Published: 00:01, 23 September 2017 |
Updated: 09:51, 23 September 2017
Tina Appleton, 58, was furious when she got with what she thought was an incorrectly issued penalty notice by Dart Charge, which stemmed from a trip to Tilbury, Essex, to see friends five months ago.
She said she was prepared to go to prison instead of paying the fine, insisting she had paid the £2.50 fee before travelling from her home in Elm Avenue, Chatham, on Saturday, March 25.
As of last week she was facing a fine of almost 80 times that amount.
Mrs Appleton said: “I paid for one crossing because I knew we weren’t coming back until the early hours of the morning.
"But then I got a letter saying I had to pay £2.50, so I phoned them and said I had already paid and that it had come out of my bank balance.
“I sent them a copy of my bank statement by post but I kept getting letters telling me to pay.”
By Tuesday, April 18, the requested amount was £72.50, a month later it was up to £107.50, and it now stands at £190.50.
In all that time, Mrs Appleton was asked to send proof of her payment no less than five times – once by post, once via email, and three times via an online form, all of which she did.
Despite that, she continued to receive letters insisting she has not paid for the journey and must pay the increasingly large fine.
She described her communication with people at Dart Charge as “intimidating” and said it was like talking to robots.
The Dartford Messenger contacted Highways England about the dispute, after which it emerged the fine had been issued because Mrs Appleton had entered her car registration number incorrectly on the Dart Charge website.
A spokesman acknowledged the issue should have been picked up sooner and said Mrs Appleton’s fine had been cancelled as there had been a “clear genuine attempt to pay”.
They added people should make sure they double check all their details when paying their Dart Charge to ensure similar disputes do not emerge.
From academic achievements to engineering accolades and new facilities, Kent College offers students an outstanding school life.
Enter this month’s competition and you could win a luxurious return crossing!Sponsored editorial
There's no uniform or bells and students and staff are on first name terms. School life at Rochester Independent College is unique.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
Your No1 guide to getting married in Kent. From dresses to discos and venues to veils, we've got everything you could possibly need for your big day
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating!
PLUS, register for free!.
Read our pick of the best holiday destinations. Whether its a weekend break, or something a little bit longer, we have reviewed a wide range of holidays.