24 November 2016

Reputation or revenue?

This car is doing zero harm, both obvious walkways are free from obstruction.
The council worry about the reputation of the parking department, which is one of the lowest for any council 'service', but they appear to worry more about raising revenue. The scene above is the latest profit centre that the midnight prowlers (traffic wardens) have hit upon as a great wheeze in order to get their ticket count up (Mr Mustard cannot rule out that the order came from their management).

Thus, in seeking out a good revenue stream, the council sent traffic wardens out at 3am and issue PCNs to cars which have been parked overnight in this way for the last 18 years, without any traffic management impact. The British public has an inbuilt sense of fairness. A PCN for a car parked like this is quite rightly seen as unfair. The council should use their commonsense and only issue a PCN if the householder requests action for obstruction of their access.

Mr Mustard thinks that one of the residents has put it better than him, viz:

Dear councillors

On Sunday morning, my neighbours and I, awoke to discover our cars had all been ticketed. We were parked on our driveway crossovers, where we’d parked our cars, without incident, some of us over 10 years.

All of the cars were parked within the crossovers, with none of their wheels encroaching or touching any path, grass or pavement. As such they were causing no obstruction whatsoever. Furthermore when these crossovers were installed, it was made clear that parking was permitted on the crossover, providing the wheels of the parked car did not extend beyond the crossover perimeters. We are therefore mystified and baffled, as to why we were given tickets at all?

As if this were not bad enough, upon closer examination we discovered that the tickets had all been issued at between 03:40 – 03:45 in the morning. We were all surprised and dismayed that the council’s representative was scurrying around in the wee hours of the morning, like a thief in the night, issuing tickets to unsuspecting residents.

We hope you will agree that this is not the behaviour or actions befitting a public sector worker, whose wages are paid, at least partly by our taxes. We strongly disapprove of this behaviour and hope that the council will instruct it’s representatives to desist from such unscrupulous behaviour in the future, not only for us, but for all residents of Barnet.

We hope that you will take a pragmatic view of this matter and agree that we are not blocking any footpath or pavement and are in no way interfering with the free passage of pedestrians.

As such we are keen to secure an assurance that, as promised when the crossovers were first installed, we are free to park our cars on the crossovers, with all the provisos stated above. To deny this will only lead to congestion in the surrounding streets, with all of us competing with the other residents, trying to park our cars there. It would also act as an encouragement, to those of us who have not paved over all of the greenery in our front gardens, to pave them. This, of course, would be contrary to environmental recommendations, urging urban populations to have more, not less, green space.

Thank you for your time in this matter, we look forward to hearing back from you as soon as possible, so as to alleviate the burden of this issue, which affects us daily. We are all now reluctant to park our cars, where we have always parked them, which is already contributing to congestion in the area, as well as stress to us personally.

Until this kind of money motivated PCN issuing stops, the reputation of Barnet Council when it comes to parking, will not improve.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

Rapid update from council parking management:

NSL were instructed last week to cease enforcement in these situations unless the vehicle is obstructing the footway or shared use crossover.

This is the trouble with outsourcing. You can't stop the contractor from having his own (bad) ideas. Mr M.

Update at 16:14 on 24 November

The council parking management have cancelled the two PCN concerned and are talking to NSL this evening to instruct them that they do not wish for this time of enforcement to take place.


  1. Can Barnet Council descend any lower ? It seems not ! Ruthless, venal, rapacious, are there any more words to describe their wickedness ?

  2. So who in NSL is to be dismissed ? Nobody of course !

    "We'll be back next week guv, when it's all died down and make even more money" !

  3. I am instructed about a third PCN issued at the same time. Decision making has been delegated to an interim manager who insists on letting the matter go to a tribunal because the contravention occurred. Doh!

  4. After a bit more forceful emailing the interim manager has seen the wisdom of consistency and cancelled the remaining PCN. The mention of the upcoming ITV programme about unfairness may have helped.


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