Bailiff’s letters issued from Birmingham CAZ accused of clerical error

image caption, Birmingham City Council has since waived the charges as a goodwill gesture

  • Author, Shannen Headley
  • Role, BBC News West Midlands

An elderly man has received letters to the bailiff over unpaid clean air zone penalty notices due to a typographical error.

Bryce Jennings, 79, thought he had correctly paid the £8 daily charge to enter Birmingham’s low-emissions zone and therefore failed to pay his fines.

The city council instructed a debt collection firm to collect the debt from the 79-year-old four months later – with a new total of more than £1,000.

The council has since agreed to waive the enforcement charges as a goodwill gesture after the BBC’s intervention uncovered a typographical error in the car’s registration.

Mr Jennings, a retired worker, entered Birmingham’s low emission zone several times in December 2023 and paid the £8 daily fee for each visit within 48 hours.

When he received four £120 penalty notices from the council for December 8, 18, 20 and 21, his son Victor Jennings contacted the council’s CAZ helpline to let them know he had paid.

Subsequently, the Board referred Jacobs Enforcement to collect the debt, which was growing.

The Erdington resident received the bailiffs’ letters between April 29 and May 1 and was shocked to see the cost rise to £1,056 in total.

When the BBC contacted the council to investigate the matter, its parking enforcement team discovered that Mr Jennings had made a letter mistake when entering his number plate on the payment form.

Birmingham City Council has agreed to waive enforcement fees as a gesture of goodwill for the family.

His son said: “We are so relieved that everything has been put right and we want to thank the council.”

image source, Family sheet

image caption, Bryce Jennings received four bailiff letters four months after his visit to the city

A council spokesman said it was the responsibility of the registered keeper of the vehicle to ensure “all details, including vehicle registration, are entered correctly during checkout”.