Friday, March 27, 2009

Letter ... Spirit ... Law

I've just despatched a letter to my local council to appeal for a 'Penalty Charge Notice' (PCN) for making a prohibited right turn into the High Street.

Forty-six (46) days after the alleged contravention we were sent this PCN. There were several things not correct about this PCN and in my view unenforceable. Basically what happened was there was a blaze of publicity about how our local High Street has reopened to traffic in both directions.

Yippee! we said, and at the next opportunity drove into it to celebrate. The shops here have had a dire time since they closed the High Street more than ten years ago. We believe in supporting 0ur local shops and so wanted to spend some money there.

We followed the road markings to keep right and came to a point where we realized that as we were neither a bus nor a push bike we were not permitted to 'turn' onto the High Street from this direction. By this time it was not possible to do anything but make that prohibited turn. Which is when the cameras caught us, but there were also no signage to warn us that cameras were in place to enforce traffic regulation.

But what's the point in flying huge banners that say 'the town is now OPEN' and not let people drive through? How else does one access the High Street then?

I checked out the signs yesterday, on foot, and found that there was ample signage alright, but these were "strategically" (ahem!) placed so that motorists are sure to miss them if there were vehicles parked for loading, if you are following a bus, etc. Was this a ploy by the Council to fleece her residents.

Sure I (my husband, actually) made an illegal turn, but only because he was misled, misled and misled again. So if they were going by the letter of the law, we have no case. But if they consider the spirit of the law, we might just get the notice cancelled.

But of course this is Inggerlund, where the letter of the law stands: So an MP claiming expenses (effectively to pay off the mortgage of his parents' home, which I suspect was originally his home) even when these expenses are unjustifiable but allowed, is OK because it is according to the letter of the law, even when the spirit with which this was done is hardly justifiable.

I wonder if Mr McN, MP, knows how many of his constituents commute to Hammersmith every day to work. And what good is having an MP who is a minister as he is not allowed to do very much because of his position in government?

Bah!

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