28 September 2019

Bus lane breakdown

Just when Mr Mustard thinks he must have seen the full spectrum of council effrontery along comes another outrageously wrong PCN to try and fill the budgetary needs of Barnet Council.

In the above shot the blue Honda at the bottom of the picture is stationary and there isn't a driver within the car.

The black car heading down the screen towards it now has two choices. 

The first is to move to the 'wrong' side of the road and overtake the Honda when it is safe to do so. This may be some time given that we are on the A5.

The second is to cut into the bus lane for a short distance, very short given that a check on google street view shows that the bus lane ends where the solid white line ends so any incursion could be said to be de minimis (too trivial for the law to concern itself with) and undertake the Honda.

Clearly the Audi chose the safer undertaking route. One would think that the council or NSL person who reviewed the cctv footage in this case would have used their common sense when watching a Honda that didn't move at all and not authorised the issue of a PCN. The person who looked at the cctv did not use their common sense, they duly sent a PCN.

The motorist concerned made a challenge fully expecting the existence of a stationary car to excuse their short incursion into the bus lane. They were wrong. Their challenge was turned down and the letter rejecting the challenge doesn't mention the broken down car at all, it simply says you can't be present in the bus lane for any distance at all.

Barnet Council wonder why they are unpopular. Mr Mustard knows why as does every right thinking and fair minded person.

Mr Mustard will be seeing you at the tribunal Barnet Council. This PCN won't put a dent in his 86% success rate.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

Update 1 October 19: The PCN has been cancelled and a full apology sent for 'any inconvenience this matter may have caused' - Mr Mustard thinks that quite a lot of inconvenience was caused. Flowers, a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates, all three, or £65 (50% of the PCN value) would not have gone amiss.


  1. As ever, it is all about the dosh, any traffic management issues are long gone. A truly venal and rapacious council, although virtually all London councils are the same.

  2. All the individuals at the council are fine, we are perfectly civil to each other, sometimes we agree, sometimes we don't. Parking departments (by which I include bus lanes and moving traffic) are set up in as automated a fashion as possible, this clip was recorded by computer and then supposedly considered by a person. They didn't spend enough time thinking about it. The person who considered the challenge, which included that the stationary car did not have a driver inside it, is incompetent or else instructed to reject everything on spurious grounds. The outsourcing of the function and the numbers involved means that the few in house parking staff are unable to provide proper scrutiny of daily goings on and just have to fire fight all the time.

    That's my view. There needs to be independent external oversight and the power to force system and policy changes to remove the unacceptable PCNs.


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