24 August 2023

I 'regret' that I must twist the knife


Almost every time that Mr Mustard travels along East Barnet Road he see vehicles parked on the pavement, as borne out by historic google street view images. Mr Mustard never sees a PCN on them. Mr Mustard has watched a 'traffic warden' on his scooter ride straight past them. Someone told Mr Mustard that a traffic warden was either threatened with violence or met with some and so now enforcement simply doesn't take place on that section of pavement nor here:

Unfortunately however if you a peaceable lady of a certain age, who parks with 2 wheels on the pavement in a hurry with her blue badge showing as she needs the toilet, you will be given a PCN as your car isn't known to be that of an unsavoury character.

If anyone knows the story about this location do email mrmustard@zoho.com

The lady, we'll call her Lady X, has had mental health problems for the 8 years that Mr Mustard has known her. Little will be disclosed so that she is not identified. She sent in her own challenge explaining how she came to park as she had. Shortly after that her adult son died unexpectedly.

Mr Mustard decided to write in and ask for cancellation, in the following terms:

You will guess what happened next. The request was refused.

Are the condolences sincere? Mr Musatrd doesn't think so.

Is the regret genuine? No.

Will this response do a mentally ill person any good? Mr Mustard doubts it.

Could the council afford to let one PCN go? Yes, of course.

Does the writer sympathise with the situation? No, they just just twist the knife.

Mr Mustard has no idea how these faceless letter writers can live with their consciences.

The end.

9 August 2023

Redbridge Council - boxes its own ears

Mr Mustard's ears prick up when he sees a Council v Council entry on the tribunal website and he asks the council for all the paperwork behind the PCN. He doesn't always get it all but he gets enough to show the idiocy of the PCN system. In this case the council didn't fight the tribunal Appeal which it started against itself.

Here is the PCN.

There is no profit to be had from this PCN, it is simply a case of moving money from one council budget to another one, or not.
Mr Mustard didn't get a copy of the representations which were supposedly exempt but it doesn't really matter, they won't have been that radical.

Mr Mustard did get the video and here it is.


He was sent the rejection notice.

The rejection is a dismal piece of work because what you can't see in the video is the exit of the box so no-one knows why the vehicle stopped and the reason has to be because of stationary vehicles, what vehicles? There aren't any in shot. Adjudicators cancel PCNs for this reason all the time.

Mr Mustard went up and down Ley Street on google. It is rather long. Mr Mustard only found one yellow box, viz:

Where is this? It is at the entrance to the council depot. Mr Mustard wonders if the necessary steps were followed before the council painted a box intended to aid their workers but which they now use to penalise their workers? Laurel and Hardy have some competition it seems.

Mr Mustard did ask if the camera had been adjusted to better show the box and the answer was that it had.

Mr Mustard also asked how many PCNs the council had issued to itself in the year ended 31 March 2023. The answer was 107.

Mr Mustard also asked if the motorists caught in that box, which was inadequately covered by camera, would be refunded and of course the answer was 'no'.

There is little honour in Redbridge.

The end.

8 August 2023

Islington Council - one off error or are you due a refund?

One of Mr Mustard's regulars (he is a big contributor to the hospice as well, £50 for every PCN I beat) got the below PCN.

Mr Mustard concluded that it did not meet the requirements to be a PCN and an adjudicator agreed.

The usual on street Islington PCN looks like this

Mr Mustard didn't think there could be many defective PCNs in Islington (it might just have been one handheld machine on one day with the wrong template loaded) but all the same he asked the question of the council. He received an open and honest response.

You might wonder how the copies aren't easy to find. It is because they are produced from templates which change over time and there could be 50 or 100 machines in use on the street at any one time. Keeping that lot up to date must be a bit of a task. The council doesn't have a great big file of copies generated as they go, as 50% of PCNs will be paid without fuss and only 1% will end up at the tribunal when a copy will be needed. The council generate true copies on demand. Generating the wrong copy for the tribunal leads to a win if the motorist notices.

Anyway, if you have had a PCN from Islington this year or perhaps last (if you keep paperwork like Mr Mustard does) and it does not contain the date of the alleged contravention (it only has From/To times) and you have paid it, now is the time to ask for a refund.

The end.


Islington Council - a role model


The above PCN was issued to a lady who had passed away and her car was insured for family to drive until it went back to the lease company shortly thereafter. Islington Council were very considerate in cancelling without fuss.
Mr Mustard thought that the PCN was served late being more than 28 days after the alleged contravention date, that being the rule (with an exception or two) for moving traffic cases.
He asked Islington how many such PCNs there were in the year to 31 March 2023. The answer was 1,162.
Mr Mustard told Islington they should refund them all and made noises about going to the external auditor (a deadline he missed as he was away on holiday).
Being late didn't matter as it turns out that Islington Council have morals.

Mr Mustard complains quite often so likes to dole out some praise as well.

The next story will be good news as well, also from Islington.

The end.