A father has accused a parking enforcement company of extortion after it fined him for overstaying in a car park when he claims his car was parked ten miles away.
Alan May, 44, has been threatened with court action by firm Parking Eye, which accuses him of staying one hour and twenty minutes over the three-hour free limit at the Boulevard Shopping Centre car park in June.
However the resident of Thirsk Road in Borehamwood claims he did not visit the shopping centre on that day, and his car was parked at his workplace at Asda's home shopping centre in Enfield.
Mr May said Parking Eye sent him a photograph of his white Ford Fiesta showing when he entered and left the car park, which he claims has been fabricated.
He added he had previously been issued fines by the company for overstaying in the car park but he was adamant he had not.
He said: “I was working as a delivery driver for Asda in June, and my car was definitely parked outside my work place on that day while I was dropping off shopping in the van. But because I don’t have any photographic proof my car was there they are refusing to believe me.
“I know the length of stay in the car park and I never stay more than an hour there, there’s not enough to do in Borehamwood town centre to occupy three hours anyway. Parking Eye has photographs of my car from previous visits and I believe they have doctored the pictures to say my car was there when it was not.
“I am definitely not prepared to pay them any money, as this is extortion. This has made me mad and it needs to be stopped.”
Mr May said he was not the only person he knew of who had been “unjustly” fined by Parking Eye.
He added: “I have heard of many people over the years who have been charged for overstaying at this car park when they were adamant that they had not. However they all paid, as they were scared by the fine letters they received.
“I am determined to fight this all the way, even if it means going to court.”
However a spokeswoman from Parking Eye claims Mr May had been in the car park on the day in question and it had issued a court summons because he had not paid or appealed the fine.
The spokeswoman added: “We understand that genuine mistakes are sometimes made. We therefore operate an audited appeals process and encourage people to appeal if they feel there are mitigating circumstances.
"The car park user in this case overstayed the free stay period by an hour and twenty minutes, so was issued with a parking charge notice and as this wasn’t paid or appealed, a county court claim was issued.”