Cruiser gets fined £1 on way to ship - no joke, serious on many levelsA cruiser has informed us, and shown us a letter which is a FINE for driving to Southampton.
Driving to Alternative Cruise Parking the sat nav took them through a small village - and they were fined £1 !
FACT - The sat nav took the driver through a small village on the way to the cruise parking. The village is called Eling. Eling has a small bridge that you need to cross.
OUR RESEARCH SHOWS - Quoting from the web page of David Harrison the County, District & Town Councillor . "The first historical mention of a toll being charged for use of the Eling toll bridge dates back to the 1700’s following a reconstruction of the mill and bridge during a major flood. The charge then was sixpence for a four wheeled carriage. Today, it costs a £1 to drive a car across the bridge."
But he claims that it is being challenged. Click here for his page.
The challenge is probably from someone's huge annoyance at the way they are conducting themselves, but they are using an old law to crush them because you can't take them to court for what is probably annoying a huge number of cruisers. Let's find out more....
Let us suggest it would not take much to make this a properly sign posted toll bridge that does not upset anyone, or employ a toll collector who made himself known and collected money rather than registrations. Please note David Harrison.
So why do they wish to do it the way they do, is it because they make more money in fines than they can from Tolls ??? Just asking.... you can make up your own minds.
The sign is not an official road sign for a toll and cannot be expected to be read by someone driving a car because they are required to look at and read the road signs that are officially there and make no reference to a toll bridge.
Let me show you a few well
established signs for a toll bridge.
The left has a large sign, and a price. Up at eye level, and a gate.
The right is a UK road sign, up at eye level. where you are supposed to look.
Now let is show you the bridge in question that cruisers are complaining to us about. The only permanent notices relating to the toll are white boards that look like signs for selling fishing bait in what looks like an abandoned railway hut.
The temporary sign on the floor may or may not be there when you pass, and we are told may not have been there, was not seen there. The man in the toll hut appears to have pen and paper to make a note of your registration but is not required to show himself as an officer and bring attention to why he is there, if he intact was and I guess he is not covered for his comfort breaks and it is not 24hours.
So, if Mr Toll Collector is there, why does he not collect the Toll? Why is there no proper road sign on the post with other signs relating to the bridge?
Why does the council send a £1 fine in the post. Is this a money making scheme in ship's, sorry I mean sheep's clothing?
We did some digging and it appears that many people do not take this for a toll bridge, or the money collector as being present. So what is going on?
Explanation of the madness as presentedWe are told .... allegedly, that it appears that some local councils in some places, not necessarily here, now have the power to process their own court papers, and it appears that having done that well for some years and got away with it, they can now fine you for anything, and then act for the court to do court paperwork and the court that never saw the paper fines you. It appears no judge may ever see any of this. In other words it appears, possibly, that within councils, eager 'legally untrained' school leavers are left to process the paperwork on behalf of the courts. So a council appears to become 'court and jury' on matters of rate or rent arrears and anything they now wish including tolls - because a system is established .... and although it appears councils often are wrong with the rent and rate claims, and they need to be challenged, they often state that 'no correspondence will be entered into', and 'the fine has to be paid within 7 days.'
So, not that that is the case here, but just take a look at the madness. They could put up a proper sign. But forget the sign, let us look at their letter which we were allowed to see but not show you.
The letter we have been shown from Totton and Eling Council states, '.... having driven over the Eling Toll Bridge at ...... time and date ..... without paying the clearly marked fee".
Now, pardon my English, but they claim it has a clearly marked fee. They do not say in the letter that it is a clearly marked toll bridge nor that it is clearly marked that a driver should stop and pay a toll. Because one would have to define clearly under the terms of the Highway code, there is no other judgement to road signs.
They do not claim to have a proper toll road sign clearly marking it as a toll bridge because they don't. See the pictures.
But the opportunity is there because there is a road sign post relating to the bridge.
There is a post there and on the post the information a driver is required to read is that the bridge has a weight limit of 2 tonnes and a width restriction of 6ft6". That is where the driver's eye line is required to be taken. That legal post says nothing about a Toll.
Also, this bridge that has allegedly been a toll bridge since the 1700's has not given such information to the sat nav companies like other toll bridges.
The council then go on to say, in the letter which was clearly 'printed and posted', and done so because they are obviously in possession of some vehicle number plate identification. If it is the man, why did he not wave the car to pay rather than detail it for a fine?
The letter goes on to say, that 'if they have to recover the £1 in the county court the council (small letters intended) will wish to recover the £45 Court fee plus the reasonable administrative costs in taking this matter to court'.
The letter then states that no further correspondence will be entered into relating to this matter and the £1 has to be paid in seven days.
Just taking the last line on board, if any cruise driver wanted to claim the council were deficient or in the wrong, the Council are clearly saying that this will not entertain this. They infer that the matter will just get court papered, and my guess is it would go no where near a judge ... and the fine issued. That could be classed as both bullying and a threat.
Is this a clear example of April Fool at Midsomer Murders?
In a country that claims its wealth is earned from financial services, moving paper around and figures around, it appears that everyone is at it, even local councils. (who though broke all lost millions in the Icelandic Bank Crash).
So, if driving through Eling, look out for this toll both, please report to us if the signs have been improved or the toll collector is actively doing his or her job. And Mr david Harrison, feel free to answer.
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