bobmc

DART Crossing PCN

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Just received my second PCN for non-payment of the DART crossing toll in late July this year. Yes, I totally forget to pay within 24 hours but realised about 10 days later so I went online and paid the crossing charge. Big mistake.

The following day, a PCN notice arrived together with a letter stating that as it was my 1st offence - if I paid within 14 days the PCN would be cancelled. OK, I thought. I've already paid the charge so that's it, no need to worry about it any more. Until today when the second PCN arrived - and obviously the fine is now over £100.

So I ring the DART payments line and ask them what was going on. Seems that the system cannot only cross-reference payment and toll for the first 24 hours. After that it's just credited against future tolls - even though I had an outstanding charge to pay. Not how the banks would work for sure!

I have to take some blame, I didn't read the letter closely enough - it seems you need to enter the PCN number when making the payment, which of course I couldn't have done when I did pay as the PCN notice had not arrived at that point. So now they tell me I have to appeal online, the appeals process can take 8 weeks but I have only 14 days to pay the fine before the debt is passed to the County Court.

Lessons learnt - don't pay until demand letter arrives and read the documents carefully.

Sorry, rant over but I work in IT and that's a S**t piece of design and logic - someone should be ashamed.

 

 

 

 

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if logic prevails, which of course it probably doesn't, then when you get the County Court summons you could just explain the 8 weeks appeal process and the fee has already been paid, just not allocated correctly by DART ..............  it's just that the DART technology isn't fit for purpose .......  and you being an " expert witness " in this matter

wonder what the Judge ( is it ?) will say ? ........  Life no doubt, 12 years minimum ......  hard labour, building the new crossing at Hoo

Malc ................  sorry i jest here when it could of course become NOT a laughing matter  .........  apologies upfront

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9 hours ago, bobmc said:

 

Sorry, rant over but I work in IT and that's a S**t piece of design and logic - someone should be ashamed.

 

 

 

 

Or somebody in IT got an internal award for producing a system that legally makes a better profit from late payment users!

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I think these pay within 24 hours things are just another way of wringing more £££ out of us. I'm not one of those that complains on behalf of the "poor" motorist but are you honestly telling me they didn't factor in all the people who forget to pay and get a PCN?

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If you accept the idea of toll roads (why does taxation pay for 99.99% of roads but not others - most of which are tunnels and crossings which by their nature are difficult to avoid) then using technology to avoid the need for barriers is a good idea. It's partly why so many people forget to pay because the journey across is a pretty seamless experience. Once upon a time I used the Tyne Tunnel regularly and that wasn't a pleasant experience during rush hour.

If I had just received the PCN I would have paid the fine - couldn't argue, I had forgotten to pay.

It was the offer to accept late payment and then having a system that couldn't recognise and deal with the fact that I had already paid followed by a robotic response from the staff. This clearly wasn't the first time they'd had the same conversation but even then they can't deal with it outside of going to an 'appeals process'.

I'm pretty sure that if it went to court then a Judge would take the view that I'd acted in good faith and that I'd did what most people would do in the circumstances.

Having said that, I'm most likely going to pay the fine and then hope I win my appeal and get a refund - we shall see.

 

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On 9/20/2019 at 9:25 AM, bobmc said:

If you accept the idea of toll roads (why does taxation pay for 99.99% of roads but not others - most of which are tunnels and crossings which by their nature are difficult to avoid) then using technology to avoid the need for barriers is a good idea. It's partly why so many people forget to pay because the journey across is a pretty seamless experience. Once upon a time I used the Tyne Tunnel regularly and that wasn't a pleasant experience during rush hour.

If I had just received the PCN I would have paid the fine - couldn't argue, I had forgotten to pay.

It was the offer to accept late payment and then having a system that couldn't recognise and deal with the fact that I had already paid followed by a robotic response from the staff. This clearly wasn't the first time they'd had the same conversation but even then they can't deal with it outside of going to an 'appeals process'.

I'm pretty sure that if it went to court then a Judge would take the view that I'd acted in good faith and that I'd did what most people would do in the circumstances.

Having said that, I'm most likely going to pay the fine and then hope I win my appeal and get a refund - we shall see.

 

What happened? 

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mea culpa, I should have updated the topic 😳

We had a happy ending, an appeal was submitted and upheld 

 

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I bought my Lexus and drove it home over Dartford Bridge?

Duly added new vehicle to my existing account that night.

They would have fined me if I had not called them three days later to say no fee had been taken from my account.

Turns out you have to register a vehicle BEFORE you use crossing, not AFTER.

They graciously forgave me but said never do it again!

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