Sunday 18 November 2012

Survey Launched of East Finchley CPZ

Finchley and Golders Green MP, Mike Freer, has launched a survey seeking views from residents of East Finchley's all day CPZ.  You can complete the survey here:

The initiative is surprising given that Mike Freer has long argued that he has no role in or power over Barnet Council's parking policies.  The fact that Mr Freer now recognises that, as an elected representative, he should seek to address his residents' concerns even if they relate to Council business, is to be welcomed.

But there is one glaring omission in the survey.  There is no mention of cost.  The survey only asks for views about the CPZ's operational hours.

Some residents, because of their particular circumstances, will want either long or short operational hours irrespective of cost.  Factors will be how many visitors they have and how close they live to East Finchley High Road.

But for many residents, the question whether they prefer long hours (which will mean buying a lot of visitor vouchers) or short hours (and therefore buying few) will inevitably depend on cost.  After all,   few people can countenance paying what until very recently was a minimum of £4.16 for each visitor. 

We encourage you to complete Mr Freer's survey if you are affected but it's unfortunate that he has not grasped the nettle of cost.  After all, it's possible many residents would accept or even welcome long, all day restrictions if the charges were reasonable?  And wouldn't Barnet Council receive just as much revenue selling a lot of cheap visitor vouchers as selling a few very expensive ones? 

Monday 22 October 2012

The Long Wait

We have important news (both good and bad) about our legal action to overturn last year's unfair CPZ rises.  Also, please see the end of this post for details of an interesting film being premiered tonight (22 October)

The good news is that, after a slow Summer during which Barnet consistently missed Court deadlines for filing their evidence, all evidence has now been served and the Court have given us a date for the final trial.

The bad news is that the trial will not be until the middle of next year - the 2nd of July 2013.  It seems that the Courts are simply swamped at the moment, particularly with housing and immigration cases. With so much urgent work before the Courts, we, unfortunately, simply have to wait our turn.

When our turn does come, we will be confident of success because Barnet have raised no new arguments for why the increases were lawful.  They simply say, as they have said throughout, that they wanted the Parking Service to generate profits of £5 million a year and hiked the CPZ charges for residents by whatever they thought was needed to achieve this.  In setting the CPZ charges at exorbitant levels, Barnet ignored the advice of their consultants, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, who Barnet had asked to review parking charges and who had proposed far smaller rises.  Barnet also rejected an alternative proposal to spread the rises more evenly across Barnet's road users, preferring to saddle the 10% of residents in CPZs with increases of up to 300%.  Raising revenue is unpopular, after all, so why upset more people than necessary when CPZ residents are such easy targets?

During the long wait till the trial, we will keep our website updated and will also report back on what we have achieved so far.

In the meantime, if you are interested in some of the broader issues affecting the borough (in particular the One Barnet outsourcing initiative), you may be interested in a film being premiered tonight at 6pm at the Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley.  "Barnet - The Billion Dollar Gamble" is made by film maker Charles Honderick who last year made the thought provoking "A Tale of Two Barnets" which looked, among other things, at the effects of the CPZ rises.

Whatever your views, Charles's new film promises to be powerful and thought provoking stuff. 

Monday 17 September 2012

CPZ residents pay through the nose for Council Leader's smooth ride

Barnet Council's official line has always been that the CPZ increases were necessary in order to fund road repairs across the borough.  Indeed, according to former Cabinet Member Brian Coleman, the "only way" to pay for upcoming road repairs was to use profits generated by parking.  Presumably it was thought that this would resonate well with the 90% of Barnet  residents who do not live in a CPZ.  Enjoy a top class road surface subsidised by others.

So how is the additional income being spent? Well some of it ended up here, in a quiet residential cul de sac in Totteridge: 

Residents of the street report that there was nothing particularly wrong with the road before it was resurfaced, particularly given the tiny volume of traffic in a street with around 30 houses which only leads to a dead end. 

The road isn't in a CPZ, so residents don't face having to fork out £48 or more in parking charges should they chose to have a child's birthday party at home. Or £250 should a relative visit for the summer. 

It's also the road where Council Leader Richard Cornelius lives with his wife, herself a Conservative Councillor.    

The cost of this lavish treatment: £32,789. Or looking at it another way, about £3 for every CPZ household in Barnet. But not Mr & Mrs Cornelius.


Thursday 30 August 2012

Council Leader expresses regret over CPZ increases!

Yes, it's true. In a recent interview, Council Leader Richard Cornelius expressed regret about last year's staggering CPZ increases imposed on Barnet residents who, unlike him, live in a CPZ. It's well worth watching the short clip posted on the Barnet Bugle website:

But just how deep is his regret? Well, seemingly not deep enough to overturn the rises, though he does mention a planned concession: the introduction of (expensive) half day vouchers. We'll post full details about this soon, including some hard facts which show that they are not the bargain that the Council would like to make out.

Listening carefully to Councillor Cornelius's words, however, it's clear that his regret isn't over the fact that  a one day visitor voucher costs an absurd £4.16 or a 3 month permit costs nearly £250. It's just that it would have been better in his view if the increases had been masked by being phased in over a few years.

In 2001, a resident's permit cost £20 and a visitor voucher cost 35p and that was more than enough to ensure that the CPZs broke even.  By 2007, the cost had gone up significantly above inflation to £40 and £1. Does Councillor really believe that the increase of between 150% and 600% that he voted for would have been morally acceptable if they's been spread out over the preceding 3 years?

Saturday 25 August 2012

Parking campaigner sends impassioned plea to Council Leader

Council Leader Richard Cornelius seems to have misgauged public feeling about the inconvenience and cost of parking in Barnet's car parks and High Streets. In a recent interview with the Hendon and Finchley Times, he seems to imply that there isn't widespread opposition to the Council's parking policies and, if people feel dissatisfied, well that is because of all the negativity created by campaigners.

We are pleased, therefore, to publish in full below a response to Councillor Cornelius's comments from Helen Michael.  Some of you will know Helen as the leader of the campaign by North Finchley' traders against the removal last year of all Pay and Display ticket machines and the introduction of mandatory Pay by Phone parking.  Helen who runs a cafe in North Finchley wasn't prepared to sit back while her and neighbouring businesses were damaged by this folly.  As Helen explains, the fact that she has been vocal and holds a prominent position in the campaign group does't mean that she isn't representative.

Fortunately, there are signs that the Council is finally taking note of criticisms of its absurd and damaging parking policies and that some concessions are being drawn up.   From what we know of the changes, they won't fully undo the damage or redress the unfairness but they are a step in the right direction. We will post more details very shortly.      

Dear Mr Cornelius,                                                              10th August 2012

I have read your interviews with Daniel OBrien in The Press and Nathalie ONeill in the Times with interest
I feel that some of your comments are directed at me and that I have been publicly criticized.  I should like the opportunity to respond.
I wish to make it clear that I was nominated as the spokesperson for the traders of North Finchley.  As a woman trying to run a small business in these difficult times - difficulties compounded by your parking policy - I have my hands full trying to make a living and I could do without this distraction.
This was not a role that I sought. I am not a natural activist i just want to do something. Before this parking fiasco I was not known to the Council.
 After initially trying to reason with Barnet Council about the parking issue only to find that I was treated with disdain and ignored, I organized a petition and collected in excess of 13000 signatures.  I speak on behalf of all those people who went out of their way to sign the petition in direct opposition to your parking policies.  I also speak on behalf of all those traders who displayed anti parking increase posters throughout the borough.
I and the other traders feel that we are having our intelligence insulted by empty promises made by you. 
We met in Café Buzz in March for breakfast. You agreed that something had to be done about the parking issue quickly and you made it clear that the meters were not coming back.  We made a concession in relation to scratch cards on the basis that they would be introduced quickly. 
You assured us that they were being organized and would be available shortly. Well, we are now middle of August and still waiting. I and the other traders are driven to the conclusion that we are being led up the garden path.  
 As for your comments that we are a vocal minority, I find this deeply offensive. You have been invited on many occasions to walk the length of the High Road and speak to every trader, independent and multiple alike. If you had taken the trouble to do so you would have found that far from being in a minority, there is 100% view that your parking policies are having a disastrous effect on the High Road. 
You seem conveniently to have forgotten that in excess of 100 local businesses from around the borough attended a business forum meeting in January, at the Arts Depot (where you promised scratch cards).  Not one of the businesses had anything positive to say about your parking policies.  In fact some were incredulous and quite angry at your apparent indifference.  This was an opportunity for you to hear what the shopkeepers actually wanted, but you said, as you have on a number of occasions, that there was nothing you could or would do. On this, at least, you have been consistent.
You have said many times that I have led a very effective campaign and that it is this campaign that is keeping people away.  Well let me tell you that it is YOUR councils policies that are responsible for keeping people away.  My campaign has merely been effective in raising the profile of this insensitive, undemocratic and arrogant council.
You refuse to take responsibility for the grave error of judgment which has resulted in numerous businesses going to the wall.    Was nothing learnt from Councillor Colemans trouncing in the GLA where the electorate spoke loud and clear of its view on your parking policies?
The announcement of the paltry adjustment to the charges in the Lodge Lane car park does not begin to rectify the situation. It has been perceived for what it is a sop.
I and my fellow traders are bemused by what is driving this insane parking policy. It is quite clear that not only has it been a complete failure in its objective to raise revenue, it has had the opposite effect. This is in addition to the devastating consequences for local traders. In case it has escaped your notice, every business that closes down represents a further loss to the local economy - and to council funds.
I have to remind myself that you are a Conservative councillor. Traditionally the Conservatives have always championed the cause of small businesses. I believe that this is still the policy at Central Office.    
I for one am aghast at the arrogance and ineptitude of a council that purports to act in the name of small businesses.  I know that your policies have driven away many core Tory voters.

Helen Michael

Sunday 15 July 2012

Legal action delayed as Barnet miss court deadlines

Back in April we wrote that the Court of Appeal had ruled that our legal action to overturn Barnet's CPZ charges merited consideration at a full trial.  Following this, we had hoped  that by now we would have exciting news to report: an imminent trial date or perhaps even the result of the trial itself.  But instead, Barnet Council has been dragging it feet, preventing us from progressing the legal action.   

Following the announcement that the claim would go to a full trial, Barnet Council were given 35 days to put forward any further arguments and evidence. That time passed and they served nothing. Then they asked for more time, which we agreed to. Then they asked for even more time. By then, Barnet were due to file their papers by 8 July but we again heard nothing. Apparently Barnet are still intending to serve something in defence of their position: we shall see.

The unfortunate consequence is delay. Without seeing their evidence, the court wouldn't fix a date for the trial. So we wait and wait. Meanwhile Barnet's CPZ residents continue to pay outrageous charges.      

Barnet have also been ordered to repay to David Attfield around £1,000 in legal costs that he had had to pay as a result of the unsuccessful February  hearing. That hasn't been received either.

Is it laziness or incompetence that is causing the delay or is it tactical in that Barnet hope that people will get used to the charges?  Either way, we have waited long enough. It's time for Barnet Council to  step forward and let itself be judged. 

Saturday 7 July 2012

BBC Breakfast Show

4th July 2012

Gaby Roslin and Paul Ross chat about the problems of London parking, including their own experiences, together with comments from Council representatives and phone-ins.  One of the interviewees is from Barnet CPZ Action and discusses some of the problems in Barnet.

Friday 18 May 2012

BBC You and Yours

Edmund King, President of the AA and David Attfield discuss Barnet's parking charges on BBC You and Yours broadcast on Friday 18th May 2012.

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Court of Appeal gives green light to legal challenge

The legal action to overturn Barnet's outrageous CPZ charges is back on track after the Court of Appeal overturned a deputy judge's earlier dismissal of the claim.  According to Lord Justice Richards's ruling, the case warrants "fuller consideration of the factual and legal issuesat a trial to take place later in the year. 

The case has, therefore, taken a vital and big step forwards.  Barnet Council now know that their actions will be scrutinised in Court after all.  Are they confident of success?  Well, documents disclosed last year under the Freedom of Information Act suggest that Barnet considered it "likely" that they would lose the case.  Yet they chose to fight it, exposing David Attfield to enormous financial risk were he to lose. 

Followers of this blog will know that the case centres on the lawfulness of a council raising parking charges for a minority of residents with the express intention of subsidising transport services across the borough.  Barnet is unique amongst councils in arguing that this is lawful.  In other cases where parking charges have been looked at (Camden and Westminster), the councils justified their charges by the need to control parking demand.

Barnet do not attempt to argue that demand for parking necessitates higher charges.  According to the former Leader of Barnet Council, “the increased charges are necessary in order to ensure sufficient investment in the council’s road network in the context of the council’s overall financial position”.  
The case has far reaching consequences for all car drivers and residents who live in Controlled Parking Zones.  As Martin Westgate QC (who is representing David Attfield) states, the case “raises a substantial point of public importance…….. If the decision [of Barnet] is right then it gives to local authorities a wide power to raise funds from parking charges in order to fund a variety of traffic management projects.  These may involve major expenditure that ordinarily would be met out of the general fund and so would be funded by council tax among other sources. The......decision empowers the authority to shift these costs onto a small group of residents". 

With costs of the legal challenge escalating, we urge Barnet to let common sense prevail and recognise that the CPZ charges are unfair and damaging to communities.  How can Barnet justify charging £4.17 for a friend to drop by when Haringey charges as little as 30p? 

We never wanted to have to pursue a legal action against our Council.  We just wanted a fair outcome but our concerns were treated with contempt.  Litigation to us is a last resort.   So, once again, we take this opportunity to invite Barnet Council to meet with us.  Let us see if we can put this whole sorry saga behind us.

Friday 20 April 2012

Coleman factor spoils Boris's Golders Green walkabout

One of our supporters has provided the following account of an election walkabout by Boris Johnson in Golders Green.  Inevitably, the Mayor had to field complaints about parking.  The visit has also proved controversial because of an allegation that Brian Coleman mis-used his Barnet Council free parking permit in order to avoid  parking charges on Golders Green Road.
"Coleman factor spoils Boris's Golders Green walkabout
Shopkeepers in Golders Green complained forcefully about Brian Coleman's parking fiasco when Mayoral Candidate Boris Johnson visited on Sunday.

Boris's walkabout in Golders Green Road made slow progress with traders coming out of their shops to challenge him to disown Cllr Coleman's parking policy, which they say is killing local shops.

Warren Gold, owner of Gold's Menswear, said three or four of his customers were getting penalty tickets every day because the pay by phone system was not understood.  He pointed out ten empty shop units to Mr Johnson.

As two more shopkeepers approached Mr Johnson he put his hands up and said: "Don't tell me - parking? "
Traders are angry at the increase from £300 to £525 for a business parking permit and the removal of coin parking meters for shoppers parking. 

The Mayor said he would hold  a review of non-residential parking on TfL roads. But this is only 5 per cent of London's roads, and he ignored questions about residents' parking permits in Barnet which have gone up from £40 to £105."

The visit has also proved controversial because of an allegation that Brian Coleman mis-used his Barnet Council free parking permit in order to avoid  parking charges on Golders Green Road

Our supporter who was there on the day had in fact already alerted us to the use by Councillor Coleman of his Barnet parking permit on this visit.  We asked for Councillor Coleman's response three days ago.  Sadly, our request for clarification has been ignored. 

So what is Brian Coleman's explanation?  Well, he has said to the local press that he was in the area visiting constituents under his role as a councillor.  However, Councillor Coleman represents Totteridge but was parked on Golders Green Road.  Video footage of Boris Johnson's visit also shows him being accompanied by Brian Coleman.  We keep an open mind but think further explanation is required. 

We understand that an investigation into this claim is underway, so hopefully the facts will soon be established. 

You can read more about Boris's Golders Green walkabout on the Barnet Bugle website. 

Hersh Gorman, who runs the Jerusalem the Golden religious artifacts shop, said:

"Brian Coleman is bad for business, he should be taken in chains to Siberia.  Come here on a weekday and the shops are empty."

Mr Gorman told Boris Johnson: "Mr Coleman is trying to raise as much money as possible in revenue at the expense of shopkeepers.  I thought it was about congestion, not revenue."

Perhaps unwisely, the London Mayor replied: "You're totally right, it's being used as a tax - yes, it's a tax."

Sunday 15 April 2012

Confusion reigns over CPZ charges - and a new CPZ charge is stealthily introduced

Although Barnet's CPZ parking charges are being  hiked again on 30 April, the official paperwork makes clear that the cost of annual permits will not rise IF they purchased online.

Unfortunately, nobody seems to have told the operators of Barnet's website because residents applying to renew their permits online have been charged the new rates (£105 for a first permit). If you've been overcharged, you may want to reclaim your £5 by emailing Barnet's parking team at

Meanwhile, tucked away in the small print, we've noticed that a totally new CPZ charge has stealthily been introduced. From 30 April, residents will be charged £20 for a temporary parking dispensation for themselves. A dispensation is usually sought when a resident is using a courtesy car for a few days or is changing their car. The dispensation is intended to cover the time it takes to obtain a new permit. The effect is that replacing your car will now cost £41 in additional permit charges (£21 to to transfer the permit to your new car and £20 for a temporary dispensation while you wait for your new permit to arrive in the post).  A year ago, both services were free of charge.  

Wednesday 11 April 2012

Warning: Barnet hikes CPZ charges again!

It beggars belief but  Barnet council have today confirmed to us that parking charges for CPZ residents are being increased again at the end of April by 5%.

Under the new charges, a permit for a household’s first car will cost £105.  Each visitor voucher we understand will cost an absurd £4.20.

Barnet’s charges are already far higher than in comparable boroughs. Many residents in Haringey, Enfield, Brent and Harrow pay £50 or less for the their permit and between 50p and £1.10 for visitor parking.  

The increases come into effect on 30 April.  If your permit expires on 30 April or 1 May (like many of the borough’s permits do), you can still renew at the old price of £100 but only if you agree to your new permit starting on 29 April. Unfortunately you won’t be able to do this online. However, you can renew by phone on 020 8359 7446 and ask for your permit to start on 29 April.

These leatest increases show that Barnet Council intend  to continue exploiting the small minority of CPZ residents in order to subsidise services for the rest of the borough. Even though the legal action to overturn the CPZ charges has suffered set-backs, it is more important than ever that we fight on. We will be posting details of the progress of the legal action shortly but urge you to continue supporting it. This will mean, unfortunately, calling for more donations to ensure that David Attfield can meet any legal costs that he is ordered to pay should his appeal fail.  

If you feel that CPZ residents are being unfairly exploited, please let your councillors know.  You can access the email addresses of all Barnet Councillors here:

The architect of the CPZ charges is Councillor Brian Coleman:
Brian Coleman is also standing as a candidate for the Camden and Barnet seat in the London Assembly election on 3 May.  

He is, of course, supported by Barnet Council Leader Richard Cornelius: or    

Whilst they are not responsible for parking charges, you can also tell your MP how you feel about the Council’s stance towards CPZ residents.   

Mike Freer MP (Finchley and Golders Green)
Theresa Villiers MP (Chipping Barnet)
Matthew Offord (Hendon)

Sadly, the latest increases send a clear message: CPZ residents are easy targets and Barnet know it.  It is vital that we press on with the legal action if this vicious exploitation is to end.   

UPDATE: According to  the official notice published in the Barnet Press, the cost of a permit purchased online is to remain at £100 because of an "online discount". When we checked however, online users were being asked to pay £105.   If you renewed online and have been charged £105, we suggest you reclaim the £5 you have been overcharged by emailing 

Monday 2 April 2012

The unintended consequences of high parking charges

We will provide you will a full update on the legal action shortly but, in the meantime, please take a minute to read some information that has been dug up by the Barnet Eye blog.

In summary, in an extraordinary move, Barnet Council is planning to impose new curbs on parking on both sides of Bittacy Hill in Mill Hill East.  This will reduce further the available parking, inconveniencing households who just want to be able park themselves and welcome guests to their homes whilst also putting further pressure on businesses. 

But why are we mentioning this? Bittacy Hill isn't even in a CPZ. Well, as the Barnet Eye reveals, that is precisely the point. It turns out that people have been parking on Bittacy Hill in order to avoid the absurd charges that apply in the nearby CPZ. 

Not only are these newly displaced drivers avoiding paying any charges to the council (they had previously at least been paying something to the council), the increased number of parked cars has been causing havoc: Residents are inconvenienced, road safety is undermined, buses and other traffic disrupted. 

In our campaign, we have focused a lot on the penal cost to residents of CPZ parking. But this isn't the only consequence. Parking revenue is falling well short of that expected as people go to great lengths to avoid charges that they know are unjustified. But this in turn is causing further disruption and inconvenience for residents and businesses.  Barnet Council have created a perfect lose-lose situation.

Saturday 17 March 2012

A Tale of Two Barnets

Followers of our campaign may be interested in a new documentary film which examines aspects of life in Barnet and the concerns of its residents.  A Tale of Two Barnets, made by documentary film maker Charles Honderick, receives its premier at the Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley at 6pm on Monday 19 March. Tickets are we understand just £1 . The film itself will be shown at 7pm following a press briefing.

One of the issues that Charles Honderick looks at is parking in the borough, both the outrageous CPZ charges and the cost and (for many) inconvenience of the new Pay by Phone system.  The 30 minute film includes an interview with David Attfield who is leading the challenge to overturn the CPZ charges.

You can read more about the film (and some of the praise that it's receiving) by clicking the link below. Interest in the film is high but we understand that tickets should be available for the premier on the night on a first come, first served basis. Other screenings are also planned (again, see the website below for details).

If you can't make this, don't worry as a special fundraising screening for Barnet CPZ Action is also being planned for the summer.

Thursday 15 March 2012

Legal challenge continues as appeal launched

An appeal has been lodged against last month’s ruling rejecting our legal action to overturn Barnet’s CPZ charges.  The aim of the appeal is to obtain an order from the Court  of Appeal reinstating David Attfield's legal challenge so that it can be heard at a full trial.

Why have we decided to bring an appeal?

First, because our legal advisers remain convinced of the strength of our legal case, albeit we failed to convey this at last month’s hearing.  The confidence of the legal representatives is not just hollow words:  They will be acting in the appeal on a “no win, no fee” basis.

There is also an important principal at stake  -  whether a small group of residents should be made to subsidise services for the whole borough just by virtue of the type of area in which they live.  Barnet’s stance that this is lawful is at odds with the position of other boroughs; organisations like the RAC and the AA; and even the Department for Transport.  If we stop now, Barnet will have succeeded in re-writing the rule book.   There would be nothing to stop Barnet hiking CPZ charges again.
By appealing, we stand to gain much more than we lose.  First, we retain the prospect that the CPZ charges will be revoked and money refunded by Barnet.   If we ultimately win, we should also be able to return much of money that has been generously  donated.  

There is also the fact that, as things stand, there is little to stop further hikes in CPZ charges in the future.   

What does this mean?

If we are to succeed, we have a long road ahead of us. 

There is no automatic right to appeal to the Court of Appeal.  We will only be granted an appeal hearing if an appeal judge recognises on reviewing the case that we have a real prospect of success.

If we are granted an appeal hearing, then that would be a very positive sign that a senior judge recognises that something may have gone wrong at last month’s hearing. 

We have a tough fight ahead and, unfortunately, an appeal increases the financial risk that David faces.  More donations will be sought to help meet this but, for the moment, we are not actively seeking money until we can show to our supporters that the legal action is getting back on track.

In the meantime, please continue to support our campaign. Tell your local councillors and MP what you think of Barnet's CPZ charges.  And please continue to spread the word about the charges and how unfair they are.   Many permits will be coming up for renewal and supplies of visitor vouchers will be replenished over the coming weeks.  It is vital that Barnet understand that opposition to these unfair charges is not diminishing.

Wednesday 8 February 2012

High Court reject legal challenge

In a bitter blow today, a High Court Judge rejected our application to overturn Barnet's CPZ charges.

The decision is as surprising as it is disappointing.  We had genuinely expected the Judge to find that we had raised a serious case that needed to be decided at a full trial.

The case in the event turned on a very narrow question:  whether a Council can set resident's parking charges to raise revenue for things that have nothing to do with resident's parking (paying for travel passes for the elderly and fixing potholes in the case of Barnet).

We relied on two High Court cases which we say make it clear that parking charges need to address a parking related need (the cost of running a CPZ and the need in some areas to dampen demand might be lawful reasons to increase charges).

This is what we firmly believe;
It is what David Attfield's solicitors firmly believe;
It is what David's QC firmly believes;
It is what the RAC Foundation firmly believes;
It is even what Westminster Council firmly believed when they proposed introducing night time parking charges: they argued that the charges were needed to dampen demand,  not to raise revenue to fix potholes.

We need to think carefully about our next steps.  Legally, there is merit in taking the question of whether CPZ residents should pay for travel passes and potholes to the Court of Appeal.  But we must assess what the cost of this would be and whether we have the necessary support.  We will keep you posted.

We leave you with some food for thought:  If Barnet and the Judge are correct that parking charges can always be used to pay for a Council's transport spending,  then there is scope for Barnet to double or even treble the current charges.  Barnet makes about £5 million profit a year from parking but spends around £15m on transport (mainly paying for bus passes).  How much more of the burden of paying for travel passes and potholes will Barnet try to offload onto CPZ residents?

Monday 6 February 2012

Barnet issue corrected information about visitor voucher sales

If you have looked at our blog over the past few days, you would have seen a post about the decline in the sale of visitor vouchers.  Our blog was based on information disclosed by Barnet Council last week under the Freedom of Information Act.

Barnet Council have today informed us that their information was incorrect and that the number of £4 vouchers sold was much higher than they had stated.  We have therefore deleted our blog entry.

Monday 30 January 2012

Permit sales down = parking fines up

In our last post, we exposed how sales of visitor vouchers at £4 each have collapsed.  The Council is therefore making much less money from CPZ permit and voucher sales than it had forecast.

But there is one area of parking revenue that is surging.  Parking fines!  Not surprisingly, many people are refusing to pay £4 for what may just be a few minutes of parking.  Barnet Council is now routinely issuing one thousand more parking tickets each week compared with the previous year.

Unbelievably, this financial year Barnet Council has issued more parking tickets than it has sold visitor vouchers!


Thursday 26 January 2012

While we wait for our Court hearing on 8 February, some interesting facts

In the days leading up to our Court hearing on 8 February, we will be posting some of the facts that we have discovered whilst preparing our case.

Fact No 1: Quadrupling the cost of a visitor voucher to £4 has raised little extra money. 
The Council's own "Parking Recovery Plan" acknowledges that there have been "high levels of resistance" to the CPZ charges. You bet there has!  Papers published by the Council just last week reveal the extent of this resistance:

Visitor Vouchers sold in 2010/11: 298,506  i.e  £298,506 of revenue
Visitor vouchers sold 2011/12 to date (9.5 months): 79,200  i.e. £316,800 of revenue

In a few days time we will reveal what has happened to the number of parking tickets issued by Barnet.

Friday 6 January 2012

Important News!

Happy New Year to all our supporters. 

We have two important pieces of news to report.

Date of Court hearing: Wednesday 8th February 2012  

There will be a vital court hearing in the legal action against Barnet Council on Wednesday 8th February.  We will be asking the High Court to give David Attfield permission to take his claim against Barnet to trial.  We must win this hearing if the action is to proceed.

The hearing will be at the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London WC2 and David will be represented by Martin Westgate QC.   This is a public hearing and we hope that as many of you as possible will wish to attend in order to convey to the judge what the strength of feeling is.  Unfortunately we won't know the time of the hearing until the day before.  It is likely to last 1.5 to 2 hours.  If you are interested in attending, please email us at and we will let you know the time as soon as it is known.

CPZ charges are to increase again! 

Barnet are planning to increase the cost of a resident's permit to £105 (up from £100).  Visitor vouchers will soon cost £50 for 12 (meaning each voucher will cost an absolutely absurd £4.17!).  Other CPZ charges are also increasing: A permit for a second car will cost £130.  Pity anyone who needs a three month temporary permit which will now cost £252!  If you need a parking suspension outside your home, the cost will be an eye watering £63 per space per day.

You can let the council know what you think of these proposals by emailing
Please do this as soon as possible as the consultation about these increases ends on 20 January. Full details of the consultation can be found at this link (the new CPZ charges are on page 9 of the last attachment):

You may also want to put your views direct to the people who really matter:  You can email Councillor Brian Coleman (the cabinet member putting forward these proposals) at The email address of the council leader (Richard Cornelius) is

You could also tell your MP about how you are being treated by the council.
Mike Freer MP:
Theresa Villiers MP:

Finally, email addresses for all Barnet Councillors can be found here: