23 November 2020

Miscarriage of justice in Barnet

Everyone in High Barnet knows, and probably loves, the duck pond.

Just to the left is a parking bay, number 9154. The main bay sign, facing the road, shows that this is a shared use bay, for permit holders or for people who pay.


Facing the pavement, is another sign which contains some information which should be on the bay sign, that one can park for 2 hours for free (without taking any action to verify the free period).

Here are close-ups of the sign so you can glean all of the detail.

So if you read this sign, which you may not even notice as it is facing away from the road and is largely masked by the pole it is mounted on, you know that you can park there for free for 2 hours, which is most useful.

That accords with the rules set out in the map based traffic management order.

Now Mr Mustard will show you the miscarriage, it isn't in the league of this one from 1660 (chosen just because of the pond)

but it is a miscarriage of justice nonetheless. The PCN was contested all the way to the tribunal.

The contravention description is shortened in the register and will have covered the situation of not having paid (before you tell Mr Mustard that what is recorded didn't happen).

That is a decision which must be wrong. So where has it gone wrong?

The traffic warden got it wrong, Mr Mustard has seen that before (in 2015) at this location and had the PCN cancelled by the council after Mr Mustard contacted senior management. Clearly the signage, which should have been changed 5 years ago, wasn't. The traffic warden relied on the main sign alone.

The back office (run by NSL under the direction of in house parking management) didn't do their job properly. The first place they should look when they get such a challenge is the Traffic Management Order which sets the rules. The trouble is that the person who looks at this, if an NSL employee, is in Dingwall and may have no more idea where Barnet is than Barnet residents do of where Dingwall is (Mr Mustard cycled through it on his way from Land's End to John O'Groats. There is a long hard climb out of the valley which was fuelled by a macaroni pie, yum).

Mr Mustard hesitates to say the adjudicator got it wrong, firstly because he could only decide the case based upon the evidence in front of him, although that should have included the Traffic Management Order as a matter of routine (but probably didn't include a photograph of the PayByPhone sign) and secondly because Mr Mustard might be arguing in front of that adjudicator any time soon.

The PCN though should never have got anywhere near the adjudicator at London Tribunals. Barnet Council, or their agents NSL, should have cancelled the PCN as soon as the 2 hours free challenge was made as it isn't the sort of challenge that one would just make up. Alarm bells should have been ringing that it was, possibly, the truth. Mr Mustard thinks that the revenue raising imperative is so pressing that logic gets thrown out of the window along with the challenge.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard



  1. Surely the PCN is a nullity and therefore everything that comes after is too. It seems to me that a review should be requested due to the adjudicator not asking to see the TMO.

  2. I haven't seen the evidence so don't know what the adjudicator saw and more than 14 days have elapsed so a review would be a problem plus it isn't my case (otherwise this wouldn't have been the outcome).

  3. These signs caused a small skirmish between myself and Mrs Anonymous shortly after we moved to Barnet. She swore blind that she couldn't park there for free - whereas I insisted she could. She then parked in Moxon Street instead.

    I wish they'd update those signs.


I now moderate comments in the light of the Delfi case. Due to the current high incidence of spam I have had to turn word verification on.