Kingsbury family win congestion charge battle after two years

Baliffs called in during dispute over �60 fine

A Kingsbury family who were hit with a hefty congestion zone fine while their car was being repaired at a garage has spent nearly two years fighting for compensation.

After receiving the fine in the post, the confused Sajid family, who live in Church Lane, contacted Tasso Autogas, in Hammersmith.

The garage admitted that their Mercedes had been driven through the congestion zone in June 2009 and promised to pay the �60 fine.

However, another letter was sent to the family – this time tripling the penalty charge to �180.

When the family refused to pay, Transport for London (TfL) called in the bailiffs who threatened to remove their possessions before forcing a bill through the letter box.

Mother-of-five Tasleem Sajid, 35, said her eight-year-old son, Fawaz, was traumatised.

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She said: “I didn’t understand what was going on because I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong.

“My son was terrified. He normally likes to go out exploring but after seeing this he was inside for weeks. It was horrible.”

The family contacted Brent Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB) which wrote to TfL explaining the situation, but Mrs Sajid still had to pay the debt.

However, the family never gave up their compensation fight and a cheque was finally sent from the garage to Mrs Sajid.

Mrs Sajid said: “It is disgusting. My son is still nervous about the situation and remembers it.

“The garage has shown total disregard for us and have not even apologised.”

Brent CAB advisor, Uzma Hussain, helped Mrs Sajid with her case. She said: “It is very satisfying to see a successful outcome.

“However, we should not allow garages to take advantage of vulnerable people and put them and their families through so much inconvenience and distress.”

A spokesman for Tasso Autogas said that on this occasion they would help the client but added: “It states in our terms and conditions we do not cover the cost of petrol and fees.”

According to TfL, fines incurred through the congestion charge are routinely sent to the address of the person who owns the vehicle via the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency).