25 April 2013

Transport Committee - Inquiry into Local Authority Parking Enforcement

Traffic wardens on a night out
Firstly thank you to Helen Michael, the North Finchley based Queen of parking (you have visited Cafe Buzz haven't you at 783 High Rd, Tally Ho, London, N12 8QY and tried one of their breakfasts, they really are very good quality and a pretty plateful) as Helen it was who told Mr Mustard that the Transport Committee, a Commons Select Committee, was going to hold an inquiry into Local Authority Parking Enforcement. Great, thought Mr Mustard, and started to formulate his evidence and he told a few other local people who told a few others and so on.

You can find all of the written evidence on the committee website here and unlike some councillors who can't be bothered with paperwork the residents of Barnet can. So much so in fact that of the 65 submissions received from individuals, councils and other bodies thoughout the land some 19, that is 29% of them, were from residents of Barnet.

Mr Mustard is proud of the effort that local residents have made to bring the unique Barnet parking problem to the attention of Parliament. You will all be name checked here along with the reference number of your evidence so that readers can easily find your contribution and maybe a little snippet to whet the reader's appetite. Mr Mustard has permission from Parliament to publish his own evidence and that will be at the end of this posting. Contributions were meant to be limited to 6 pages which is quite hard given the extent of the problems in Barnet.

PE02 - Fraser Mitchell - a man after Mr Mustard's heart:

Caution is needed on CCTV, because all experience since the TMA 2004, is that it has been used to enforce the most trivial of trivial offences, alienating the motorist and making councils appear rapacious and venal. If CCTV is to continue, then severe penalties need to be introduced for its misuse to raise money.

PE12 - Cheryl Kuczynski:

I hope that's helpful; I'd like to add that it's great to be asked one's view - Barnet has never done so and I suspect would not listen to them anyway.

PE14 - Ntina Antonio:

I used to have friends/family visit me almost daily – at £4 a go it is now impossible. I simply cannot afford to pay £20 a week or £80 a month on parking!

PE16 - Daniel Wrightson:

Parking restrictions are socially useful. Used correctly they aid businesses and residents, and make the streets flow better and the high streets more enjoyable. Barnet council has lost this basic concept and is using the inhabitants and the visitors as cash cows, as a medieval fiefdom might - and a short-sighted one at that: think more Alaric the one-eyed, rather than Lorenzo the Magnificent in Florence.

PE17 - Yossi Potash:

They recently took the pay and display machines away. How should I pay if I don't have a phone? I also had some visitors from outside the UK and they found it crazy that they could only pay by phone.

PE18 Antony Jones:

I call on the government to look into these insane charges and convince Barnet council to reduce them.

PE19 - Dino Burbidge:

We had a kids party on a Saturday. 3 of the mums received tickets. All they did was turn up at the end, pick up their kids and grab a party bag. £80 fine? Really? And if we'd have given each of the 15 parents a ticket, that party would have had a £62 bill added to it for 10 minutes of picking up. Why is there no consideration of the basic needs of residents?

PE20 - C A Bylos:

Creating huge financial surpluses as a means of plugging gaps in the council's budget should not be permitted.

PE21 - Harriet Crowe:

Also the requirement to have a mobile phone to park is very restrictive and inconvenient for people, especially the elderly who may not be able to read the signs or work out how to use the system particularly if they do not own a mobile phone.

PE22 - Kathryn Scorza:

But I do feel that just at the point where our local high street needs all the support it can get, the double whammy of expensive meter parking and the fact that one cannot simply pull in and put money into a pay and display ticket machine will mean that shoppers will be put off using our local shops.

PE23 - Barry H White:

It is as if Barnet are deliberately ignoring residents shopholder and common sense in order to increase revenue (partly to pay for their own exorbitant expense allowance rises).

PE25 - Russ Hodgson:

The folly of removing all cash pay and display ticket machines, making the simple act of parking to pop into a shop inconvenient and confusing for many people.

Pe30 - R Leskin:

The unfairness of CPZ residents being held to ransom by huge increases in permit charges, knowing that the council is deliberately creating a huge financial surplus in order to help pay for travel passes and road resurfacing for the whole borough.

PE31 - Paul Pearson of www.penaltychargenotice.co.uk mentions Barnet in his evidence. His website is excellent.

PE35 - David Attfield:

David will be in the Royal Courts of Justice on 2 July for the long awaited judicial review on the parking price increase of April 2011. Mr Mustard has booked his holidays and the gallery will probably be full of bloggers, as usual.

Residential CPZs should not be run for profit.

PE36 - Michael Gaffney:

Parking policies in the borough of Barnet are a disgrace.

PE37 - Jacky Wood

High Street parking charges have been hiked to a level that no longer makes local shopping viable.

PE47 - Gary Shaw:

Penalties for minor traffic contraventions, grossly disproportionate to the offence, are pursued by the local authorities with a degree of vigour that is often absent in matters for which they have responsibility such as the maintenance of signs and the clear explanation of regulations.

PE58 - Ruth Brown:

This is a big £4 “tax” for every visit by a weekly music teacher, window cleaner, repair man, plumber etc.

PE59 - Sarah Ebner;

It all mounts up and we spend well over £1,000 a year on parking. This is crazy.

and now for Mr Mustard's evidence filed at PE 33 on the goverment website:

Now all we have to wait for is to see which witnesses get called to give evidence to the committee. Mr Mustard hopes that NoToMob, evidence at PE27, and David Atffield, are both called.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard


  1. Just out of curiosity, I'd like to see s picture of Alaric the one-eyed.

    And, it is thought, Mrs Angry would like to meet Lorenzo the Magnificent.

  2. If that is a joke about trouser snakes baarnett you might find that will tickle Mrs Angry's fancy.

    I didn't know about Alaric. He certainly did wage war a lot just as Barnet Council have on motorists so a good comparison. Of course "sacking" is the pillaging of a town or city and that is what the parking charges subject to a JR are doing to the borough of Barnet, leaving our High Streets in ruins, and the council are, in effect, sacking hundreds of people by handing them over to modern day sackers who throw the workforce out of town.

    Lorenzo was a diplomat unlike the current occupiers of the town hall.


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