22 March 2017

Filming at London Tribunals - 28/29 March 2017

Mr Mustard has a case on that Tuesday and six of them on the Wednesday (he did have seven but one has been cancelled due to an untruth) but suggests you don't look for him on Dom on the Spot as he is disinclined to have any more publicity which will inevitably lead to a huge surge in PCN workload.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

11 March 2017

PCN liability transfer

Mr Mustard is sorry to repeat himself but he is fairly sure he has written about this subject before. He also thinks he has an email from the council in which they promise to check rental agreements properly from now on (last year it was or earlier). It seems that both parties have forgotten what they did in the past. Clearly though, a gentle reminder is required at Barnet Council / NSL Ltd.

Here are the rules:

Liability for a parking PCN (not a bus lane one) can be transferred to the person who hires a vehicle, or receives it free as a courtesy car, provided that the hire period does not last for 6 months or longer.

What must the hire agreement contain in the way of details, besides an undertaking to be liable for any PCN issued during the currency of the agreement? The following:

Mr Mustard has just been asked to assist a lady by representing her at the tribunal the week after next. Mr Mustard studied the papers and found that liability had been passed on twice to reach her. Here is the first transfer of liability which the council (perhaps acting by their agent NSL) accepted as OK

Now pretend you are the council and/or NSL. Why would you transfer liability? You wouldn't, would you, as the hire is for a year which if of course a period greater than 6 months. Peugeot cannot, therefore avoid liability for the PCN. Tough, but the law.

Having passed on liability the council then sent a Notice to Owner to the accident repair firm in question. They too didn't want to be liable and produced the following agreement:

So readers, what is wrong this time? The expiry date of the driving licence is missing as is the country of issue. The out time was not stated. The proposed return date and time were not stated. The date of birth was not stated. This rental agreement will fail to be accepted at tribunal as being one on which liability can be transferred (Mr Mustard won one such case when the only thing missing was the make of the vehicle). This one is simply awful and cannot be considered to be substantially compliant. Why did Barnet Council / NSL Ltd accept the accident repair company's representations without question? Mr Mustard thinks they accept anything from a company as they prefer liability to be with the little man (or lady in this case) who is more likely to pay up. This is conjecture on Mr Mustard's part, it could simply be that whoever is deciding upon these transfers is an incompetent and/or ignorant of the law.

Whatever the reason Mr Mustard is about to point out to Barnet Council how they are breaking the law whilst trying to extract a penalty for a contravention (paying for the wrong vehicle given that the driver was in a courtesy car and forgot to register the short term replacement on PayByPhone) which makes this the second blog in a row to highlight the hypocrisy of the council when it comes to following rules.

If you get a Notice to Owner about a PCN when you were driving a hire or courtesy car, do check the agreement against the above requirements. In this case the first agreement only became available once the evidence pack was produced for the tribunal case.

Never assume the council have got it right when it comes to a PCN, they err frequently.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

9 March 2017

Traffic Warden sets a terrible example

So here we have a 12 second clip of a scooter mounted NSL Ltd / Barnet Council traffic warden going about his lawful duties of issuing PCN to all and sundry on 5 March at almost 3pm on a Sunday afternoon. Now given that a traffic warden's job is to punish those who break parking laws then one can reasonably expect them to demonstrate 100% compliance with driving laws, can we not? Anything else would be hypocritical in the extreme.

Firstly, a health & safety point. Manufacturers of flip up helmets caution you against riding with the front of the helmet in the upright position. The whole point of the front of the helmet is to stop your face hitting the tarmac should you have a crash. The visor should also be down whilst you are moving to stop flying stones or flies & wasps hitting you in the eye. You only have to look at the state the front of your bike gets into to see how much debris there is in the air.

How many rules of the road does the traffic warden break?

1.  He undertakes cars. That was a breach of the Highway Code and not at all necessary.

2.  He undertakes (= overtakes) the front car which is stopped. That is a breach of the law (anything which says MUST NOT in red in the Highway Code is a statement of the law).

3.  He crosses the stop line at a time at which the lights are red. That is also a breach of the law.

MUST NOT is in red in the above picture, well, in the original it is.
NSL are very fond of quoting the Highway Code to people who have committed a parking contravention. Clearly not so keen that their employees abide by it.

It strikes Mr Mustard that the contract with NSL really ought to be amended to require scooter riding civil enforcement officers (traffic wardens) to undergo IAM or ROSPA training so that they demonstrate to the public at large the highest standards of riding ability and compliance with the rules and the laws of the road.

Guilty as not charged

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

(Before you ask, Mr Mustard has passed both IAM and ROSPA advanced motorcycling tests)

Update 9 March 17: Barnet council parking management are very unhappy with the unsafe riding of the CEO and are taking immediate action to ensure that all riders comply with traffic law (they can park on double yellows if necessary and safe to do so) and do not put their safety, or that of other road users, in jeopardy.

5 March 2017

Tilling Road - no left turn (at Brent Coss)

Sign clutter, 9 in 25m
Today Mr Mustard went to take a look for himself at the no left turn from Tilling Rd into Brentfield Gardens which is one of the least respected banned turns in Barnet. It was, for a few minutes sunny and Mr Mustard was propping up the lamp standard above the 'A' in Ahead and was pleased to see everybody drive straight on along Tilling Road under the underpass. You could sometimes see the queue backed up to the far end of the underpass. One minicab slowed and dived to the left before Mr Mustard could react but as he wasn't wearing a yellow vest and didn't have his whistle on him (a whistle works wonders for stopping cars) and this is a dangerous place to step into the road (there is a crossing point as there is dimpled paving but you really need to cross briskly) he decided to let the driver receive a PCN.

What happened next was that a car coming from the right, a Mercedes saloon, decided to pull out when there wasn't room and take out a blue Honda that was minding its own business and proceeding perfectly steadily in the correct direction. The Merc driver wanted to argue with the lady, who had to climb out of the wrong side of her Honda as she could not open the door, until the lady spotted Mr Mustard looking on and he gave her a wave and a friendly smile and then the errant driver knew the game was up. The Merc was 100% in the wrong and given the availability of a witness Mr Mustard expects that the Merc's insurers will cough up without quibble.

not the guilty Merc
At 3.30pm on 5 March 2017 the road was effectively blocked and so the only escape route entirely on tarmac was the banned left turn. Will the council still issue PCN, probably because the cctv does not cover the blocked section of road? Yes, most definitely.

Do let Mr Mustard know if you make representations on the grounds that the road was blocked and they are rejected.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

2 March 2017