On 24 November 16 there was a bomb scare in Ballards Lane. It was reported in The Standard, here.
You can see that it was absolute havoc with one of the main North South axes of the borough being severed.
Mr Mustard's client is a teacher at various locations. One was at Finchley Central where she has a parking space available to her. On the day in question she had to be there to teach her class at 11 and was unable to reach her destination. A teacher does not lightly abandon her pupils and so as the lesson was from 11am to midday she left her car at 10:45 on a single yellow line which she though must have the same time as resident parking i.e. restricted from 2-3pm (she was wrong) and many other people were also abandoning their cars where they could, and thought she would easily be back by 2pm.
In the pandemonium and her high adrenalin state she missed the sign that would have told her the single yellow was in force. She could not have paid to park, even if there was a suitable bay, as she did not have a mobile phone with her.
When she returned to her car she found a PCN which had been issued at 12:14 she took it to her office to get a letter from the supervisor confirming the lesson she taught and that there had been a bomb scare. She returned to her car to find another PCN which had been issued at 12:33 (it was not her lucky day) even though it is generally the case that a car in contravention & not moved cannot be ticketed again before 24 hours have passed and that is also what Barnet Council's own rules state.
Anyway, she wrote to the council saying that there had been a bomb scare and fully expected that in the circumstances the PCN would be forgiven. No such luck. Here are parts of the two rejections:
Absolutely no sympathy or understanding of the real world whatsoever. To think that the first thought of everyone when close to a suspect bomb is how they can comply with the parking regulations is to place the importance of parking tickets in society at far too high a level. The issuing of the PCN can be understood, if the roads had opened again and traffic was back to normal, but not the failure of the back office to apply sensible discretion to the request for mitigation.
In addition, the council have failed to appreciate that two PCN were issued just 19 minutes apart and that the second one simply isn't valid. The council have blinded themselves by the prospect of the £220 income. Had she not gone to her councillor and been invited to contact Mr Mustard, she might have ended up by paying. Mr Mustard is about to log a complaint & suspects that the PCNs will then both go away.
Yet more reputational damage for the council, self inflicted.