Driver ‘threatened’ by bailiffs who came to collect fine sent to wrong address
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The roll-out of LTN cameras has been previously criticised by motorists with some calling it a “cash cow”. The scheme was rolled out at the beginning of the Covid pandemic as part of the “green transport revolution” orchestrated by the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps.
Despite the backlash, the cameras still remain in place.
And now, another driver has been hit with a staggering fine for driving in an LTN zone despite the penalty notice being sent to the wrong address.
Ava Zoccola, a 20-year-old student from Dulwich, said that she was “antagonised by two men attempting to barge past me and into our home”.
This was despite not knowing that Southwark Council issued a fine five months later.
Ms Zoccola told The Telegraph: “They attempted to barge past me – I had to put my hand out to stop them.
“They also threatened to remove the two vehicles on my driveway without checking whose name they were registered in.
“There was also some appalling comments made – one of them said ‘it’s not our fault you can’t pay your parking fines’ – there was no awareness of the situation whatsoever, really unprofessional, poor conduct.
“It was ridiculous that it even got to that stage.”
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After the ordeal, it turned out that Ms Zoccola’s father, Tony Zocolla,58, was issued with a £65 fine in June 2021 for driving through an LTN zone in Dulwich Village.
He claimed that he made the mistake due to poor signage.
On top of that, the fine was sent to a wrong address.
Documents obtained by The Telegraph showed that the Zoccola family had to pay £278 to Marston Recovery, a bailiff firm sent out by Southwark Council to recover “debt”.
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The fine increased from the original £130 notice due to not being paid for a long time.
Marston Recovery’s notice of enforcement showed that more than £500 was initially sought from Ms Zoccola, while her father was at work.
In the end, Ms Zoccola was given £300 in compensation for the bailiff’s behaviour.
Before receiving the compensation, Ms Zoccola complained to the bailiff firm.
The company wrote back to the 20-year-old to apologise.
Marston Recovery also accepted that “the agent attempted to gain access to your property before our customer was present” and that “the agent should have asked for proof of ownership of the vehicles located at the property before threatening to clamp and remove these”.
A spokesman for Marston Holdings, the parent company of Marston Recovery, said: “The enforcement stage fee was removed during the visit in recognition of the customer’s frustration regarding their address.
“After reviewing Body Worn Video footage of the visit we did not uphold complaints against the enforcement agent’s conduct, but offered a goodwill payment in an effort to resolve the complaint.
“All complainants can have their case reviewed by our Independent Advisory Group, and we have chosen to refer this case to them ourselves.”
Southwark Council claimed that it received two different addresses from the DVLA.
It added that the system is automated.
A DVLA spokesman said it was only a record-keeper and could not explain the error further due to data protection laws.
The Telegraph reported that a DVLA source suggested the former owner of the vehicle may have registered an incorrect address.
Ms Zoccola hit out at the council saying that the mistake “doesn’t make sense”.
She added: “I think the general incompetence of the council really shines through here, we explicitly told them that our address was wrong and therefore requested a response by email and they still managed to respond to us by post.”
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