A dad has started covering up his number plate to stop the council wrongly sending him more traffic fines after receiving five tickets as part of a glitch.
Wayne Robson, 50, has so far received at least five tickets for entering a restricted area near West Croydon Station, despite living within an exemption zone.
The London bus driver said he has now “lost count” of how many fines he is contesting and has received another letter threatening further action. So far only one has been cancelled, he said.
Mr Robson, who lives in Hood Close, said he registered his car in mid-August but in September traffic fines started landing on his doormat. So far he has received four, one of which he paid out of fear it would increase.
He lives in one of the Croydon Healthy Neighbourhoods, which drivers face a fine of up to £130 fine for entering which is discounted to £65 if paid within 14 days.
The aim is to reduce cars using side streets as ‘rat runs’.
Mr Robson told My London: “I actually registered, so I thought it was hunky dory and I went for weeks without any problem then suddenly they started coming through.
“They sent out leaflets to say we are exempt so why do they send out fines to an address that is in the exemption zone?”
In recent weeks he has been concealing his number plate as he fears more fines will keep coming through. Mr Robson said: “I’ve started covering my number plate with tape, it is absolutely ridiculous, I’ve got to go that way every day.
“I am still waiting to find out whether I have to pay the fines, I would be absolutely livid if I did.”
And the dad said just registering his car was difficult as the website kept on crashing. He even went to the Croydon Council offices in the hopes of speaking to someone from parking services but was told to email the general address.
He said: “I sent something and I’ve had no response. It is so frustrating.
“I just want to talk to someone. If they draw maps which say people are exempt they shouldn’t be sending fines out to them.
“Now I am having to fight them, we’ve got to go through all this stress to get it cancelled, it would be a massive relief when they cancel them. People shouldn’t be put through this stress.”
Mr Robson does stand the risk of getting himself in legal hot water for concealing his reguistration plates, however.
The UK Government website advises: “Number plates (also known as licence plates) must show your registration number correctly. You cannot rearrange letters or numbers, or alter them so that they’re hard to read.
“You could be fined up to £1,000 and your vehicle will fail its MOT test if you drive with incorrectly displayed number plates.”
Motoring lawyer Nick Freeman, dubbed Mr Loophole for getting celebrity clients off driving offences on legal technicalities, warned that Mr Robson’s move to conceal his number plate was “tantamount to perverting the course of justice”.
Speaking to the Mirror, Mr Freeman said the Croydon man should contact his local council and police about the error and “basically, that’s it”.
“What he can’t do is basically take the law into his own hands and obscure the details of his number plate entirely,” he said.
“It defeats the spirit of the legislation.”
Mr Freeman went on to say that if someone altered a number plate, they would probably be charged with perverting the course of justice, and could receive a custodial prison sentence.
Croydon Council was contacted for comment.