Company director Jonathan Palgrave was stunned to a £60 fine for driving in a bus lane in Sheffield.
For not only has he never been to the city, but the offending vehicle, according to a photograph attached to the penalty charge notice, was one of the council’s own road sweepers, driven by a worker in a fluorescent jacket
Jonathan, aged 32, who lives in Spalding, Lincolnshire, drives a Tiger kit car, and it wasn’t until he checked the picture closer that he realised the number plate of the wagon was one letter out from that of his sports car.
But when Jonathan contacted the council to point out its mistake, he was told he must still go through a statutory complaints procedure before the fine could be overturned.
“It’s just been a bureaucratic nightmare and it makes you wonder if it has happened before,” he said. “It makes you want to know if it’s all automated or if someone looks at what they are actually sending out.
“I think I might write back on the form ‘have a look on the back’ so they look and see their own sweeper. When I first got it I just thought, ‘Oh my God, where have I been?’ I thought I was going to have to pay the fine.
“Then I realised I have never been to Sheffield in my life, let alone driven there. When I turned over the form I just laughed – there was a picture of this huge sweeper just sweeping the kerb. They must have mistaken the E in my car’s registration for the B in the sweepers, that’s the difference – other than them being completely different vehicles of course.
“I’m almost tempted to wait and take this to court and see what they say then. I’ve felt every emotion going – at first I was angry, then confused, and now I can’t help but laugh about it.”