7 June 2017

Six of the worst

Barnet Council are concerned at their poor perception in resident surveys, the above figures being from Autumn 2016 show that 47% of residents think that the parking 'service' is poor or extremely poor. Quite simply, Barnet Council don't help themselves as when they get it wrong they don't put the community first, they just worry about the money.

Usually when Barnet Council get a PCN wrong Mr Mustard asks the council to apologise and to compensate the motorist for their time, trouble, stress and inconvenience (do bear in mind that if you do not contest a PCN which is blatantly 100% wrongly issued you will, if you do nothing, end up with a bailiff clamping your car). Every time the council refuse to compensate (they usually do apologise).

So here are 6 examples of the council getting it wrong recently and thinking that the mere fact they have cancelled is adequate recompense.

Error #1 on 9th & 14th December 2016

Amber had to give way twice to oncoming traffic outside East Barnet school and there is nowhere else to stop except on top of the yellow zig zag markings for a few seconds. As blogged here. Both PCN were cancelled. No compensation was offered.

Error #2 on 9 February 2017

Bill stopped on the school zig zags at 11:09, the restricted times being 8.00 - 9.30am and 2.45 to 5.15 pm so Bill was not in contravention.He got a PCN through the post. He received an apology, via Mr Mustard and this in response to the perfectly reasonable request for compensation.

Error #3 on 17 March 2017

Claire stopped in a box junction when she shouldn't. She received two PCN, just 3 PCN numbers apart, on the same day. One was issued by camera A and the other by camera B. A classic case of joined up government not being in operation. Clearly, inadequate checks are made before PCN are issued. Claire paid the first PCN and Mr Mustard got the second one cancelled. An apology was offered although the question of compensation was ignored.

Error #4 on 3 May 2017

A PCN was issued to David for parking across a dropped kerb which led nowhere. The council agreed that it did not meet the criteria for enforcement. They did not apologise and that may be because Mr Mustard did not ask one, nor for compensation in this case, about which he will write a specific blog shortly.

Error #5 on 9 May 17

Eric was parked on a single yellow line restricted, within a cpz, for 1 hour only. Eric knew the rules but his traffic warden didn't and the traffic warden photographed the sign within a bay which only ever applies to that bay. Everybody knows that except the traffic warden who when requested refused to phone his office to check which was unwise and unhelpful. Mr Mustard asked for the new traffic warden to receive further training. He did not request an apology nor compensation and neither arrived.

Error #6 on 16 May 17

Fiona was parked legally within a 9.30 - 10.30am bay at 14:52 and another new traffic warden issued a PCN.  Mr Mustard asked for an apology and compensation and got the former but not the latter, to which the response was:

The council are not being straight in their response. If there is maladministration they can pay compensation. Every client of Mr Mustard ends up £25 out of pocket as that is the amount which he requests be paid to the North London Hospice or directly to his fighting fund to help others.

It is not the case that the council is unable to pay compensation it is that they are unwilling to which is an entirely different mindset. Whilst they have that mindset and keep making mistakes in penalising entirely innocent people the ranking of parking in the eyes of residents will not improve (unless the survey is rigged in some way).

It is a funny old world. You make a parking or driving mistake and you have to pay £60, £110 or £130 as a penalty to the council. If they may a mistake the council don't think there should be a penalty. This is not an equitable situation. There is nothing to make a council more careful. Mr Mustard will keep looking over their shoulder.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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