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Angry driver turns the tables on TfL bosses

PUBLISHED: 11:27 06 March 2008 | UPDATED: 14:50 07 September 2010

AN angry motorist fed up of fighting transport bosses over unfair fines in Hampstead Garden Suburb has turned the tables - ticketing them in response

Katie Davies

AN angry motorist fed up of fighting transport bosses over unfair fines in Hampstead Garden Suburb has turned the tables - ticketing them in response.

Jonathan Barr was given two tickets for parking in a loading bay on Market Place despite the fact he was delivering to his office.

After three months of complaints, TfL finally agreed and dropped the fines. However, the struggle to prove his innocence has prompted Mr Barr to serve the transport body with a fine of his own along with a threat to double the amount after 14 days - just as TfL does to penalised drivers.

"I am trying a little bit of reverse psychology and I'm just doing exactly what they do to everyone else," said the estate agent.

"It really galled me that I spent three months fighting this, put together two dossiers on them and then just got a letter saying 'We are delighted to inform you we have rescinded your fines.'

"I got no apology, nor any acknowledgment for all the time, effort and money I had to spend or for the obstacles they put in my way and the ridiculous hoops I've had to jump through. We are guilty until proven innocent on these things and I want to know how Transport for London can claim to have more authority than the law of the land.

"I've worked it out - I've spent around £250 per ticket and I've warned them I will double that to £500 if they don't respond within 14 days and that I will consider using legal proceedings to recover those sums."

The incidents both occurred on a particularly contentious spot in the Suburb. The Market Place bay is for loading, which is exactly what Mr Barr was doing when he was ticketed.

Hundreds of residents have complained about being unfairly fined on the spot because it isn't clearly marked and they think they can park there.

To resolve the problem, the Hampstead Garden Residents Association even put up their own signs in November to warn drivers off. But TfL took them down, saying they were cluttering the lampposts and street furniture.

This week another resident, Terry Rand, from Falloden Way, made a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman about TfL's conduct.

Mr Rand said: "Several people have been fined for parking there, including myself. The fact that TfL took down signs which clarified the issue proves this is just a revenue raising exercise. They want people to park there and they take so long to reply to anything it makes people give up. I hope the Ombudsman takes this up and I think he should."

A Freedom of Information request unearthed that 2,000 tickets were given via CCTV at the spot in just three months - raising potentially £200,000.

Transport for London were unable to comment.

katie.davies@hamhigh.co.uk

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