A mum had to prove she wasn’t have an affair to her husband when a council blunder meant she got someone else’s bus lane fine.
Louise Rowe said her relationship almost fell apart when she got a letter from Manchester Council stating she had driven through a bus gate in the city centre.
It led her husband Michael to believe the mother-of-one was cheating on him as she’d told him she was going to a work party in their home town of Stoke-on-Trent at the time.
Manchester Council was forced to apologize after wrongfully slapping Louise with a fine alleging she had contravened motoring rules on September 25.
The fine caused a "massive" argument between the couple, but it turns out one misplaced digit was to blame for the near separation of the two.
The photographic evidence sent by the council clearly shows the car driven into the bus lane had a number plate beginning FP52 – when Louise’s plate actually starts with FP62, the Manchester Evening News reported.
Louise, 34, who has a seven-year-old son with Michael, said: "This ticket has just ruined everything. I was at work when the ticket came through the post.
"My husband rang me and said ‘where were you on Tuesday when you were supposed to be at the work party?’
"He said ‘you went into Manchester city centre, you were in a bus lane’. It just caused a massive argument.
"He moved out. He went back to his mum’s. It was a really horrific time. I was upset. I had to put so much effort into proving it wasn’t me."
Thankfully, Michael and Louise patched things up after he saw evidence that the council had got the wrong number plate.
But Louise, who is appealing the fine, wants to warn others as the outcome could have been very different.
She added: "He has taken back everything he said. He’s not as paranoid. It could have happened to someone else. Lucky for me I’m in a very loving relationship."
A Manchester City Council spokesman confirmed it had received an appeal from Louise on the grounds thew number plate was misread.
He added: "We will be cancelling the ticket and apologise to Mrs Rowe for this mistake.
"Registration plate recognition errors are fortunately rare, but in cases where this has happened, we urge the affected motorist to appeal and the ticket will be cancelled without hesitation."
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