Almost TWO years after having an accident, a motorcyclist who spent two weeks in intensive care after suffering severe head injuries, has been sent a bill for £505.34….. for the use of 16 road cones, 4 road closure signs, 7 sandbags and 4 diversion signs!
The bill, received by Alex Hall, was sent by the council using ‘discretionary powers’ apparently granted under the Highways Act. Mr Hall who pleaded guilty to careless driving after the accident had already paid a fine of £140, plus costs which INCLUDED £240 for clean up and recovery! He also received 5 points on his licence.
While the council claims it is standard practice to recover these costs, the Institute of Advanced Motorists says it has never come across it.
A Devon County Council spokesman said:
“It’s not the first time we’ve recovered costs of remedial work from a motorist. Councils are entitled to recover the costs of remedial works from any person responsible for damage, spillage or debris on the highway. This is in accordance with the Highways Act 1980.
Apparently the council notified Mr. Hall in September 2008 that there would be a charge for the use of the signs, etc., and the invoice was sent out in December. Is it just me or is that an excessively long wait by the council?
Mr. Hall said of the unexpected bill:
“I can’t quite believe it. I thought all the expenses I’d already paid two years ago would mean an end to this horrid ordeal.
“It is a ridiculous saga and it’s causing me further trauma . . . £505 is a huge amount of money for me. I have just recently finished an apprenticeship in aircraft engineering and I’ve not been earning much money, so to me every penny counts.”
The cost of the use of the claim is not covered under Mr. Halls Insurance and he is reluctantly agreeing to pay the bill off in instalments.
If anyone else has had this happen please add a comment, as it is not something I’ve heard of before..