7 November 2014

Looks like the traffic warden was a bit too crafty

Mr Mustard has tweeted about PCNs going missing. he has suggested to the council that they log places and traffic warden numbers of instances in which the PCN goes missing to see if there any patterns. Either there are phantom ticket nickers about in certain streets or it's always, mysteriously, the same traffic warden's tickets that go astray. Their pockets should be checked when they gets back to base?

This PCN doesn't look very well attached

but it should still have hung on unless a hurricane passed through Barnet.

The unfortunate thing for this traffic warden is that he/she issued 2 PCN within 3 minutes of one away to vehicles parked next to each other and neither driver got their PCN. Mr Mustard has worked in High Barnet for 27 years so is well known and he knew both drivers, honest people, who passed on their Notices to Owner to him. Mr Mustard doubts that anyone would steal a PCN from a vehicle parked outside a shop. He strongly suspects that both PCN were removed afterwards by the traffic warden who clearly doesn't know what he/she is doing, or maybe they do?

So that is the front vehicle of the two that Mr Mustard is dealing with. You can see two signs, one of which is angled away and not visible from the driver's seat. The driver can see the right hand sign which is a dual resident and business bay for which the vehicle had a valid permit. The left hand sign is PayByPhone. Can you see the join between the two bays? (nice fresh lines - pretty but wrongly painted) no you can't and that is because it wasn't visible before they were repainted as the 2 payment bays were only introduced about a year ago. So the driver could see a sign and walked off as he was correctly parked, or so he thought. Which sign did the traffic warden photograph, the incorrectly aligned left one (which would enable the issue of a PCN as no payment had been made) or the right one which the van was entitled to be parked against. Yes, you guessed correctly

This action by the traffic warden is at the sly end of the scale if not downright cheating.

He took his final photograph at 9:26 and then proceeded to ticket the other van at 9:27 for code 11 which in Barnet contractually requires a 3 minute observation period; was it given? Mr Mustard doesn't know as the PCN went missing. It is possible that both vehicles were observed at the same time and Mr mustard will ask the parking manager as he is just about to email him.

If you have had a PCN recently in Union St, High Barnet thanks to this confusion Mr Mustard will help you to sort it out. Email him at mrmustard@zoho.com.

This sort of behaviour is unacceptable from a contractor to a council. At the very least their contract should not be extended or renewed. We should look to bring the task back in house asap and only employ traffic wardens who sign a declaration that they will only issue a PCN when there is no doubt about their right to do so. 

It says in the current contract that signs and lines should be checked before the issue of a PCN. Clearly, that isn't happening.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard


  1. I have struggled in the past to see how a CEO destroying the PCN after photographing it on the car is a fiddle. However,, consider what happens next in the process. The next stage is the Notice to Owner is issued to the owner, and at this point the discount to the PCN is lost. So if payments at the discount can be reduced the council gets more money. So the contract between NSL and the council may hold the key. Do NSL share in the revenue or earn bonuses on how much comes in ? Just a few of the questions that need answering. We know little of what happens inside NSL, but one can be certain that earning shedloads of money is the one thing that will receive major emphasis.

    1. Firstly, no NSL don't make earnings via issues, they are paid a set amount depending on how many staff they have on patrol.
      What this looks like to me (playing devils advocate) is either 1: the warden noticed his mistake and removed the PCNs so admin could "void" them or 2: the envelopes actually fell off, which happens often.

      CEOs - well most - wont risk what they are accused of here. In my area NSL are fined by the council for mistakes by CEOs and NSL have no problem with sacking CEOs they feel risk their contracts.
      To be honest I think far too often people see conspiracy and cheating in very simple situations just because its traffic wardens.
      Oh and rules state the warden needs to have visual on the vehicle and can log multiple vehicles if they can be constantly observed the whole time. Nothing sly about it.

  2. Forgot to add that if warden removed them after noticing he made a mistake it would be down to admin or supervisors to void the PCN. Could be a lost paper trail as this does happen.


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