Thousands overcharged for traffic fines in Croydon

Penalty Charge Notice. Pic: PA

More than 3000 people in Croydon may have been overcharged for parking and traffic offences because of a problem with “penalty charge notice printing”, according to Croydon Council. 

Croydon Council apologised to residents after a processing blunder affected penalty charge notice (PCN) letters. Residents were fined up to £195 despite not receiving initial notices of traffic offences which would allow them to pay discounted rates or appeal. 

In a report released by the council, it is stated that the issue “is likely to have impacted 3,138 Penalty Charge Notices issued between mid-October and the beginning of December 2023”. 

Donna Lock, 52, told the BBC she and her partner received a letter notifying them of a £195 charge in the first week of January.  

The letter claimed that she had been sent an earlier notice and charged her an increased fee. 

Lock’s partner Colin Hargell, 53, was keen to pay the fee the day afterwards, according to the BBC, in case Royal Mail had lost the initial notice in the post, fearing action from bailiffs. She however thought she would rather the council take her to court. 

Lock recognised that she and Hargell unknowingly broke a traffic regulation order on Alber Road, South Norwood, in November when they went to get her child from school but told the BBC neither she nor her partner received an initial PCN letter.  

She said to the BBC: “Nobody’s contacted us. If there’s a glitch they should have suspended sending the notices.”  

Croydon Council in their report said they are investigating the “potential processing issue” with their PCN process. The council claims they did not become aware of the error until residents received further notice. 

“We apologise for the inconvenience caused and we are working as a priority to identify everyone who has been impacted.

“We will be issuing refunds to those who have already paid and will be in contact with them to arrange this.” 

On Friday, January 26, the Mayor of Croydon Jason Perry tweeted an apology on his X handle promising to provide updates on the ‘software problem’ affecting PCNs as the investigation continues. 

The council urges anyone affected by the issue to contact them, including those who have already paid the PCN fee. 

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