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8,000 coins? That's just the ticket...

PUBLISHED: 13:48 10 December 2008 | UPDATED: 15:48 25 August 2010

MOTORISTS have never been the most even-tempered bunch, but one has received a lot of attention for being particularly brassed off.

MOTORISTS have never been the most even-tempered bunch, but one has received a lot of attention for being particularly brassed off.

Maggie Gebbett, 63, from Bromley, recently paid an £80 parking ticket in pennies, wheeling all 8,000 coppers into the council offices in a wheelbarrow. The carer was incensed when she was fined after a ticket peeled off her windscreen in hot weather.

In spite of an independent investigator finding in her favour, Bromley council still demanded the money - and Ms Gebbett made sure they got every last penny...

She said: "I just think they have been extremely shabby. I can't believe they have been so cavalier."

However, not as cavalier as neighbouring Bexley, which sent a demand for £571.76 in parking arrears to a blind man, as we revealed last month.

However, Bromley council's counting nightmare may be the tip of the iceberg.

This week, the Times received an irate email from yet another reader outraged by the decision to raise the Dartford Crossing toll by 50 per cent.

Martin Petchey, from Abbey Wood, came up with an ingenious idea to challenge the dramatic price hike - pay in pennies.

"If you do this be sure to be a couple short and to hand over the difference only when asked for the correct amount," suggested our wry freedom fighter.

"If they start weighing the pennies, count them out yourself, one by one. Don't drop any."

Thanks for being so specific, Martin. Only we're not sure how your plan will help congestion.

No doubt if readers start to follow Mr Petchey's lead, the South-east will soon be brought to its knees through congestion.

His other suggestion was to refuse to pay altogether, and drive through the crossing, leaving just your name and address. "Let the tollers sue," he added.

The Times suggests readers skip on the martyrdom and the hours of counting out coppers.

Instead, it might be safer to join our campaign to suspend the toll for a month, to prove it does less to ease congestion than to line the coffers of the Department for Transport.

Visit www.bexleytimes.co.uk for more information.

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