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FightBack Forums > Queries > Council Tickets & Clamping and Decriminalised Notices
NIP Details and Circumstances
What is the name of the Constabulary? -
Date of the offence: - October 2017
Date of the NIP: - 19 days after the offence
Date you received the NIP: - 20 days after the offence
Location of offence (exact location as it appears on the NIP: important): - Mersey Gateway Bridge Northbound
Was the NIP addressed to you? - Yes
Was the NIP sent by first class post, second class or recorded delivery? - First
If your are not the Registered Keeper, what is your relationship to the vehicle? - N/A
How many current points do you have? - 3
Provide a description of events (if you know what happened) telling us as much about the incident as possible - some things that may seem trivial to you may be important, so don't leave anything out. Please do not post personal details for obvious reasons - My Sat Nav diverted me off the M56 E near Chester during extremely heavy traffic (following an accident further down) and ultimately took me over the Mersey Gateway Bridge, and through Warrington to get home (Wigan). It seemed like a good idea so I went with it.

*Whilst crossing the bridge*

I remember seeing signs that had wording similar to "toll road beyond this point" whilst driving; this made me think about the price etc. and I thought "oh well, I'm here now" so I was happy to pay. But no toll booth ever came, within a few minutes I was back on 'normal' carriageways and was away on my journey. This made me think that in fact I hadn't been on a toll road, and maybe that sign was for one of the other lanes. It had to be, there was no toll booth, right? Life carries on...

3 weeks later I receive a PCN for £40 (+£2 for the unpaid toll) from Halton Borough Council saying I had failed to pay a toll! It turns out I was meant to have logged on to by midnight the following day and paid the toll. I'm gobsmacked. I've never heard of this type of toll, had no idea I was supposed to go on the internet and pay it, had no idea of timeline of payment, the list goes on.

How on earth was I 'reasonably' expected to know the course of action I was meant to take after crossing the bridge? Is it on some sort of sign that I'm meant to read whilst travelling on the bridge at 50-60 mph?

Is it reasonable to contest, or will they say 'innocence and ignorance is not an excuse'?

NIP Wizard Responses
These were the responses used by the Wizard to arrive at its recommendation:
Have you received a NIP? - Yes
Are you the Registered Keeper of the vehicle concerned (is your name and address on the V5/V5C)? - Yes
Did the first NIP arrive within 14 days? - No
Was there a valid reason for the NIP's late arrival? - Unsure
Although you are the Registered Keeper, were you also the keeper of the vehicle concerned (the person normally responsible for it) at the time of the alleged offence? - Yes
Were you driving? - Yes
Which country did the alleged offence take place in? - England

NIP Wizard Recommendation
Based on these responses the Wizard suggested that this course of action should be considered:
  • The law requires you to provide the information requested in the Section 172 notice within the 28 day period, naming yourself as the driver. If you are considering obtaining formal legal advice, do so before returning the notice.

    You should note that there is nothing to be gained by responding any earlier than you have to at any stage of the process. You are likely to receive a Conditional Offer of a Fixed Penalty (COFP) and further reminder(s). If you want to continue the fight, you should ignore all correspondence from the police until you receive a summons. You need to understand from the outset that while you will receive much help and support from members on the forums, you will need to put time and effort into fighting your case and ultimately be prepared to stand up in court to defend yourself.

Generated by the PePiPoo NIP Wizard v3.3.2: Wed, 15 Nov 2017 18:24:29 +0000
You don't need the NIP wizard for this - it's not a criminal offence.

There are some current threads on this new toll:
Unfortunately, ignorance of the toll sign and its implications is no excuse, (has it ever been !!). However the other almost identical toll system is on the Dartford Crossing over the Thames near London. Experience on this forum is that the DART management have shown a lot of forbearance with people who have missed paying as they had crossed for the first time and didn't realise they had to pay. However we have no idea what Mersey Gateway are like. They may be treating everybody like "a load of skiving scousers" , but we just don't know. If you phone them up and explain yourself and tell us what transpired it would be a great help as there will no doubt be others posting here on this subject. Whatever you do, though, don't miss the deadline for appealing or paying. This will cause no end of trouble for you.
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