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23rd Mar 2022

Builder get 51 driving fines in single day leaving him with £6k bill

Steve Hopkins

And he had an exemption to use the road!

A builder received 51 driving fines in a single day after he repeatedly drove down a residents-only road – leaving him with a £6,000 bill.

John Barrett says he accrued the charges over a five-month period – but they were all delivered to his door at once earlier this month.

The 54-year-old got a message from shocked wife Lisa, also 54, after the haul arrived – containing fines adding up to £6,350.

John says the charges – which cost £130 a time – have been issued because his trips to the gym see him drive up a residents-only road in Chiswick, west London.

But the dad-of-three claims that he has a permit that allows his Tesla to use the route without penalty – and the fines have been issued incorrectly.

Irritated John says he has had to fire off emails corresponding to each letter to Hounslow Council, who he claims would not accept a blanket response.

“It’s ridiculous, no warning or anything. No letter to say you’ve been caught on camera driving on this road and we don’t think you should be.

“It’s incredible. Imagine if I was someone really vulnerable. Not to mention that my permit allows me to use that road. The cost to the taxpayer must have been massive – each notice has three screenshots of my car.”

John said all if the council had checked his registration they’d see he was permitted to use the road: “The time it takes them to print out those screenshots and put the letter in the envelope would cost a fortune.”

John says the traffic system in his area has changed rapidly in the last couple of years, with a surge in residents-only roads and cycle lanes.

He believes errors may have occurred because changes were made too fast and without warning.

John says he was given seven penalties last year for driving to the gym and replied to each one explaining he had a permit – but never heard back.

He added: “Two in five people are living in poverty here, and so many of us are worried about how to pay the bills at the moment.

“It’s such a stress and it’s not okay to give people no warning, and I have 28 days to pay but they get 56 days just to reply to an email. It’s maddening.”

A Hounslow Council spokesperson said restrictions to access on Hartington Road are “designed to reduce through traffic on residential roads, thereby improving air quality and safety for pedestrians and cyclists”.

The spokesperson said prior to the restrictions, over 8000 vehicles passed through this road on an average week, “consisting of mostly non-residents”.

The spokesperson went on to explain that the lease company for John’s vehicle had provided “incorrect address details meaning the exemption was not applied and penalty charges became valid.

“All charges have been cancelled.”

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