|An atomic clock, not really room for it in the car|
Sometimes, just sometimes, an adjudicator really tells the council quite firmly that they are bang out of order. It happened recently to Barnet Council who were being ridiculously mean spirited and mercenary & polishing their fearsome reputation for being venal and rapacious (copyright: 'Incandescent' an ace contributor on pepipoo). Hopefully someone, and the £1million spin machine do read Mr Mustard's tweets, will read this blog post, have a little think and then put some sensible leeway into the times at which PCNs are dished out by computer on school keep clears.
The below PCN was issued outside Colindale Primary School in Clovelly Avenue, NW9. The main school day finishes at 3.15pm so by 4.15pm there won't be many children exiting the premises. Thus, being miserable at 4:14:18 has no purpose other than to raise revenue. For comparison TfL apply a 2 minute leeway on congestion charge penalties.
This PCN was issued for the alleged contravention of being stopped in a restricted area outside a school when prohibited. The alleged contravention occurred in Clovelly Avenue at 4.14pm on 8 March 2018.
I have looked at the CCTV footage and also the site images submitted by the Council. These show that Mr B's vehicle was stopped on entrance markings in front of Colindale Primary School. They also show that there is a sign at the location warning motorists that there is no stopping on the entrance markings between 2.45pm and 4.15pm Mondays to Fridays.
Mr B appeals because he says that he stopped to pick up his children from school. He says that he is well aware of the restrictions and that the clock in his car showed the time of 4.15pm. The Council says that its clock is calibrated according to the Atomic Clock, ensuring 100% accuracy. The CCTV timing shows the vehicle stopping at 4:14:18.
I accept the evidence of Mr B that the clock in his car showed the time of 4.15pm. I find that the alleged contravention did not occur. There must be some application of common sense. Motorists cannot all be expected to wear time pieces calibrated to the exact second according to the Atomic Clock. A motorist reading an ordinary watch will not be able to know the time calculated to the exact second.
Only about 1% of PCNs progress as far as an adjudicator. The other 99% don't really get looked at by anyone other than the local authority and it is rather assumed that councils will apply the rules in a fair manner. We have seen enough cases like this one to know that they don't and a special parking manager needs to oversee them all to make sure that they act in a fair way and to stop their worst excesses.
For every Mr B there are 99 people who would just roll over and pay. None of them know Mr Mustard.