11 March 2013

The impossible Visitor Voucher Quiz

personal identifier has been redacted
So here we have, in reverse date order, three visitor vouchers which cost £4 each. On 8 March the builder put another voucher out which he dealt with in the same way as these and scratched out Mar, Fri & 8. He got a parking ticket on the 8th but not on the 3 previous days. Why?

Now you are scratching your heads. You are looking and going "what have I missed?"

the problem is not any of the following:

wrong year
wrong zone
mis-matched month, day & date
wrong car registration (not needed on these vouchers)
scratched off too many details
scratched off too few details
mutilated voucher
expired voucher (they don't expire)
not displayed correctly
wrong way up or round.

do you give in? You do? OK, the problem was:

the wrong traffic warden

Traffic warden 374 gave out a parking ticket because, wait for it, the motorist scratched out the details with a biro and not with a coin as he explained when challenged (the traffic warden is indeed lucky that the residents are decent folk - others would have been very forceful in their opinion which would have been delivered with force). The fact is that the voucher has been permanently changed and cannot be used again.

Nowhere in the instructions does it say you have to use a coin and nowadays, ironically, coins are generally of no use in Barnet for parking because you have to use a mobile phone which isn't itself of much use as a scratching implement.

How desperate are traffic wardens to dish out parking tickets? how much pressure are they being put under to issue so many per shift? (if any traffic warden has lost their job recently and wants to come and chat to Mr Mustard in private then they should send an email to him at mrmustard@zoho.com and/or ask for an address to which to send interesting paperwork).

Mr Mustard writes to the parking process manager ("PPM") when he thinks something is completely out of order. This is. The Oxford dictionary on the subject of scratch can be found here, and it is clear from the definition that scratching can take many forms including using a pencil, a nail, your fingernail as well as a coin. For once the PPM failed Mr Mustard and he isn't prepared to step in and squash this stupid ticket without further ado (he must be missing his budgeted parking ticket income) and so now the informal challenge will have to await the usual rejection from NSL and then the formal appeal will go in after the Notice to Owner has been issued and if that is rejected the case will go off to PATAS the home of the independent adjudicator where Mr Mustard is confident of success and Barnet Council will have wasted £40 if they let it go that far.

Does anyone (who isn't a traffic warden or a parking officer) think that this parking ticket isn't just ridiculously pedantic and avaricious?

There is a theory that traffic wardens exist to help regulate the flow of traffic and to ration space. That is poppycock when it comes to residential roads; traffic wardens exist to make money, pure and simple.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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