19 March 2023

Cheating or incompetence by a NSL / Barnet Council traffic warden

Within 24 hours, this PCN was cancelled due to 'an issuing error', - rather!

Mrs Careful (well mostly) parked her car in Hendon Lane N3, more or less opposite no 74.

She checked from one end of the single yellow line to the other, there wasn't a time plate on a pole adjacent to the line. She didn't make the wrong assumption that other drivers make that parking must therefore be free at all times. She knew she was inside a controlled parking zone, the CE zone (Finchley Church End) and that therefore there was a circle of zone entry signs sited on all possible arrival routes, which you have to take notice of when driving along. The signs behind the car, if you were driving there from High Barnet, as Mr Mustard was when doing his reconstruction, are outside the Finchley Methodist Church and you are meant to read and memorise the days and times as you drive by and remember them until you stop and park, some 1.2 miles later.

As it happens, if you were to drive on another 100m you would exit the zone in Hendon Lane but you wouldn't know how far ahead the end of the zone would be.

Having parked perfectly before 1pm when she came back to her car Mrs Careful found it, to her astonishment, adorned with a PCN. This was how Mr Mustard started, being issued with a PCN which was wrong and 2,000 PCN fights later how all councils in London regret the mistake that Barnet traffic warden made in November 2010.

Mr Mustard was consulted. He sent Mrs Careful a copy of the council's photographic evidence, naively assuming she had missed the sign.

Ignore the top sign for buses & HGVs

It was explained to Mr Mustard, who had only looked cursorily at the evidence and didn't know the location all that well, that the sign was 100m away and besides, the sign photo was taken 2 minutes after the photo of the PCN on the windscreen, now that was odd. Mr Mustard decided that Mrs Careful was correct. He decided to go and see the situation with his own eyes and recreate the parking with his own car to see if lightning might strike twice (he didn't plan to be there any longer than it took to check the facts so it probably wouldn't).

He made a little video and added a commentary


From this short video it is obvious that the traffic warden, number BT717, is either incompetent (and they have been around too long to know know the basics of single yellow line signing which is simple) or they are a cheat. Mr Mustard decided they are a cheat and as well as making a challenge against the PCN he has filed a complaint as this level of service or dishonesty simply isn't acceptable. If a traffic warden is unsure of the position he should check with the office or simply walk on as if nothing is wrong, which, as it happens, it wasn't.

The end.

10 March 2023

Slow in Southwark


Amazing, two years without a permit although the car might have been in the garage or elsewhere when the traffic wardens came calling.

Why do permits only last for a year? Why not give out permits that are valid for as long as you own the car to partly encourage people to change their car less often? Also, permits shouldn't be used as a profit centre when something went wrong with the administration, the whole point of parking zones is to protect residents not to penalise them.

The tribunal website used to show if a council subsequently cancelled or not but not any longer so we don't know what happened next.

The end.

A beetle drive in Brent


There is always something interesting coming up on the PCN tribunal register.


Why on earth was this classic VW beetle targeted for removal, a task which involved 4 two department heads and 4 police officials. There is more to this than meets the eye.

The end.

9 March 2023

Double trouble in Newham


Above you see Cleves Road in Newham where the council have been splashing paint about that wasn't needed.

Mr Mustard found this wrongly painted location on the PCN tribunal website, case no. 2220882876, which had the following comments by the adjudicator.

In order to be considered at the tribunal Newham Council must have already rejected what were eminently sensible representations by the keeper of the vehicle.

What isn't said here is that yellow lines are generally held by adjudicators to apply from the edge of the carriageway to the middle which means that single yellows can be on one side of the road and double yellows on the other.

If Newham Council didn't want people to park at the end of this cul-de-sac they should have painted the double yellows for a few yards on both sides. There is no need to paint anything across the carraigeway, it just causes confusion as it did here.

Was the council blinded by wanting to grab another £130 to help their budget? you bet they were.

The end.

6 March 2023

Horrible Havering

A triple bill of cases Mr Mustard was intending to blog about but had been busy.

Not only were the council being horrible to a disabled person, a man who has to admit he can only walk slowly, which is why disabled people are given an hour over and above the time they pay for if parked on street, but there is by law a 10 minute period after a permitted period of parking in which a PCN cannot be issued.

Havering Council quite happy to give their own employees, in official vehicles, a kicking and waste our money going to the tribunal and then abandoning.

No slack given to emergency services either until the last minute.

As Mr Mustard never stops telling people, don't assume that a council considering your challenge will be kind or use common sense as history shows they are rare events.

The end.

5 March 2023

Bus stand exemption

Mr Mustard can see two bus stands in this road and below is one of them.

The bus stand is on the left adjacent to The Long Room bar and hotel, which is close to Amen Corner, one of the landmarks of Tooting, an area which Mr Mustard used to know quite well.

Here is the decision of an independent adjudicator at London Tribunals.

Mr Mustard hadn't, despite 13 years of fighting PCNs, ever heard of an exemption being given to an organisation, whether or not a charity providing food to those in need, to park on a bus stop or stand. It turns out this is a stand where buses might remain during a driver's hours break or similar.

A typically miserable council stance thet the driver wasn't with the vehicle but it is impossible to collect or deliver goods without leaving the vehicle and as a traffic warden can arrive, issue a PCN and be gone in less than a minute that is an awful lot less than the time it takes to wheel a pallet load of goods 200m to the relevant place and return.

Interesting exemption, as there is a loading bay opposite the bus stand.

If you collect and deliver goods and find there are locations at which you can never park legally the best option looks to be to ask the local authority to give you an exemption for where you would like to park.

The end.