A motorist is warning others to be careful when parking in a Sutton car park after he received a fine, despite paying for the time he parked.
Jamie Fletcher paid for an hour’s parking at Sutton’s Portland Street car park on July 16, and was given a ticket after entering his car’s registration into the machine.
After spending 45 minutes in Sutton, Mr Fletcher left the car park and drove home.
However, Mr Fletcher was surprised to receive a letter from Smart Parking LTD two weeks later, fining him £60.
“The letter said I had only entered part of my reg number at the machine,” said Mr Fletcher.
“I paid for a full hour, and the machine gave me a ticket so I challenged the fine.”
Smart Parking LTD, who run the car park, decided to uphold the fine, stating Mr Fletcher did not fully enter his registration number.
By the time Mr Fletcher had received the letter informing him of the decision, the fine had increased to £100, which he had to pay.
“I appealed the decision, which seemed harsh as the first four digits of the registration had been recorded,” added Mr Fletcher, who lives on Tomwass Avenue with his partner, Karen Walker.
“It’s disgusting how this company are fining people,”
“It seems like a really harsh punishment to say that I had paid for the time I was parked.
“When I paid for my parking, I entered my registration and hit the OK button, and it issued me with a ticket to display.
“I understand the company have to uphold their rules, but they should look at each case and see if there has been a genuine mistake.
“It’s given me sleepless nights - I struggled to pay my rent after I had to pay the fine.
Mr Fletcher, who is a carer for his disabled partner, says he wants others to be aware of the system before they use the car park.
“I’m not trying to get any money back, I just want to warn others,” he added.
A spokesman for Smart Parking LTD said:“Smart Parking were engaged to manage the car park at Portland Street, Sutton to stop parking abuse, and to make sure motorists can always find somewhere to park.
“There are numerous signs across the car park which clearly explain its terms and conditions of use.
“One of these it that motorists must correctly enter their registration numbers into the ticketing machines so that our ANPR parking management system can recognise their vehicles entering and exiting.
“ In the case of Mr Fletcher he did not do this, and it is important to highlight that our ticketing machines only print tickets once the motorist has confirmed that the details they have entered are correct.
"Smart Parking are members of the British Parking Association (BPA) and we strictly follow its guidelines.
"We operate a BPA audited appeals process, and although Mr Fletcher did appeal, we rejected his appeal as we are clear that he had broken the terms and conditions of use.
"However, any motorist who loses an appeal with us can contact the independent appeals organisation POPLA, and we encourage them to do this.
"Mr Fletcher did contact POPLA who reviewed his case but agreed with us that he was correctly issued with a charge. We now see this matter as closed."