17 June 2016

Yellow (box) Fever comes to Barnet

this is good advice
For many years yellow box junction rules have been enforced across London. Barnet was one of the few sane places where yellow box rules were not ruthlessly & mercenarily enforced and Barnet was none the worse for that as Mr Mustard can't remember his route being blocked at a yellow box junction since his business was started here in 1987.

not clear by the time you get there but clear now, at this very moment
The above sign is from outside the UK but perfectly encapsulates the way you have to drive if you wish to avoid a PCN for £130.

Starting from the beginning of May, and PCNs are working their way into Mr Mustard's email inbox, the following locations are being enforced by computerised cameras, cameras which are incredibly efficient (at least 99.9%) in spotting contraventions.

High St. Barnet has not been installed but Hendon Broadway has been, perhaps it is more profitable?

Mr Mustard has seen the bill for installing these cameras. It was £300,000 + vat because:

A.  That's how much Barnet Council care about road safety, or

B.  That's the sum worth investing in order to recover £millions in PCN income.

You decide which of the above two statements motivates our allegedly cash strapped council who can't afford to keep our libraries open but can afford to buy sneaky cameras to catch motorists who stop in a yellow box junction for a millisecond.

How do you avoid becoming a victim of the yellow box junction / money box junction. Those lovely (or possibly not) people at TfL have produced a video guide as to how to drive when approaching a yellow box junction. It bears absolutely no relation to how traffic flows in London, especially West Hampstead where the featured florist is located, and they have not put many vehicles in their demos so the video isn't related to real life in London

at 50s the car going north clearly enters the box before the exit is clear, oh dear, TfL! and at 1.13 / 1.14 when real traffic flow is featured, oops.

Sadly, TfL, who wouldn't engage on twitter, have made a mistake in their video & let the red van enter the yellow box at 39s (freeze the video there) when the exit is not clear by a van length. If the white car had catastrophically broken down and stopped at that point, the red van would have been in contravention and received a PCN from an automatic camera system which has no humanity.

If we all drove in this way, waiting for the entire box to be clear, only 2 or 3 cars would get across the yellow box in the green phase of the traffic lights and London would grind to a halt, thus defeating the traffic management purpose.

This though is how you should drive in London & Barnet if you want to be sure that you will not receive a PCN. What of course most people do is judge the traffic flow and estimate that the exit will be clear by the time they get there, that is wrong and then, if the traffic should stop before they anticipated, they will be punished by a £130 PCN. It is a rough world.

These PCN are hard to beat. Please drive the way that TfL suggest (but allow even more space than they do in their not quite correct video), jam Barnet up but avoid wasting your hard earned cash.

Currently Mr Mustard does have an escape route for yellow box junction PCN but he doesn't expect it to last, so please drive smarter and slower using the TfL method and note the areas currently monitored by all seeing cameras:

A5 Cricklewood Broadway southbound at Kara Way

Station Road, Edgware

West Hendon Broadway northbound at Cool Oak Lane.

High St, High Barnet, jct of St Albans Rd and jct with Wood St.

High Road, Finchley, near Sainsburys.

and more besides

You have been warned.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard


  1. A friend received a PCN for a yellow box junction recently. Her exit was clear when she entered the box but a lorry that had been in the left-lane suddenly (and incompletely) changed lane, thereby blocking both lanes and taking the space she was going to drive into. The appeal was rejected.

  2. If by 'appeal' you mean the council rejected the representations and the PCN has not yet been paid, please send me a copy of the rejection letter so I can advise your friend (email mrmustard@zoho.com)

    If by Appeal you mean that the PCN has been considered by an adjudicator at London Tribunals then it is best to pay up.

  3. Help.
    I was given a (one imagines from your excellent post, automated...) PCN while having to run about to and from Wickes.
    As you rightly state, there is a great deal of 'highly aggressive driving' which can have the effect of 'pushing' you into a box.

    Intelligently they have edited the picture to not show the ocean of traffic pushed up right behind me. I did not want to cause an accident, but am really quite offended and upset by this.

    Can you help? I will leave this page open optimistically...

  4. Sure, send a copy to mrmustard@zoho.com

  5. Another location is the junction of Bridge Lane and Finchley Road in NW11 :(

  6. i got the same thing, stopped for 2 seconds but i am appealing it:

    Dear Barnet I dispute this PCN as there was no traffic contravention. If you look at the photograph and the video you will notice my right indicator is blinking, signaling I wanted to turn right.

    if you know the highway code you will know that is allowed.

    Highway code 174:

    Box junctions. These have criss-cross yellow lines painted on the road (download ‘Road markings’). You MUST NOT enter the box until your exit road or lane is clear.

    However, you may enter the box and wait when you want to turn right, and are only stopped from doing so by oncoming traffic, or by other vehicles waiting to turn right.

    Please confirm in writing that you will be canceling this PCN.
    Mr A Phillips finger x

  7. The person referring to H. CODE. 174 reminded me of precisely this occurrence at right turn from Parson Street to A41 ! I have used this right turn so many times! The point being that I had NOT read the current relevant years H.Code. And so greeted until realizing there is no problem. This issue has
    spurned another point, which if I am not mistaken there are RENEWED H.CODE PUBLICATIONS EVERY YEAR WITH NEW LAWS AND RULES .
    So, in short, however experienced and knowledgable after many decades of
    trouble free motoring any of us may be, we can, and often will find ourselves
    in a bad smelling pickle !!! BEWARE, THE BOGEY MAN NEVER SLEEPS........

  8. The latest edition of the Highway Code is 2015 (I tried to buy a later one yesterday). The reason I wanted it as I realised the Regulations referred to in this context were the out of date 2002 ones and the 2016 version now applies & even the on line Highway Code has not yet been updated.

  9. Location: The box junction at the high street and st albans rd turning.
    if you are coming from st albans rd and turning right into the high st are you allowed to stop in the box junction? as officially you are turning right and that is permitted according to rule 174 high way code?

  10. Hi Mr Mustard, I received a PCN today was hoping you’re still helping people appeal there fines?

  11. Sure , send a copy to mrmustard@Zoho.com


I now moderate comments in the light of the Delfi case. Due to the current high incidence of spam I have had to turn word verification on.