Harrow Council was ordered to pay almost £2,000 in legal costs after it wrongly pursued a traffic fine over several years.

On January 8, a court found a parking charge notice (PCN) issued in Station Road, Harrow, on 16 December 2018 had been paid in full, despite the council claiming there was no record of this.

The resident who had been given the PCN had tried to fight the charge, explaining she was not driving the car at the time despite being the registered keeper of the vehicle.

However, the council argued her representations had not been put forward in time and issued a ‘charge certificate’ worth 50 per cent of the initial fine, taking the total payable to £195.

The resident said she reached an “agreement” with the council on April 26, 2019 to pay the £130 fine so she could “be done with it”.

According to her solicitor, Philip Nam, the council did not record this “agreement” and subsequently ordered visits from bailiffs.

This, he explained, caused his client “significant distress and fear”, while the cost of the PCN rose to £383.

The court found in favour of Mr Nam’s argument that the resident in question had reached a compromise with Harrow Council – after “speaking to a human, not an automated machine” – and it had “no right” to proceed to bailiffs.

The council was ordered to pay the resident’s legal costs, totalling £1,922.52.

Mr Nam welcomed the court’s decision but criticised the council’s behaviour, describing the entire process as “a waste of taxpayers’ money” over a £65 fine.

Harrow Council has been contacted for comment.