24 February 2020

Emergency PCN - nothing must come before revenue raising

Here is another decision by an independent adjudicator putting to the sword Barnet Council's terrible moral standards. When driving along and an ambulance wants to come past we should all make way for it if we can. Would you want your ambulance delayed because other motorists refused to get out of the way for fear of receiving a £130 PCN? - no, Mr Mustard thought not.

There really does need to be an outside body to keep a tight rein on the dubious moral standards exhibited by local authorities, and Barnet Council are not alone in this. There hasn't been a survey of the opinion of residents in Barnet for some time but the low regard in which Barnet Parking was held will not improve whilst harsh decisions like this one are being taken.

Sod traffic management, this is all about the revenue.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

22 February 2020

Saracens zone / Barnet Council / signing scandal

The independent tribunal which may ultimately decide the fate of a contested PCN is obliged to publish a register of decisions. You can find it here (select Statutory Registers). That is how Mr Mustard fell over the decision (he reads the Barnet decisions daily).

This PCN was placed on the car. The driver may or may not have made a challenge at that stage. At the Notice to Owner stage representations must have been made (otherwise you cannot get a tribunal hearing) and clearly Barnet Council rejected them. As the signs are changed to reflect the next match date, photographs are taken to prove they were done. Thus, the council had the evidence that at least one of the signs on which people rely was not correct. In this case the car was parked in Bittacy Road which can only be accessed from Bittacy Hill so it was one of the main signs on the north eastern edge of the zone which was not updated. Thus it was patently unfair to even issue PCNs within the zone that day when the council knew that people could innocently enter it, their actions were entrapment.

Barnet Council therefore rejected a perfectly good representation.

The motorist then made an Appeal to the tribunal. At that stage Barnet Council could have done the decent thing, the honest decision, and not fought the Appeal. Instead they have the effrontery to admit they didn't update the signage, the only legal method by which the date of the match can be communicated to passing traffic, and still maintain they are entitled to £110.

Mr Mustard would have asked for costs if this was one of his cases (there may well yet be one if the motorist thinks about it) as he thinks that the behaviour of Barnet Council is both vexatious and wholly unreasonable, which are two of the three criteria which can lead to costs being awarded (costs are rarely awarded, the third limb being 'frivolous').

Mr Mustard wanted to compare the number of PCNs doled out on 2 November 19 (the match day in question) with previous match days in 2019 but he couldn't as the council have so far only published the data up until September. Come on Barnet.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

16 February 2020

Eastleigh B.C. - incompetent or bluffing?

Bluffer's Park in Toronto
For a traffic enforcement authority to get a simple law wrong, or to deliberately mislead a motorist in order to raise revenue, are both things which should not happen. Luckily the motorist, Mr D, had faith in the advice he received from Mr Mustard (whose name did not appear on the file).

The facts: Mr D parked his car on double yellow lines in order to deliver glass to a customer. He got ticketed. This had happened to him previously in Barnet and when it did he produced his delivery documents and the council always cancelled.

Eastleigh saw it differently.

If you are unloading something bulky or heavy you are not in breach of the restriction, you are exempt. Mr D couldn't believe the answer so he wrote again and got the same nonsense back again:
The second answer was worse than the first one as it said you cannot unload, a patent lie. Now Mr D had to wait for the Notice to Owner. Once he had it, he made the same representation of unloading. He got knocked back again and that opened the door to the relevant tribunal, the TPT.
It is impossible to be continuously loading. You go out of sight of a traffic warden when you enter the delivery premises or if they are around the corner. Funny thing is that rule isn't in the Eastleigh traffic order which allows for loading and unloading.
Mr D made his application to the tribunal and all of a sudden the council woke up to reality and threw in the towel, for this nonsense reason:

It is fortunate that Mr D had overturned previous PCNs whilst he had been engaged in unloading as otherwise he might have believed Eastleigh Council and given then £35 or £70 (depending at what stage he gave up). One member of staff, at least, needs some training in the basic rules of parking. Perhaps they could have a read of the Highway Code

It would seem that Mr Mustard's work will never be done.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard