Chiswick Man Receives 51 Driving Fines in One Day

Would have faced bill of £6,000 but for exemption

Hartington Road restriction doesn't apply to some local residents


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A man from Chiswick was astonished to find one day that 51 letters had arrived from Hounslow Council asking him to pay penalty charges.

The fines all related to trips 54-year-old John Barrett had taken up Hartington Road to get to his gym over a five month period. The road has been subject to an access restriction since January which means most drivers cannot enter it from the A316. However, Mr Barrett was exempt due to being a local resident, something which he had already notified the council of having received demands for payment of fines previously.

He hadn’t received any further communications from the council after writing back to them earlier about the issue.

A mix up over his address saw the notifications being sent to the wrong address and therefore he didn’t receive them until they all arrived in one batch.

When he challenged the fines, which would have cost him over £6,000 had he been liable to pay, he was told that he should have written a letter to the council requesting exemption.

He is quoted in the Metro newspaper as saying, ‘The cost to the tax payer must have been massive – each notice has three screenshots of my car.

‘The time it takes them to print out those screenshots and put the letter in the envelope would cost a fortune.

‘All they had to do was put my registration into their computer and they’d see I had a permit. This has taken so much of my time.

‘What a waste of money. 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.

Hounslow Council later cancelled all the fines but Mr Barrett called on the council to change its process to ensure lower-income drivers weren’t put in a difficult situation. 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 don’t think you should be. It’s incredible. Imagine if I was someone really vulnerable.’

The council has blamed the company from which Mr Barrett leases his car for providing the wrong address but admitted continuing sending letters to the incorrect address despite being in communication with Mr Barrett by email.

A council spokesperson said, “When the resident emailed in their resident/permit status, a staff member cancelled their PCNs and sent a letter outlining that they needed to apply for their exemption.”

‘However, this letter was yet again sent to the wrong address. Subsequent fines were then issued as they still hadn’t applied for their exemption (as the letter had gone to the wrong address). All fines have now been cancelled.’

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March 23, 2022

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