30 July 2015

He fought like a tiger

Mr Mustard expects that you read in the local Times newspaper about the case of Alan Bengall who was sent a Notice to Owner for parking his car without payment in Barnet when he hadn't visited Barnet. You can read about it here.

Mr Mustard thought you should have his advice about what to do in the case of registration errors.

1. The traffic warden.

Please do not get it wrong (actually please do as it leads to an automatic cancellation every time). A fresh PCN cannot be issued to the correct registration to replace the inaccurate one.

2. The local authority.

Alan was exercised that councils don't check before sending out Notices to Owner. Given that Barnet Council issue 165,000 PCN a year and that probably only about 1 in a 1000 are wrongly issued then it simply doesn't make commercial sense for the council to check the type of car in the DVLA information against the photographs and the two cars, real and wrong might both be the same make in any event, as in Alan's case, and so an error may not be glaringly obvious.

3. The driver who received the PCN on their windscreen.

Please check the registration number on the PCN. If it is wrong please challenge the PCN on the grounds that the contravention did not occur, as it didn't against the vehicle registration number recorded on the PCN, by email to barnet@nslservices.co.uk as this will then mean that the PCN is cancelled without bothering the poor soul whose registration number has been entered in error. Miffed of Minster will not then be miffed.

This driver probably paid for their parking by PayByPhone and it is quite possible that the traffic warden did not notice the similarity of the registration number paid for to the one he/she thought they had input for a PCN.

Mr Mustard wonders if NSL ask traffic wardens before they offer them a job if they are dyslexic or dyscalculic (although knowing employment law nowadays that is probably discriminatory and can't be used as a reason not to employ but would be a reason to make reasonable adjustments to try and prevent traffic wardens from making this sort of error).

If this registration error has happened to you and you have paid the 50% you can ask for a refund as the payment was made in error.

Mr Mustard notes that the council apologised to Mr Bengall. Is that all they did? You make a small mistake and get a PCN for £110. They blunder and you get? - nothing except a few cheap words on a piece of paper. The council should have sent Mr Bengall a cheque for half the value of the PCN which would be £30, as a gesture of goodwill (a commodity which is sadly lacking in parking). They make £7m a year out of parking - they can surely afford to be nicer to people who have done nothing wrong.

4. The innocent vehicle owner.

Do not ignore the Notice to Owner as if you do you will become guilty by default, even though you are compeltely innocent, and you could end up with bailiffs clamping and removing your car even though it hasn't been anywhere near Barnet. Mr Mustard knows it is a pain but it is a slight pain that you have to endure. The same goes for cloned vehicles. If you do not defend yourself justice is so rough in parking that you will be found guilty by default. You can always ask Mr Mustard to act for you as long as you make a donation to the North London Hospice at the end.

The council usually take photographs which can easily be compared to ones of your vehicle to prove your case.

If you are on a 6 month round the world cruise and leave your fully taxed and insured car in public sight it could be clamped, removed and sold whilst you are away thanks to a dodgy PCN. You may have all your other communications sent to you by email, utility bills and the like, but you do need someone to pop to your home once a month in order to ensure you haven't got any rogue PCN paperwork by post or that the pipes in your bathroom haven't burst and brought your ceilings down (said Mr Mustard cheerfully).

Odd event

Mr Mustard purchased a secondhand VW Passat from a main dealer. At the next service when he went to collect it a car that looked like his but with 130 not 103 in the registration was where the service manager said it would be. When Mr Mustard checked the car he found that the front and rear number plates bore different registrations (corrected free by the garage). He is sorry if you got his speeding fines (he doesn't get PCN).

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

No comments:

Post a Comment

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.