Author Topic: Croydon: Up to 3,000 people overcharged parking and traffic fines by council  (Read 656 times)

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Offline The Bald Eagle

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Croydon: Up to 3,000 people overcharged parking and traffic fines by council

People who believe they may have been affected, including those who have already paid, are being asked to contact the council

By Liz Jackson
BBC News

As many as 3,000 people may have been overcharged for alleged parking and traffic offences due to issues with "penalty charge notice printing".

About 50 residents contacted BBC London after receiving fines of up to £195, despite never receiving initial penalty charge notices (PCNs) stating they could pay a discounted rate or appeal.

Donna Lock, 52, says she and her partner wrongly paid the higher amount after being threatened with bailiffs.

Croydon Council has apologised.

A spokesperson said the council was investigating but the problem affected PCNs issued between mid-October and mid-December 2023.

They said affected PCNs would be "cancelled" and refunds issued "to those who have already paid".

In the first week of January, Ms Lock and her partner Colin Hargell, 53, received a letter notifying Ms Lock of a charge of £195.

The letter claimed she had been sent an earlier PCN, and so charged her an increased fee and threatened action from bailiffs.

'A shock'

Ms Lock concedes the pair unknowingly broke a traffic regulation order on Albert Road, South Norwood, in November, when they had to pick up her special needs child from school after a taxi failed to collect her.

But she says she and her partner "haven't seen" an initial PCN letter.

"It caused a little bit of tension between us... for a couple of days," she explained, adding it came as a shock "especially being just after Christmas".

She added that while Mr Hargell was keen to pay the fee in case Royal Mail had lost the initial PCN in the post, she thought, "let [the council] take me to court then".

He paid it the day afterwards, she said, because he "worried about the bailiffs being there", adding that when she realised others were in the same situation she had felt "aggrieved" they had paid, and now intended to appeal.

"Nobody's contacted us," she said. "If there's a glitch they should have suspended sending the notices."

Others who have contacted BBC London include an elderly man who is concerned he is not able to pay the higher charge, and a woman who says she was wrongly charged altogether after parking outside her home using her own residents' permit.

One resident received a charge certificate saying "the PCN has not been paid" and "£130 is now due"
The woman, who is in her 60s but wishes to remain anonymous, said the situation had "caused loads of stress".

She said when she received a letter two days ago she checked photos that were included to see if a PCN had been attached to her car windscreen, but it had not.

'Daylight robbery'

The woman, who has lived in the borough for 30 years, said she contacted the council telling them: "I live there, this is my permit and it was displayed.

"This is daylight robbery," she said, calling the council "dishonest".

"It's inefficient and incompetent. I have no confidence in them whatsoever," she added.

A council spokesperson said: "We're still investigating, however we have identified a problem with our penalty charge notice printing process that is likely to have impacted 3,138 penalty charge notices issued between mid-October and mid-December 2023.

"This meant that motorists did not receive the first notice of contravention through the post, giving them the opportunity to pay the discounted rate, and only became aware of it once they received a further notice."

The council was "really sorry about this", they said, and "working as a priority to identify everyone who has been impacted".

They added: "Please be assured that any affected penalty charge notices will be cancelled. We will be issuing refunds to those who have already paid and will be in contact with them to arrange this."

People who believe they may have been affected, including those who have already paid a charge, are being asked to get in touch.

The council said people could do this by emailing, or by phoning 0208 726 6000 (select option 1, and dial extension 44056), between 09:00 and 16:00, Monday to Friday."

Offline scalyback

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Well at least they owned up to it, and seem genuine about sorting out those affected.
That's something we don't usually see here.


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