We all know the teeth-grinding, hair-pulling inconvenience of needing a ticket to board a bus then finding that the ticket machine has been vandalised and won't dispense the expensive little slip of paper that the driver doesn't look at anyway. A good citizen will cross the road or go further along the route to find an unvandalised, working ticket machine. We commend those good citizens. Barnet Council tries to fine them instead.
Office manager Mandy Turner recently parked her car on Stonegrove in Edgware and attempted to get a Pay and Display ticket from a nearby machine. That machine wasn't working so she crossed the road to another machine, she paid, she displayed... then was given a £40.00 fine by Barnet Council.
Stonegrove is on the boundary between the Harrow and Barnet boroughs; Ms Turner's car was parked on the Barnet side and the ticket she bought was from the Harrow side, therefore invalid for the parking spot she was using. Without realising it, she was picking up a fine from one council and putting unnecessary money into the accounts of the other.
Though she paid the fine on the advice of Barnet council, she immediately appealed - and had that appeal rejected. It was apparently appropriate to be fined for not checking for relevant council logos on the machines. Oh, silly Ms Turner! Doesn't everyone check for the relevant council logos on ticket machines before putting their money in? Doesn't everyone know each boundary road between boroughs in a memorised map in their heads?
Ms Turner's £40.00 fine was miraculously dropped after she broke the story to her local paper. Funny that, innit?