Mr Bates of Icklesham

On 15 January 2018 I emailed Amber Rudd to say:  “I've just paid over £1000 in fines for my daughter who was fined for not paying 4 Dart crossings last summer totalling £10.00.

She was driving a car registered in my name hence I got the fines. We tried to sort it out and paid what we were told was owing (£200 if I remember correctly). It turns out there were 4 more crossings (they said). We called and were told to ignore them because we were up to date and it was 'chaos with the new system' the operator told us. She set up a direct payment option as she crossed regularly so this couldn't happen again. 

We then got notification of fines of £190.50 for each crossing £762.00 in total for 4 £2.50 crossings! We questioned this as we had been told to ignore further warnings. They told us to send appeals on forms TE9s. We did and they were returned as they then said we needed to send TE7s. We did. They were returned as we didn't send TE9s with the TE7s which they need together (they had already had all the forms)!!  We e-mailed them over as instructed. There were 8 forms and a covering letter which was too big for one e-mail so we sent them separately but at the same time. They refused them because they weren't all sent together.(even though their system says it can't take e-mails over a certain size). We sent them hard copy and spoke to them again. They said that on receipt they would register the appeal and this would stop bailiff action. The bailiff turned up on my door on 1st December! 

I have never been so ashamed and embarrassed in my life. I paid him his £235 fee and one of the fines, the minimum he said he could take otherwise he would get the police to obtain entry to my property to recover goods. The appeal letters took 12 days to register on the system. Finally I called again in the New Year and was told the appeal had been registered. A week later I got the letters from the Traffic Enforcement Centre saying appeal refused. It also said we should have been notified why by the Local Authority. No such letter has arrived. 

There was never a chance they would be accepted yet the traffic enforcement centre fobbed us off rather than dealing with it and wasted our time and effort with petty rules and incompetence. I was a Civil Servant working in the Lord Chancellors dept in Westminster for a number of years. Such work would not have been tolerated. 

Our argument was that surely no-one can be convicted of any offence in this country that the authorities are aware they didn't commit? We told them my daughter was driving the car and gave them her name and address. They said the forms would enable us to have the matter transferred in to her name and that she could, as is right and proper (she committed the offence), deal with it? That was never going to happen apparently.”

On 7 March 2018, Mr Bates of Icklesham emailed Amber again to say, “Would you please pass on my thanks to Amber and the rest of the team.  I heard back from Dart Charge and they agreed there were errors in the procedures.  We accepted that the original fines were valid and paid £150.00 in penalties.  They then reimbursed me with the full amount of the escalated fines and the bailiff’s charges.  I doubt this would have happened had Amber not intervened on our behalf.  Many thanks again.”

 

Uploaded: March 2018