Earlier this morning, Southend News Network was contacted by a member of the public to say that they had been arrested at the Dartford Crossing for playing the explicit version of our Christmas song Dartford Tolls loudly with his windows wound down.
The expletive-filled protest song is clearly a protest at the horrendous conditions faced by motorists every single day at the Thames crossing bridge and tunnel known as the A282, but nonetheless it is also a legal one in our opinion!
At first we were naturally sceptical about this report, but we have now seen a copy of the fixed penalty notice for £80 that was issued to the motorist involved for what has been described as a ‘breach of the peace.’ According to his version of events, he was penalised for playing a number of highly offensive swear words in public that could have caused undue distress or upset to other people.
We are going to protect the name of the motorist involved as he has made it clear that he just wants to put the whole incident behind him, but we feel strongly that there are ‘political’ reasons behind this motorist’s arrest and subsequent fining because it is now clear that a number of senior officials at the Dartford Crossing have taken exception to our song.
He has gratefully accepted our offer to reimburse him for the £80 fine, and furthermore we have put him in touch with a number of professionals whom he can contact should he wish to take a complaint further.
It was made clear to him at the time that he could have chosen to loudly play the ‘clean’ version of Dartford Tolls to get his message across, but surely he has a right to choose which song he should play? Just spend a few minutes on Southend Seafront on a Saturday night and you will hear far worse offenders roaring along at 18 mph in some battered old Cosworth!