A motorist who was threatened with legal action, despite paying to park near Mansfield town centre, is warning others to keep hold of their used tickets.
Frances Baker left her Citroen C1 at St Peter’s Retail Park for four hours, paying £3.60 at a rate of 90p an hour.
But the 25-year-old Forest Town resident was then hit with an £80 fine by company ParkingEye Ltd, who monitor the car park with sophisticated number plate recognition CCTV cameras.
And she says misleading signs are to blame, stating that you can buy additional hours for 90p, but fails to state that if you stay beyond three hours, you must pay the 24-hour-stay rate of £12.
She explained: “If the sign was clearer that you would have to pay for 24 hours if you stayed longer than three hours, I would have parked in a much cheaper car park.
“I always save things like parking tickets, and I received a letter saying I did not pay for parking when I did. I was horrified to receive it. When I got the letter it upset me and made me very worried.
“I definitely recommend keeping your tickets for a couple of weeks after as it is the only way you can prove you paid.”
Frances has since refused to pay the fine and has sent a letter to ParkingEye Ltd along with photos of her ticket.
Chad contacted ParkingEye about the parking ticket, and they responded saying: “We understand that mistakes are sometimes made, however, so operate an audited appeals process and encourage people to appeal if they feel there are mitigating circumstances.
Ms Baker used the appeals process and her parking charge notice was cancelled earlier this month.”
The firm said there were a total of 31 parking tariff signs around St Peter’s Retail Park, but did not address queries over whether their signs were clear enough to suggest that three hours was the maximum stay before a 24-hour ticket was required.