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New money-raking 'scam' developing

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Highways Agency and their contractors sending 'enforceable' invoices to people who are breaking down on the motorway for 'damages'.


It's been on MoneyBox.


It's quite disgraceful because the one company ("A1 plus" as it was called) is owned by a number of companies but all enquiries have to go to the HA who won't comment.


There is no warning, no justification for the rate of the charges - eg one woman is fighting a bill for £320 for a bit of petrol leakage which the AA has challenged as being unreasonable because the company (under the banner of the HA) turned up, sprinkled a bit of 'white powder' on the road and left a few minutes later.


It's reckoned that this is going to be another money-raking '[problem]' (my choice of the word) which is, at the moment, enforceable and unchallengeable!


The driver cannot dispute it, cannot challenge the alleged costs, and has no idea it's going to be charged until they get the bill. Not covered in many instances by car insurance either.


So, if someone breaks down on a motorway, they need to take photos of the car, the road, any attending vehicle etc to fight subsequent claims that there was 'damage' to the motorway.

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Yes, I suppose that this is another "civil recovery" money-making scheme.


If anyone has any experience of this - and especially examples of the documents, please let us have a look at them.

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The problem is:


1) you cannot contact the company which sends the bill (which surely has to be wrong) because the point of contact is the HA.


2) the HA then say the breakdown is correct and by law, they are allowed to recover any costs of 'damages' to the motorways


3) the point was made on Moneybox (I think by the AA guy) that there are no comparisons to challenge the amounts charged. So, if the company say it cost eg £120 just to supply and put down the white powder, there are no other comparisons to say that this is excessive.



Moneybox contacted the HA and got nowhere. The first consumer who was sent a bill of over £300 did get an offer from the HA to reduce it by about £100, which shows that there has to have been an overcharge in some way, but the fact remains that customer was unaware that there would be a charge for anything at all and that she had no way to defend herself with evidence of the non-damage.


But at the moment, it's looking like there are going to have to be some serious battles before this latest "money-making" rip-off can be properly challenged.

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Are the bills the issued to the owner (like an insurance bill for an ambulance) or to whoever was driving?


If the motorway was damaged it would be the person driving who they would have to chase, so unless new legislation has sneaked under the radar making the registered keeper responsible, then their going to have to identify the driver first.


I am sure creative avoidance at least equal to the magnitude of money-grabbing is likely to start appearing!

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