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.


  1. Or the CEO has a target of PCNs issued per day, or he gets the sack. Barnet are one of the more ruthless authorities, and this sort of thing won't be in writing, buy you can bet your bottom dollar, CEOs are "incentivised" to issue PCNs in some way.

  2. That is absolutely disgusting behaviour by the warden!


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.