17 August 2016

NSL and/or Brent/Camden Council are losing days off the PCN timetable

If you miss a deadline about a PCN it can lead to you being liable to pay by default and August being a month when many people go on holiday for 14 days having 7 days delay on being sent an official Notice could run you out of time if you don't get out from under your jetlag and deal with the post pronto.

Mr Mustard has always been a bit suspicious of whether an item was posted when a council claim that it was and now he knows that the date of an item isn't necessarily the date on which it was posted, at least if it come out of the 'good' offices of NSL (who possibly/probably use a mail fulfilment house thus introducing a further possible cause for delay and more difficulty in auditing whether the service level agreement is being fulfilled) or Brent or Camden councils (it is always hard to know where the blame lies in a multi party set-up. If it isn't you NSL do let me know and I will add your right of reply to this post).

So when on 9 August Mr Mustard received four plain brown envelopes that were identical on the front and came with a Croydon 1666 prepayment code he guessed before he opened them that they were all produced by NSL. He looked on the back and two were from Camden Council and two from Brent.

Mr Mustard wielded his letter opener (surely it should be called an envelope opener?) and found items from councils dated as follows

Brent - both dated 5 August which was a Friday and so possibly these were printed after the last post had gone, were then actually posted on Monday 8th and duly arrived on the 9th.
Camden - a letter dated 28 July and a Notice of Rejection dated 1 August (for which 28 days is allowed from the date of receipt to make an Appeal to the tribunal). Although the tribunal usually regard an Appeal received by them within 35 calendar days to be on time, thus adding to the usual 28+2 which are officially allowed in the legislation, this does mean that the Appeal could have been, given an absence at the critical time, late and accordingly not registered by the tribunal leaving the motorist concerned to have to pay the PCN at its full value. It didn't help that the Notice of Appeal form was not enclosed although Mr Mustard was able to lodge an Appeal on line in this case. Mr Mustard will be raising this issue of postage delay with the parking manager at Camden Council as everything relating to a parking PCN must be sent first class and on the date of the item.

Council parking departments - can you trust them? Mr Mustard suggests being very careful with Camden.

Mr Mustard nearly always sends letters to councils by the Signed For service (if he can't email & he is allergic to webforms) so there is no doubt about when they were sent and received. It costs £1.74 to have peace of mind.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

1 comment:

  1. The law needs a serious update, with postmarks no longer on envelopes, and various postal "service" providers around. The law needs to be changed so that all documents with legally mandated deadlines are sent by "Signed for" mail. This way everybody can trace when a document was served.

    However our supine DfT will never act while we get a succession of amiable idiots as transport ministers


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