A SOLDIER was shocked to be handed a £100 parking fine despite only being on a hotel car park for a matter of seconds.

Staff sergeant Rick Boys, of St John’s, Worcester, had driven into the Fownes Hotel car park on City Walls Road, Worcester, to drop off his wife Karen for a training day and returned later to pick her up.

It was a stay which Mr Boys, who was on three weeks leave from his Army Air Corps base in Hampshire, says lasted only seconds. But on New Year’s Eve he received a fine from Parking Eye, the company which manages the car park, claiming that he had stayed for seven hours and 34 minutes.

Pictures taken by the company show the car was not in the same position and Mr Boys has provided evidence, seen by your Worcester News, which proved the car was at a garage and two supermarket car parks during that time. When contacted by your Worcester News, Parking Eye said it would cancel the charge, but 47-year-old Mr Boys is concerned that more people could be caught out and choose to pay up. “Both times it could have been for no longer than 30 seconds, just the time it took to open the door and say goodbye. So it is absolutely ridiculous to say the car was there for more than seven hours.

“It’s farcical beyond comprehension and I’ve lost time with my family gathering evidence and getting the matter sorted out.

“But it worries me that vulnerable people could get caught out by this company and pay up or they have already paid fines.”

Staff at the Fownes Hotel said there are 12 signs, as well as one in reception, warning people of parking restrictions, but did not wish to comment further.

Mr Boys, who has since returned to base, said he was pleased that the ticket was overturned, but added that he hoped they would take steps to ensure it did not happen to anyone else.

“No one would be that silly to park outside the hotel for that amount of time without paying.”