A driver who was fined for staying 16 minutes too long in a car park has lost a court appeal against the charge.

John Hartog took ParkingEye to court after he was fined £85 for exceeding the three-hour free parking limit at the Boulevard car park in Theobold Street, Borehamwood, last month.

The outraged 69-year-old vowed to fight the fee claiming it was “unreasonable and unenforceable in a court of law”, but his argument was rejected by the parking firm.

He declined to take this up with the Government’s independent appeals service POPLA and the matter was taken to Barnet County Court on Friday, September 6.

But the judge ruled Mr Hartog had committed a “breach of contract” by failing to leave the car park after the required period - though he did reduce the fine to £50.

In a statement, the car parking firm said: “The judgement was awarded in ParkingEye’s favour.

“This included the original £50 charge, plus costs.

“Mr Hartog therefore ended up having to pay far more than the original parking charge and had to attend a court hearing.

“We would advise all motorists who break the terms and conditions to make use of our audited appeals process and then, if needed, POPLA, so that they do not end up needing to pay these additional costs.

“ParkingEye, despite its current success in county courts, does not wish to resolve outstanding parking charges in this manner.”