AN ANDOVER resident has been left shocked at being hit with a £100 parking charge after visiting a car wash twice in one day. 

John Jones received the notice after visiting IMO Car Wash at Enham Arch Retail Park in Tuesday, January 19. 

The 72-year-old went to get his red Mazda washed at around 11.30am only to discover the business was closed, before exiting the retail park car park.

He later returned to the car wash at around 4.30pm, after noticing a Facebook post which said it was open.

Andover Advertiser: John Jones with the parking charge

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Upon returning from a holiday later in the month, Mr Jones discovered a £100 bill from Total Parking Solutions, which claimed that his car had remained in the retail park car park for five hours and demanded payment for exceeding the maximum stay time of three hours.

The notice included two images of his car entering and exiting the car park.

After checking the charge online, Mr Jones noticed that the cameras did not record him exiting the car park the first time or entering the second time, with blank images displayed on the website.

The retail park, which includes a number of stores including Next, Halfords, Burger King, B&M and the IMO car wash, recently introduced an ANPR system, meaning number plates are scanned at the entrance and exit of the car park.

Mr Jones said: "The parking charge notice claimed we had parked the car in the retail park for over five hours. At no time on that day in January did we ever park in this car park." 

He continued: "On checking our movements we realised that we had visited this car wash earlier in the day, only to find it closed, probably because of the heavy frost that morning. We then returned later that day, when it re-opened, and used the wash. We paid by credit card, which timestamped the entry time to the car wash." 

Mr Jones said he has appealed the 'erroneous charge' but says he is prepared to go to court if necessary. 

He added: “This is a serious error by Total Parking Solutions. Sky News recently claimed that most people just pay these parking charge claims, thinking they are real parking fines. They are not. They are simply invoices requesting payment for the motorist.”

Total Parking Solutions was contacted for a comment, but it did not respond before the Advertiser went to print.