Paying my Dartford Crossing fine has turned into a French farce

I read in regards to the volume of unpaid fees for the Dartford Crossing since the robotic voice was introduced. My experience may provide one explanation.

I crossed walking on the place to find France. I couldn’t funds Dart Charge within the “midnight a single day after” deadline because I didn’t have online en route.

I was told I could possibly not pay back the charge, and the late-payment fine, until I had created received a penalty notice. I have got written Far seeking to pay the fine. The response is always that I can pay only against a penalty notice. Which has not been issued. As soon as i escalated it to the Highways Department I was told there’s no law saying for how long there ought to be between an offence along with a penalty notice being raised. At many point, I’d been advised to consult Euro Parking Collection, which collects fines from foreign-registered cars.

However, to help make contact you want a case number, you only get each time a penalty notice is disseminated!

It’s like Yes Minister.

MS, Marthon, France

The Dartford Crossing, which spans the Thames between Kent and Essex, could be the busiest stretch of road in great britain and the other of just two major toll systems to become fully automated.

In 2017 it earned Highways England 207.4m, 45% of your in fines. The figure could have been higher but 42.4m in fines needed to be written off as non recoverable.

It’s clear to see why those brand new to the location would struggle to pay. Signs merely invite drivers to fork out online without giving a web page or mobile phone number. That presupposes that all motorist has ready access to the internet. Because route is a major link to the Continent so many travellers, among lengthy journeys, would need a smartphone to cover until the deadline. You have the substitute for prepay but you’d need to find out before hand which a charge was applicable, which many don’t.

MS’s experience shows the absurdity from the system and a farce I’ve covered before.

Only after i contacted Highways England’s press office did wise practice prevail. It says: “We make an effort to issue all penalty charge notices once you perhaps associated with a contravention. This example was better complicated because drives a foreign-registered vehicle, but clearly the service he received fell in the standard we expect and now we apologise for this.” There is now permitted you to cash 2.50 crossing fee without having the fine.

WB of Matlock, Derbyshire paid his Dart Charge promptly throughout a ferry to France, but nevertheless received a great. “I was told i really should have paid 3 whilst the system only charged me 2.50,” he writes. “I duly paid the added 50p and was sent an apology assuring me I did paid the right sum. When i received a message stating my request to cancel the penalty charge had been rejected. I replied and received another apology and assurance than a request was created for the charge for being cancelled. Next came a ‘charge certificate’ to suggest that, as no representation has been received, the charge notice was increased to 105 and also a road user handle of 3.”

Again, not until the Observer waded in did Highways England acknowledge it had misclassified WB’s modified Transit van, apologised “unreservedly” and cancelled the PCN.

If you need assistance email Anna Tims at [email protected] or email Your Problems, The Observer, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Feature an address and phone number. Submission and publication subject to our terms and conditions


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