5 September 2016

Short shrift in a Barnet Council car park

No harm is being caused

The photo at top left is part of the Moxon Street Car Park in EN5 (High or Chipping Barnet as you please).

The next two photographs show the car of a new driver, aged 18, who left room at the front of his modest car, a VW Polo, to be considerate and careful near the thumping great big expensive Range Rover which was parked across his front bumper. For this he got a PCN for being parked partly outside of the bay.

Mr Mustard set to work. He made an informal challenge and pointed out the shortness of the bay. The council (NSL most probably) rejected the challenge and said that the bays were DfT compliant (Department for Transport). Mr Mustard pointed out that the bay was a mere 3.85m in length. An old VW Polo is about 3.7m in length (all cars grow as they evolve).

Mr Mustard knew that there are no rules for these bays so he asked for the DfT rules that the council were relying on. An interim manager sent him the rules. Mr Mustard checked the link and it was for Northern Ireland and not applicable to off street parking in England and not from the DfT. However, the bays were still meant to be at least 4.8m in length. Mr Mustard pointed this out. Still the council wanted the PCN to be paid.

The council then maintained that they had merely sent guidance and that the bays were of an adequate size for 'most cars'. Mr Mustard considers a VW Polo to be at the shorter end of the scale of most cars. Mr Mustard checked the balance of the PCN. All of a sudden it was £0.00. Doubtless this was something to do with the traffic management order for the car park saying that cars up to 5.5m in length could park there. Given that rule, the bays must, in all fairness, be at least 5.5m in length. This is Bunns Lane all over again. When will the Council learn?

Please don't pay any car park PCN for being outside the bay if your car is too long to fit within the bay as marked.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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