Mr Mustard was consulted by a lady who enters the congestion charge once a week at the end of the day and is well aware of the times.
She was sent a PCN timed at 17:59 which Mr Mustard thought was a little harsh as the zone ends, allowing free entry, at 18:00. Mr Mustard also remembered the below Barnet decision:
He asked the lady to find the exact time at which she entered and started an Appeal regardless as paying even the 50% (£80) was not palatable for less than 60 seconds of alleged early entry. Having made a Subject Access Request of TfL this was the gobbledegook response received.
Mr Mustard thought that the answer was not the whole truth so he changed tack. A copy of the cctv was requested by the vehicle owner (it is awaited, doubtless it will now be said to have been destroyed which will lead to more enquiries) and he made a Freedom of Information request for the earliest and latest times in recent years.
What we see from the table is that sometime between April 18 and March 19 the leeway provided at the end of the day was reduced from the 2 minutes which was in Mr Musatrd's memory to 1 minute and then sometime during April 19 to zero minutes.
Which faceless functionary made that policy decision? Whoever is was, they have been given too much power.
What we also see is that the TfL answer to the lady who enquired for the exact time to the second was a bare faced lie as they were able to produce bags more information for Mr Mustard if he wanted it, but he already had all he needed.
If you get a congestion charge PCN later than 17:58 I would fight it on the grounds that your car was showing 18:00 and/or that the pips had gone on the car radio. The cameras may be synchronised to the atomic clock at the start of the day but could be out of sync by the end of the day.
The grounds of Appeal prepared by Mr Mustard were these, which you are free to copy for your own case
As soon as TfL saw the grounds of Appeal, they threw in the towel and cancelled the PCN. Their pursuit of a £160 penalty in this situation was a gross abuse of power.