The lawyer known as “Mr Loophole” for his ability to successfully defend people facing motoring charges has criticised the response to unpaid fines by foreign drivers using the Dartford Crossing.
The BBC quotes Nick Freeman as saying the UK is being “soft and stupid” after it emerged more than a million foreign drivers have failed to pay the Dart Charge.
Around 1,160,000 fines – worth about £81m – have been passed to a European debt recovery agency since the charge began nearly three years ago.
The report says Freeman said it sent out a bad message and that figures for how many fines went on to be paid by foreign drivers have not been released by Highways England, which said this could prejudice the effective operation of Dart Charge, but further quotes Freeman as saying, “That means it’s complete nonsense and they’ve recovered nothing.”
It also quotes a Highways England spokesman as saying, “The vast majority of drivers are paying their Dart Charge correctly, and the number of foreign drivers not paying on time makes up less than 1% of total crossings. Non-payment is being followed up fairly and appropriately, using all legal means, both in the UK and abroad.”