27 November 2012

Is every Barnet Council parking ticket invalid?

It would appear so. Christmas has come early.

Update September 14 - in a recent PATAS decision of a panel of three adjudicators the wording has now been found to be OK although as ever that decision is not binding on other adjudicators although Mr Mustard expects that other adjudicators will largely follow it. The decision may well be subject to a review and after that go to the High Court. The question is not yet settled.

Mr Mustard was alerted to a recent case at PATAS in which the independent Adjudicator had no hesitation in declaring the PCN / Penalty Charge Notice / parking ticket non-compliant with the relevant Regulations and thus not enforceable i.e. Barnet Council have to cancel it, they simply have no choice. If the council, acting by themselves or via their agent NSL Ltd, do not concede that the wrongly worded PCNs are indeed not compliant then they run the risk of a large number of appeals to PATAS which cost the motorist nothing save a little time and cost the council £46 each time and many man hours. Recent history is that NSL cannot cope with the need to prepare appeal files for PATAS, that many do not get filed, and that the PCN are then cancelled. 

So if you have a parking ticket which, just has below the times during which your vehicle was observed, the words in blue, then you are home and dry for a cancellation.
Pcn Correct and Incorrect Wordings

Now Mr Mustard will save you some time. He has drafted a standard appeal letter which you can download, print out and send off to Worthing. It would be sensible to send this by the "Signed for" service (the former Recorded Delivery) so that no-one can deny that you sent in an appeal (as if a council or its agent would cheat or lie!). 

You can use this letter if you have only just received the parking ticket as well as if you have received the Notice to Owner.

Pcn Appeal Letter 1g 1h Wording
Please do let Mr Mustard know if you Appeal is not accepted and he may well step in to assist as he is becoming well known in the thin client parking section and when Mr Mustard writes what the staff know to be the truth they simply cancel the parking ticket.

There are two questions which come to mind.

1. Having fallen foul of a date error in 2006 which was not in accordance with the then applicable Road Traffic Act 1991, in the infamous Moses case, how have Barnet Council managed to fail to comply with the legislation once again?

2. Given that the parking enforcement contract was awarded to NSL Ltd partly because of their supposed expertise in this area, why have they not noticed the incorrect wording and suggested it be corrected?

So much for One Barnet outsourcing being the end to Barnet Council's problems.

If Mr Mustard has already advised you on an appeal using different grounds, please also send one of these forms in to make sure that your parking ticket does get cancelled.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard


  1. Dear Mr Mustard,

    My appeal wasn't accepted and they did not freeze the time from my first email appeal to them which was within the 14 days where I would only have had to pay half of the penalty. They have sent me a letter to tell me that I must now pay the full amount. Please could you help me?

    Barnet Resident

  2. Barnet Resident / Voicesciene

    Please send an email to mrmustard@zoho.com with copies of everything including the parking ticket and I will tell you what can be done.

    Best regards

    Mr Mustard

  3. Mr Mustard,

    I appealed on the basis set out above and used your template letter and it has been rejected by the parking company. It was only an informal appeal and I have now received the notice to owner. Should I resubmit the same appeal?


    Jimmy James

  4. Yes and send me copies of everything at mrmustard@zoho.com in case there are any other errors.

  5. Would it be unusual to still be waiting on a formal appeal outcome?

  6. The council get 56 days from the date of receipt in which to respond to an appeal sent in in response to a Notice to Owner. If you acted straightaway on 14/15/16 Jan the council are out of time and are obliged to abandon your parking ticket (not that that will stop them) as it is in the legislation. Don't do anything yet as we don't want a sudden reaction of a back-dated rejection letter.

  7. Mr mustard I received a charge notice even after sending 2 email to challenge the parking ticket and notice to owner what do I do now?

  8. Hi Stephany

    The above blog post is out of date by the way but there was a different wording error which is still being fought over.

    However, sending you a Charge Certificate before responding to an in time representation is a council blunder. Please send copies of everything to mrmustard@zoho.com and if you put your phone number in the email Mr Mustard will ring you up for a chat.

  9. Dear Mr Mustard,

    apologies for this post resurrection, I have just received a Barnet pcn and would greatly appreciate your advice. I drove my mothers car from Devon to Barnet, London to collect something. I pulled into a bay that stated residents permit only in one box and mon-fri 2-3pm in another. This was at 2.55pm, i was unsure if that meant residents only except 2-3pm or vise-versa... i then asked a local resident coming out of the house opposite, he said although he didn't drive he asumed it was ok to park between 2-3pm for schools but resident only all other times, he then suggested i asked the joinery shop next door or the cafe across the road. I took his advice but within this time got a pcn…. the time says observed between 2.56-2.58, by my watch it was 2.59 and although this is a fairly long street (huntingdon road) there was no atendant in sight?? was he\she driving or on a bike how did they do this without me noticing! I have since looked at the photo evidence online and all photos were taken within the minute of 2.57.

    so my questions are; a) is this signage clear if myself a visitor and 2 local residence don't know what it means and b) is it fair to issue a ticket so quickly?

    I would sincerely appreciate your advice before i consider my appeal,


  10. This post is not of help as the adjudicators now find the Barnet PCN to be OK. However, I usually find something else. Please email a copy of the PCN (or at least the AG ref number and car reg) to mrmustard@zoho.com and I will consider the matter this evening.


I now moderate comments in the light of the Delfi case. Due to the current high incidence of spam I have had to turn word verification on.