1 September 2016

The 56 day law

Mr Mustard had a PCN cancelled by Barnet Council parking management yesterday on the simple basis that they were acting ultra vires (outside of its powers).

For parking PCN (not for moving traffic contraventions or bus lanes where there is a 90 day guideline) where you have made 'formal representations' (just a challenge in plain English) against a PCN received through the post (as it acts in effect as the Notice to Owner) or where you have made formal representations after receiving a Notice to Owner the council get 56 days, starting with the date on which they received the said representations, to write and accept or reject them. If the council fail to respond they are deemed to have accepted the representations and the PCN cannot be chased further. (The fact that the public only get 28 days to respond to a Notice to Owner is an inbuilt system unfairness).

Mr Mustard had submitted the representations by email (you can do this to barnet@nsl.co.uk - set a delivery receipt) on 15 June and that is day 1. The council therefore had to serve their response by 9 August. What they did was to post their negative response (Notice of Rejection of representations) on 9 August and service is, unless shown otherwise, presumed to have occurred on 11 August. The council were therefore late and their Notice of Rejection was an unlawful offer to make an Appeal to the Adjudicator or to pay £110.

Mr Mustard counts the days (is 8 weeks) on a printed calendar or uses a spreadsheet to calculate 56 days but there is a useful on line calculator here
and Mr Mustard has given you the worked example for 56 days from 15 June

As this calculator counts the start date you choose as day 0 not day 1 you only add 55 days and you should do the same with your chosen date.

Mr Mustard is now waiting to find out the answer as to why there are not systems in place to stop the council from breaking the law in the way they did. This case will not be the only one in which they have acted illegally, they just tried to defraud £110 from the wrong victim this time.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard


  1. I've just been to the London Tribunals on 7th Feb 2017, where I tried to argue that Camden had failed to serve a notice of rejection on me within the 56 day period.

    The adjudicator spent most of his time looking at whether the council had reason to dismiss the mitigating circumstances that arose out of a medical emergency. Even though he accepted the medical emergency and the council had simply dismissed the appeal without getting giving any good reason, such as the one he cleverly came up with. He concluded that I got the response to both my informal appeal and formal appeal because I had been proactive and got in touch with the council, who subsequently sent the letters and so I was not prejudiced.

    The council didn't respond to my 28th September NTO appeal until the 2nd November, but I never got their letter. Luckily, I was delayed asking and so the replacement letter was only received on 2nd December, making it 65 days to be served.

    I intend to ask the adjudicator to look at the aspects of the procedural errors that the case was lodged, as I had not contested that the ticket was issued incorrectly.

    I intend to present the arguments in a 1998 key case that establishes the meaning of serving a notice, especially where it can be established that delivery was delayed or didn't take place at all. Camden didn't dispute that delivery hadn't taken place for either the informal or formal appeal and extended the discount period. In fact they didn't offer any kind of proof of postage or logs to show the number of items posted and that my letters were part of that Despatch.


    I expect the fact that they didn't send me a copy of the leaflet on how to apply to the adjudicator, and I asked for it twice after receiving the copy of their letter, doesn't support their case for efficiently handling the process of dealing with PCN, Appeals and notices of rejections.

  2. Please email mrmustard@zoho.com and I will see if I can assist you


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