A DRIVER was left furious after being slapped with a parking fine despite following the rules.

Ex-police officer Mark Rawstron made two trips to the Orbital Shopping Park – one in the morning just before 10am on his way to work, then another in the evening.

The company which operates the car park, CP Plus, picked up Mark's numberplate on its cameras at either end of the day and ruled he had stayed for nine hours and 44 minutes on August 12.

The car park is free for five hours, then no return within an hour.

Mark was handed a £100 fine, halved to £50 if paid within 14 days – and although it was subsequently waived he was still left out of pocket for an admin fee charged by the hire car company he was using.

Mark, from Greenmeadow, said: “I quite regularly go there to park as I only live a mile away.

"I made two visits that day, breaking none of the car parking rules – hence why they picked my vehicle reg no up twice on the cameras, arriving in the morning and leaving at night.

“I went through the appeals process as I did not break any rules. A guy in the information centre told me this happens all the time so it puts pressure on the staff but he helped me get the charge waived."

Mark, 55, was driving a lease car from Leaseys at the time and the company charged him an admin fee of £18. He agrees the hire company had a right to charge this fee but feels CP Plus is at fault and should cover this cost.

“It’s awful and bordering on criminal they can do this," said Mark. "If there is a car in front of you they won’t always pick you up on the camera.

"It’s a flawed car parking enforcement system. The fact they quashed it tells me they don’t have any proof.

“Thousands of pounds might have been paid out already, specifically by older people who are scared of getting the fine. I said to them check your camera and you will find you’re wrong. It is on them to prove it.

"If I had done it I would put my hands up and pay but I didn’t. It’s a matter of principle having not done their job properly. It’s all a bit unprofessional, really.”

A Group Nexus spokesman on behalf of CP Plus said: “We understand the frustration of the motorist, however this admin charge is a result of the arrangement between himself and the hire car company – he should contact them regarding a refund of the charge that they have made.”

A Leasys spokesman added Mark would be entitled to a refund.

They said: “Please be advised that if any fines have been cancelled in connection to the Leasys vehicle, the agreement holder can send us proof of cancellation and we are able to credit back the £18 admin fee.”