24 March 2021

Welwyn & Hatfield Council - exceeding their authority?


Above is part of a perfectly normal Traffic Order which is proposed for part of Hatfield. The unsual aspect is that those roads are currently not adopted highway, but private, as the parking sign in this one sample road shows

A resident isn't happy, as partial footway parking will be removed thus reducing the number of spaces, and queried the council's right to introduce the restrictions before they adopt the roads and received the following response

Mr Mustard thinks that answer is wrong, for two reasons

- the council can only impose restrictions on the public highway (save for one anomaly which is they could issue a PCN for parking other than on the carriageway if the public highways borders private land to which the public have access, which isn't the case hear).

- there is the risk of double jeopardy with the private parking company also still able to issue Parking Charge Notices for breaches of their signage.

What do you think, dear reader? Mr Mustard has been wrong before.

This case in the key cases section of the London Tribunals website, would suggest Mr Mustard is wrong (although the answer isn't logical).

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

23 March 2021

Angling for a refund in Camden


The car of Miss G

Mr Mustard has courteous and respectful correspondence with a manager at Camden Council which enables an open and robust debate to take place about any particular problem. If Mr Mustard finds something wrong, it generally gets put right.

In this case after Mr Mustard investigated the legality of the double yellow kerb marks which he felt ceased exactly where the mark you see is in the photo (and which prohibits waiting {parking} by blue badge holders) it turned out that Anglers Lane (in Kentish Town NW5, Nando's is on the corner) had been omitted from the Traffic Management Order.

Accordingly Mr Mustard saw Miss G's PCN cancelled and a promise that no further PCNs for code 02 (parked or loading/unloading in a restricted street where waiting and loading/unloading restrictions are in force) would be issued until the Traffic Management Order was corrected. So far, so fair.

Mr Mustard then asked if all other similar PCNs issued in recent years would be refunded, clearly there weren't going to be many. The answer was:

Our search identified a very few PCN’s (in single figures) issued at this location over the years. Problem was they were all so long ago that for data protection reasons we had already get rid of the details of the individuals concerned and in any case as the payments they had made were by card we would have been unable to refund onto the cards used as these would have expired.

Mr Mustard can see that refunding in such a situation is a challenge but Camden Council haven't said they won't refund, only that they don't know who to refund. OK, let's help them.

If, therefore, you are one of the people who received a code 02 PCN from Camden Council in Anglers Lane in the last 6 years, you should approach the council for a refund and supply proof of the PCN and of your payment (if available, but the council will know if you paid or not). If you don't have the PCN give the council your vehicle registration details, they can check back. The phone number is 020 7974 4444.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

22 March 2021

Barnet Hospital - ANPR - designed to cheat?

Mr Mustard doesn't get heavily involved in private parking charges as they can end up in the county court and he has no desire to spend half a day sitting around and he doesn't have audience rights without requesting them.

Sometimes though a friend wanders along with a demand which is so patently wrong and unreasonable that he has to put fingers, both of them, to keyboard.

Here are the images which were on the demand for £100

Let us call Mr Mustard's friend, Miss V. She was dropping her friend at the fracture clinic and then going back later to collect her, hospitals not liking extra people who aren't strictly necessary for medical or safety reasons, with the patient. Accordingly there were two or more other unseen photos both at around the same time as the two which were selected, which didn't prove that anyone was in any car park, staff or otherwise, for 1 hour and 52 minutes, Miss V (and her car) being safely at home enjoying a cup of tea and a read of the newspaper whilst she waited for a phone call.

Mr Mustard posted this letter off in the name of Miss V on 16 March.

Fast forward two days and Parking Eye have slammed the ANPR into reverse.

Their willingness to immediately cancel points to the veracity of the facts, there being two visits, not one and thus the alleged breach of contract did not take place and no parking charge was due.

If the same has happened to you, follow Mr Mustard's lead and demand all of your data. The interest of Parking Eye in your wallet or purse may rapidly wane.

ANPR is only as good as the way in which the data has been manipulated, clearly disgracefully in this instance in a one sided manner to suit their purpose of revenue raising.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

15 March 2021

Barnet Council tell a motorist to commit a trespass!

Last year Mr Mustard noticed a new 'no motor vehicles' restriction coming into being. As the location was a cul-de-sac he didn't think many motorists would be caught out by it and consequently didn't tell his readers about it. It was in Childs Way at Temple Fortune.

This is it.

It isn't the traffic warden photobombing the shot who you need to be bothered about but the camera mounted high up on a pole on the other side of Finchley Road.

A teacher visiting the school for the first time on 17 February (which was during half term) got caught by turning into the road at about 9am.

They wrote in pointing out how hard the signs are to see and that they were a teacher and it was half term but they saw their representations rejected on the grounds that 'no motorist can miss it before turning into the road' (by 'it' the writer meant the signs, plural). Ha, well they can and they did, partly because you are focussed on turning the wheel at that point, braking, looking out for pedestrians, not for signs mounted close to the road and hidden on approach, by, ironically, the camera sign and not to mention the distraction of red signs which say there is a new road layout for social distancing and say nothing about the road being 'closed' to traffic at certain times.

Mr Mustard doesn't know how you get to be an 'authorised vehicle' just ask the council he supposes but that would need to be done in advance so if you were delivering, say, computers to the school for the first time you have got a long journey on the pavement to negotiate with the goods.

The writer, who was probably sat in Dingwall, or perhaps another NSL office but not in Barnet, gave out some advice for future visits.

How helpful, unless you happen to live in Crispin Mews and find you are now on the school run and the council recommend people create a short cut through your once peaceful private estate.

Barnet Council inciting a motorist to commit a trespass. Oh dear me no.

Mr Mustard has sent this case to a parking manager as although it is ripe for an Appeal to the independent tribunal, he thinks the manager might want to make a goodwill cancellation in all the circumstances.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

9 March 2021

Voting - May 2021 - London Assembly & Mayor of London

Whilst the number of people affected by Covid keeps falling and people might start to feel a little safer Mr Mustard doesn't think the time has yet come to relax. Although the polling station is at the end of his road Mr Mustard has decided to vote by post (using his real persona, obviously).

Voting by post is readily available: the notes and the form are below

The form, and more general information, is available on the official Barnet Council website, here https://www.barnet.gov.uk/elections-and-voting/how-vote/apply-vote-post

Stay home, stay safe, vote by post.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

5 March 2021

Brent Council - blathering irrelevance


The above car was rented out and when the hire was over it was left with one wheel on perfect double yellow lines (perhaps it was dark upon parking?). The owner didn't know how the car had been left until a couple of weeks later it not being hired out in the meantime. The car had accumulated six PCNs, the first one in time was paid and the other five were challenged using the following words:

It would be hard to write a more succinct or clear challenge, wrote Mr Mustard not at all modestly. Back came multiple identical rejections:

Careful consideration? - not apparent.

The paragraph starting 'A PCN was issued' - is irrelevant.

The first six lines of the next paragraph are also irrelevant.

The bold type or emphasis would not be necessary if the irrelevant material wasn't there. This is just lazy cut and paste.

The argument put forward was not 'mitigation' but a head on challenge to the lawfulness of any PCN after the first one.

An 'appropriate response' has not been sent as the question of 'continuous contravention' has not been mentioned or possibly even thought about.

If Brent Council send the same non-reply at the next stage, the Notices to Owner, against which identical challenges will be made, it will be off to the tribunal which has previously considered this argument presented by Mr Mustard and agreed with him and here is one such decision (not a precedent but likely to be persuasive)

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

4 March 2021

Redbridge - an alternative reality

Redbridge Council don't seem to have wasted any money on a stupid slogan such as 'Putting the Community First' but 'An alternative reality' seems to sum them up (Mr Mustard has a second example of them not knowing traffic law which he will tell you about soon).

Here is a very rarely awarded costs decision from the Enfironment & Parking Tribunal and richly deserved it was, the council clearly having been 'wholly unreasonable' which translates in this case as completely incompetent.

Mr Mustard's advice is to test anything that Redbridge Council have to say in a letter about parking.

If you want good free independent advice you can get it here which may include an opinion from Mr Mustard as he sometimes adds his tuppenceworth.

Stand up for yourself if you think you are in the right. The independent adjudicator truly is independent.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard