On Saturday 14 November 09 my friend Mr D. received a parking ticket (PCN) despite being legally parked in a "Disabled badge holders only" space. Here is a photograph of the plate at the bay which is near the Alexandra Pub in Wood St ( near Barnet General Hospital )
On 17 November Mr D. sent a further appeal that the road markings & signs were not in accordance with Regulations ( as they are usually wrong ! )
On 7 December LB of Barnet cancelled the ticket as " due to insufficient evidence recorded by the CEO at the time of the contravention I have cancelled the penalty charge on this occasion"
On 15 December Mr D wrote back to check he can park in that particular bay on a Saturday as his friend is still in hospital and as he always tries to follow the rules. He thinks the wording of the sign is possibly ambiguous.
On 14 January 2010 LB of Barnet wrote back as image above. Two grammatical errors, oh dear.
On 3 February Mr D. wrote again.
He pointed out that use of the word contravention is incorrect; he was legally parked as it was a Saturday.
He points out that the ticket was cancelled due to a lack of evidence and now the Council have produced a photograph taken at the time of his parking.
Mr D. asks for a written apology.
Mr D. also asks the Council to refund all other motorists who have been similarly affected.
On 23 February LB of Barnet write again. There is a page of guff about a full investigation and more training of the members of staff involved. It was only one and all he needs to be trained to do is to read a sign. Management will consider the request for automatic refunds to all affected motorists. Then the apology
"Please accept our apology for any convenience that this may have caused"
"May have caused" of course I have been caused inconvenience and worry but Barnet don't give a hoot.. A bit mean as apologies go but at least Mr D. received one, on request.
On 27 February Mr D. wrote again. He asked for management to write to him in the next 30 days about the unjust enrichment that the Council had enjoyed. In effect they have demanded money with menaces when none was due and anybody with honour would initiate refunds. Mr D. wrote
In the spirit of your slogan "Putting the Community First " I am sure that the Council will be rushing to prepare refunds.
It was not until 19 April that LB of Barnet stirred themselves again, a question of morality evidently being too difficult for them. And this is what they said:
You have stated that others who have parked in a similar manner be refunded monies already paid. The London Borough of Barnet would of course issue a refund to any vehicle that was incorrectly issued a Penalty Charge Notice. I would state that only the Registered Keeper of a vehicle that has been issued a Penalty Charge Notice may write in to formally contest their liability; thereafter the Council would follow the statutory process.
So having been made aware of a procedural error and taken money from motorists when they didn't owe it the Council think that it is OK to keep it as other motorists are none the wiser. Tut tut.
So what lessons do we learn from this morality tale.
Barnet Council lied about there being no evidence of where and when Mr D. was parked. He never denied being parked there; he just wanted clarification.
If they lie about evidence having been destroyed and then produce a photograph can we believe they have destroyed the Metpro tapes ( how do Barnet know how many tapes have been made since 2006 ? ) And its only when the pressure builds up that Barnet bother to do anything.
They think of all motorists as contravening even when they haven't. What a bad mindset.
Barnet don't think to apologise automatically when they have made an error. They have to be asked to apologise; bad manners on the part of the Council. I suggest if Barnet had to pay out £100 when in error they might become a bit less slapdash at issuing penalty charge notices.
If you hadn't been so badly behaved Barnet, this blog would not have even started.