A woman has been fined £175 for not paying tolls in the Tyne Tunnel – despite never being north of the Thames.
Julie Barnett feels confused after receiving the Unpaid Charge Notice – despite being 323 miles from home on the Isle of Sheppey, in Kent.
The 62-year-old explained that although she had “heard of Ant and Dec”, she had “never been to the north side of the Thames” and was mistakenly fined.
She claims she’s never even seen the Tyne Tunnel and “had to google where it was” after receiving a hefty bill in the mail.
The tunnel’s system has been plagued by complaints in recent months after bosses switched to cashless payments.
Motorists have to pay £1.90 to cross the street at midnight the next day via a digital transaction once the toll booths are removed.
The mother-of-two described her battle with the TT2 tunnel operator as “very intense”, adding that they “make money easily, but it’s not easy to relate to them.”
But the eagle-eyed Julie realized that the camera appeared to misread the U on the number plate as an O, leading to the confusion of the car driver receiving the fine.
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After explaining the mistake to TT2 on December 10, she was assured that the fine would be rescinded.
But then she gets a final payment notice the following month, asking her to spend all the unpaid cash.
Julie wrote to the company again to explain their mistake but never received a reply – seeing debt collectors send her threatening letters.
The 62-year-old has now been sent an enforcement notice explaining she owes a whopping £176.90, although Julie insists she has never even been to Newcastle.
Those who refuse to pay the Tyne Tunnel fee will face a £60 fine, which will then rise to £100, on top of the initial toll fee and other administrative costs if not resolved within 28 days .
Frustrated Julie told The Sun: “I wrote to them in December to say this is not my car because the only way to contact TT2 is to write to them.
“The one in the picture has a different-shaped license plate from mine and if you look closely you can see it’s a different registration.
“I don’t know about tunnels, but I’ve heard of Ant and Dec – though I don’t know which tunnel it is,” she joked.
“They apologized to me but then I got the last payment reminder in January. I wrote back to TT2 but this time got no response.
I don’t think I’ll be making my way north any time soon – quite the contrary!
“I thought it was worked out and they forgot about me, but next thing you know I got a coercive notice telling me I owe a lot of money – £176.90.
“It’s all pretty miserable. It’s just an inconvenience because each time I have to write letters and the debt grows.
“It’s also a bit confusing.
“And I don’t think I’ll be hitting the road north any time soon – quite the contrary!”
A TT2 spokesperson confirmed two unpaid toll notifications related to her vehicle on their system.
They said one case was dropped in December and another was moved up to enforcement levels.
But now they got rid of the unpaid payment following Julie’s protests.
However, as she has now brought this to our attention, we are pleased to confirm that we have canceled the second UTCN.
“TT2 will always try to work with our customers to resolve any issues like this.”
https://www.thesun.ie/motors/8479364/fine-tyne-tunnel-never-been-north-of-thames/ I was fined £175 for the Tyne Tunnel… but I’ve never even been north of the Thames