Northampton father, 50, left "angry and embarrassed" by council after bailiffs threaten action at family home over bus lane fine

The man says he paid his £90 bus lane fine in April... but bailiffs were at his door nearly six months later threatening to take his car

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 10:03 am
Updated Thursday, 7th October 2021, 11:56 am

A 50-year-old man from Northampton was left 'embarrassed' in front of his family and neighbours after bailiffs came to his house threatening to take his car over an unpaid bus lane fine.

Abdul Kahar, of Althorp Street in Spring Boroughs, drove in the 24/7 bus lane in St James' Road on February 16, the second day of the bus lane camera going live outside Westbridge Garage.

The father admits he was in the wrong.

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Mr Kahar stood next to the bus lane in St James' Road

However, Mr Kahar says he did not receive a first fine letter which would have allowed him to pay a £60 fine. Instead, he received a second fine letter saying he now owed £90.

The motorist said he paid the £90 fine back in April and believed the matter was dealt with.

But nearly six months later, at the end of September, bailiffs were knocking at his door.

Mr Kahar said: "I was having a shower but my children were in the house. They had no idea who the bailiffs were. As soon as they opened the door the bailiff put his foot in it and told my daughter to get me to come down.

"He told my daughter to get me otherwise they will take stuff from inside the house or take my car.

"I came down and saw my neighbours were staring and I felt so embarrassed.

"They refused to leave without further payment. I paid the £408 bailiff fine on the spot because otherwise they would have taken my car.

"I was shocked to have the bailiffs call at my house demanding payment for a fine I have already paid.

"I want that money back and an apology from the council. Why the hell did they send bailiffs to my house? It's embarrassing.

"I made a mistake, I paid the fine."

Mr Kahar did receive a bailiff letter in the run up to the incident but said he tried to contact the council multiple times to tell them he had paid the £90 fine.

He said: "I phoned the council so many times but they put me on hold or the line cut off. I left a message but had no reply."

Now Mr Kahar is urging this newspaper to campaign to get rid of the bus lane camera.

He said: "It's not only me [affected], it's happening to lots of people. Please campaign to get rid of this camera. It's unfair on people who live in Northampton.

"I want the camera to go so people can undertake cars and not cause traffic congestion.

"Why is the camera next to Westbridge Garage? From Sixfields to St James there is no camera.

"It's a scam."

Labour councillor Enam Haque, who has been supporting Mr Kahar, said: "This is a bad state of affairs. First Mr Kahar had to pay the full cost of the fine because he did not receive the first letter. Then he has had to suffer the humiliation of the bailiffs going to his house.

"Something is going badly wrong at West Northants Council. I'm pursuing this case and I hope that Mr Kahar receives the apology he deserves, and his money back.”

West Northamptonshire Council has been contacted for comment but has refused to comment on the issue at the time of publication.

A WNC spokesman said they "can't really" comment on individual cases and that it is "important people don’t overlook correspondence".

Because Mr Kahar says he paid his his fine on time, this would mean he did not "overlook correspondence".

WNC has made more than half-a-million since the camera went live. This newspaper has asked for an updated figure but is still waiting for a response from the council.

The bus lane enforcement camera's operating times are up for review and could be wound back to between 7am and 9am every day. This is all dependent on the public's feedback.

Click here to have your say.

To appeal your bus lane fine, click here.