11 February 2018

Guest blog - Rodborough Road

Dear Mr Mustard

Just wanted to let you know of my recent success with x2 tickets for moving traffic contraventions in Barnet. I had to go back twice to one client one week after the other. I was caught by that camera opposite Rodborough Road outside Sainsbury's in Finchley Rd (near to the crossroads with Golders Green Road) as I wanted to turn right from Finchley Road to Rodborough Road.

I went back to where it all happened and stood outside Sainsbury's next to 'that' very high pole with the camera on top and stood and observed.

•    I observed that the angle of the 'no right hand turn' at the top of Rodborough Road was in the best position for the camera - not for the oncoming traffic?  For the camera it was 'face on' at the best optimal angle.... but for the road user its at an angle. This clearly was all part of the set-up for me to be the star of their movie!!

•    That buses come thick and fast round the bend from the monument towards Sainsbury's along Finchley Road and can obscure the view of the 'no right hand turn' directly outside Sainsbury's (no right hand sign on the left).  Even when it is not obscured it kind of looks a bit odd stuck there - its hardly an 'early warning' of the no right hand turn and its right near an alley type road running by the side of Sainsbury's?

•    Big double decker buses also come out of Rodborough Road and also there are buses coming down Finchley Road towards Golders Green on the other side of the dual carriage way, so whole area has that 'crowded by buses' feel to it where you can't see a thing but the council saw fit to make it a no right turn last year and its camera on that massively tall pole doesn't have any obstructions and whole set up of the scene is purely for money making.

•    To make matters worse on a low bollard it has a 'no entry' sign but its not a 'no entry road for other direction traffic!

So I first appealed to Barnet who of course rejected my appeal and gave me another 14 days to pay up. I then completed my appeal on-line to the Environment & Traffic Adjudicators (ETA) booking an 'in person' slot for end of this month.

In the ETA appeal I used all the above plus the following:

•    The Notice of Rejection claimed there are road markings in place instructing motorists to drive in the direction shown by the arrow.  ........There are no road markings on this stretch of road.

•    Both PCN's never had the option of "the contravention alleged by the Authority on the PCN did not occur."  Instead they had some other weird wording which wasn't understandable.

And the following:

I would refer to a precedent for a case which won at appeal involving a “no right hand turn” sign being obscured (Kilburn Times)

And another case involving a bus blocking the signage on left-hand side:

and I also let them know (all courtesy of 'Open Barnet') that...

Since March 2017 when this ‘no right hand turn’ Moving traffic offence became active it regularly catches out between 316-353 drivers a month creating a revenue stream of around £240,000 a year (if they all pay up at £65 a time) and double if they don't.

.......and they cancelled both tickets and said

"The Council has re-examined all of the evidence and on this occasion has decided to not contest your appeal........In addition please note this decision does not set a precedence for any future issued PCN for similar circumstances, nor is the decision deemed as acceptance of your grounds for representation or appeal......

Well sure beats me what new evidence they have-examined...they had it all in the first place!!  Seems to me they realised my ETA appeal meant business and they backed down. 

Yes I'm really pleased the nightmare has ended and the blackmail of having to pay £130 (or £260 if I would lose at ETA) has gone away.....but what about everybody else?  What about all those other money making cameras all primed and positioned ready to catch ordinary people out.  I do find it hard to believe that this 'set-up' is really compliant with TSRGD 2016 as they say?  

I've bothered to send this email because I want other people to know that I came out in a cold sweat when I got both tickets, worried, felt depressed and ill, panicked, then decided to fight back, fought it and I won.  Now I sound like that woman on the radio add

"My Money .....I don't think so..."😊

Please use all the information I have given herein to help others caught out by same camera and I will continue to do my best to publicise.

Mr Mustard's comments.

- It would be far better if the council were to put bollards down the middle of the road to make the no right turn into & the no right turn out of Rodborough Rd impossible, but that wouldn't give the council any revenue.


- Previous tribunal decisions aren't precedents but they can be legally persuasive and help an adjudicator to find in your favour.


- It is a standard letter which says they have re-examined the evidence, Mr Mustard has a sackload of them. It would have been helpful if the council could have considered the challenge properly in the first place but apathy rules and councils know that if they knock motorists back that many won't be bothered to go the the tribunal. If every motorist did indeed proceed to the tribunal that the council would implode & motorists would win by default.


- It is hard to spot the quite small cameras which are many metres in the air.
Please be careful and don't turn right at Rodborough Rd, neither in nor out. Crossing from Rodborough Rd into the alleyway alongside Sainsbury's also leads to you getting a ticket for turning right which you barely have. 90% of the time adjudicators agree with you.


Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

1 comment:

  1. The plain fact is that councils are milking the system for all it's worth, and can ignore the very few appeals actually submitted, because the vast majority of motorists just cough-up without argument. This is hugely aided by the discount option. I agree with Mr Mustard that the law needs changing so that penalty income accrues to HM Treasury, not the councils.

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