8 August 2017

I feel like a criminal

photo by @IOSNTwelve
Mr Mustard is never worried by a PCN as he has the money to pay one should it be deserved and the knowledge & experience to beat it most of the time anyway. What he often forgets is the pressure and worry that the actual recipients feel. Recently a PCN was wrongly given out for a right turn out of a yellow box, Barnet Council cancelled it pretty fast but offered no compensation to the wronged party, the vehicle owner. The following words are the motorist's:

Barnet Council’s letterheads contain a snappy slogan; “Putting the Community First”.
Well, I am part of that community and today feel like I have been accused of being a criminal from none other than Barnet Council’s parking services.

On the 29th July I received a PCN stating that I had committed a traffic contravention of stopping in a yellow box at the Ravensdale Avenue - High Road Junction. Residents and visitors to Avenue Road are all too aware that the only way to enter Avenue Road travelling Southbound is to enter said box to perform a right turn. This does not contravene the highway code, however Barnet Council seemed to disagree.

Not only was this PCN unlawful, it proves how dysfunctional this department is. The footage was either:
a)    Not reviewed, or
b)    Reviewed by an incompetent operator
both of which are pretty damning.

I informally challenged this appeal asking for clarification as to whether Barnet Council were now charging residents to enter Avenue Road or whether there was a “no right turn” policy in place.

I received a contrived and infuriating response from the Barnet Parking Compliance Manager who, although he apologised, wrote one of the most passive aggressive paragraphs I have seen in an apology.

Mr “Barnet Parking Compliance Manager”, please do not quote me the highway code when you obviously have no clue as to how it works. Yes, my cancellation does set a precedent for further cancellations, otherwise you have all but admitted that all right turns will be issued with a PCN unless contested. You may want to learn how to use a spellchecker as well, although I realise that may be asking a bit much.

So I still have no clarification to my original question. Well done Barnet Council, you’re helping contribute to further pollution while I drive southbound just to turn around to come back and do a left turn into Avenue Road.

Although you’ve wasted my time with this debacle, I have to thank you for the opportunity as I will now be enquiring into how my data was processed by making formal contact with the DVLA and/or ICO.

Mr Mustard doesn't think that the cancellation of a wrongly issued PCN amounts to sufficient recompense, or indeed, any recompense at all.

Let's imagine a different but similar scenario. You go to the supermarket to do your shopping. You self serve at the checkout. You pay. You leave. A week later the supermarket write to say that you are suspected of stealing a loaf of bread and a bottle of milk. You write back indignantly and the supermarket say, oh sorry for any inconvenience, we identified the wrong person, we have cancelled our claim. Who, apart from a parking operative, would regard the cancellation of the wrongful accusation to be an adequate conclusion? No-one. So why is it acceptable in parking & traffic circles?

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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