eflow And I, Here We Go Again

Well here we go again, into battle with eflow, the ever beloved agent of the Road Transport Authority, given wholehearted permission to come the bully on all who use the M50 motorway, which takes traffic north and south of Dublin on its industrial west side.  Some five years ago eflow again very, very quickly drew the battle lines when Helen and myself on a trip to Dublin used the toll, which we rarely do.  The following day Helen paid the toll, we had the bank statement as back-up.  eflow said we had not paid and so developed a long campaign ending up with me facing a bill for 5,000 euro or six months in prison and horror upon horror, a mention in Stubbs Gazette.  After a while longer they transferred the cudgel to a fudger and some son of a monkey, who ran a firm of legal chaps in at the back of John B’s pub in Listowel, Pierce and Fitzgibbon by name.  They carried on for a while until there headed paper ran out and they then agreed that I had paid, no apologies, nothing.  But that is the style of a bully.

Well this time round and it was sometime round 1st February 2014, we were returning from England, both of us very poorly with flu.  So poorly we hired a cabin on that afternoon sailing and went straight to bed.  I was so bad, Helen was driving and instead of going along the quays in Dublin and onto the N4, she made a wrong turn coming out of the docks and we ended up going through the tunnel and onto the M50 and the toll.  We eventually got home and straight to bed where we remained for three or four days, getting up only for emergencies.  In fact it served a purpose in that I lost all the weight I had put on in Manchester, so low was my consumption in those following days.  Recovered by the 6th or 7th February we forgot all about the toll payment until a couple of weeks later when Helen remembered and sent off the toll.  Lo and behold at roughly the same time we received a letter from eflow to say that we had not paid the toll of 3.10 euros and that there was now a penalty charge of 3.00 euro making our bill 6.00 euro.  Helen ignored this penalty charge as she had paid the toll albeit late and illness had prevented us from being punctual

A few weeks later whilst we were in Aberdeen, we received another letter from eflow to say that because we had not paid our original toll and the penalty of 3.oo euro, we now owed an additional penalty of 41.00 euro, bringing the total bill now to 47.10 euro.  This demand dated 20th February and which we did not get until 2nd March 2014 on our return gave us 56 days to pay otherwise they will slap an additional charge of 102.50 euros on us bringing the bill to 149.60 euro.  The sums are mounting but it is all computer driven and we will not write to a computer.  We will wait until we have a person to write to, if there is such an animal in eflow.

On the back of this latest demand eflow sets out our perfidious road to ignominy.  It says that the 2007 Road Act tells every vehicle passing through the toll that they have to pay the appropriate toll.  Section 64(8) of the Act says that a person who is liable to pay and fails is guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine of 5,000 euro or six months in prison.  Well that is OK for the toll dodgers but we have paid.

It says that I, as the registered owner who has entered an agreement in respect of paying tolls, am liable.  I accept their logic but I do not remember entering any agreement with anybody.  Without all of that to actually only give somebody less than 24 hours to pay before penalties apply is rather draconian.  There are any number of reasons why a driver cannot pay immediately.  The penalty payment is an ass and as far as I can judge, not applicable.

All I can now do is wait and accept my fate but I am sure there must be another blog or two in this story before it is finished.  If I could choose, my prison of choice would be Castlereagh, it is the handiest but I leave it entirely to the authorities.  What it does show is how the government, through its agents, are beginning to think that the people should respond to their wishes, whereas in a true democracy it is the government who should respond to the will of the people.  It also reminds me of the birth of the Antipodean nations, many a starving country boy was sent out there for life for stealing a loaf of bread.  Has anything changed in 300 years?

2 thoughts on “eflow And I, Here We Go Again

  1. Here in Australia a foolish man ignored a large number of parking tickets. The local government sold his debt to Debt Collectors. He was on TV last week crying about the amount he now owes. With extra charges and interest his bill is 24,000 dollars, about 16,000 Pounds. All in less than 2 years. Sadly for him he got little sympathy from the audience.

    1. Yes Ken, but the difference between me and the Aussie fellow is I have paid my toll, the argument is over the legality of the penalty.

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