big brother power have let it go to their heads, here it is. At a badly signed no right turn from the Upper Richmond Road into Dryburgh Rd the vehicle arrowed started to turn before 7am when the restriction starts and can be said to have made the turn when this still was taken, at 2 seconds past the start time of the no right turn restriction. Does this really deserve a PCN for £130?

The odd thing is that if the vehicle had been entering the congestion zone it would not have been ticketed within the first or last 2 minutes of the zone hours. Only TfL know why they don't apply the same sensible discretion to the use of their powers at timed banned turns.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard