A West London developer received 51 driving fines in one day after he repeatedly drove down a road that was for residents only – leaving him with a £ 6,000 bill. John Barrett, 54, says he earned the charges over a five-month period – but they were all delivered to his door earlier this month on March 10.
He received a message from the shocked wife Lisa, also 54, after more than 50 letters arrived – containing fines of up to £ 6,350. John says that the charges – which cost £ 130 per. time – has been issued because his trips to the gym see him driving up a residential road in Chiswick.
But the father of three claims he has a permit, which allows his Tesla to use the route without penalty – and the fines are issued incorrectly. Annoyed, John says he has had to fire emails corresponding to every letter to the Hounslow Council, which he claims would not accept a general response.
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He said: “It’s ridiculous, no warning or anything. No letter to say you’ve been caught on camera driving on this road, and we do not think you should be. It’s incredible. Think if I was a really vulnerable person, not to mention that my permission allows me to use that road.
“The cost to taxpayers must have been enormous – each message has three screenshots of my car. The time it takes them to print those screenshots and put the letter in the envelope would cost a fortune. All they had to do was put up my registration on their computer and they would see that I had a permit. It has taken so much of my time. “
John says the traffic system in his area has changed rapidly in the last few years, with an increase in only residents’ roads and bike paths. He believes that errors may have occurred because changes were made too quickly and without notice.
John says he was fined seven times last year for driving to the gym, answering each one and explaining that he had a permit – but never heard back. Summarizing the recent situation, he said: “What a waste of money.
“Two out of five people live in poverty here and so many of us are worried about how we’ll 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 to respond to an email.
“It’s insane. What do they do that they need 56 days to write an email? I respond to over 50 emails a day.”
A spokesman for the Hounslow Council said: “Restrictions on access on Hartington Road are designed to reduce through traffic on residential roads and thereby improve air quality and safety for pedestrians and cyclists. Prior to the introduction of the restrictions, over 8000 vehicles passed through this road on an average week, consisting mainly of non-residents.
“Registered vehicles belonging to local residents are prevented from receiving penalty charges by using license plates and addresses, which are checked to validate the exemption. Unfortunately, the leasing company for Mr Barrett’s vehicle had provided incorrect address information, meaning the exemption was not applied and fines “were valid. All charges have been canceled.”
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