Man slapped with six fines for driving in Bristol - but he hasn't been there in years

Dave Benson spends his working days driving around the country helping people move house.

He knows the streets of his hometown Blackpool well and is proud of his clean licence despite spending a huge amount of time on the roads, so he was surprised to receive a fine for illegal use of bus lanes.

To add to the confusion, he noticed the penalty notice came from Bristol City Council - somewhere he hasn't been to for at least three years - and showed a white Mercedes rather than his removal truck.

And the letters didn't stop, and soon Dave, 49, had opened six different letters, each with its own £30 fine.

He realised there had been a mistake but he quickly realised correcting it wasn't going to be easy - especially once he came up with a theory as to what caused the mix-up.

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Dave emailed Bristol City Council telling them he believed their camera was in the wrong place, catching an 'N' when it's actually an 'M' in the number plate, but he says they never got back to him.

However the council has told The Mirror this isn't the case and believes his licence plate has been copied.

Speaking to The Mirror, Dave explained: "I first started getting these letters around three months ago. Of course, I was shocked. Also found it humorous, as any idiot can see it's wrong.

Man slapped with six fines for driving in Bristol - but he hasn't been there in years

"After the fourth one I rang the council - the phone number is impossible to find by the way - and the guy told me I had to reply to each one and basically prove it isn't me! I work 90 to 100 hours a week.

"The cameras are clearly in the wrong place causing Ms to look like Ns

"I've ever had anything like this before, got a clean license not even had a parking ticket for years. Dealing with Bristol council is like talking to robots".

He added: "I'd love to track the white Mercedes down. We all know right from wrong, this guy obviously doesn't care or is just oblivious and so shouldn't be on the road."

A spokesperson for Bristol City Council commented: “We have reviewed CCTV and the same number plate as Mr. Benson’s van was picked up on a car using a Bristol bus lane. Therefore, it is possible the number plate has been cloned, which Mr. Benson should report to police.

"We are cancelling all the fines that were issued to Mr. Benson".

According to a RAC report published in January, complaints about cloned registration plates are known to be on the rise.

A total of 1,105 drivers contacted the DVLA back in March 2020 to object to their vehicle being wrongly linked to driving offences, nearly twice as many as the 656 complaints reported in April 2019.

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