A DISGRUNTLED shopper was given a fine for parking at a Worcester supermarket for a whole day, when she actually visited the store for less than an hour on two separate occasions.

Sue Pate went to the Co-op in St John’s at 9am in the morning to drop her daughter off at work and buy a newspaper. She left 10 minutes later.

The 51-year-old, of Hallow Road, St John’s, then returned at about 5pm to pick her daughter up and do a bit of shopping before leaving at 5.45pm.

Two weeks later, Mrs Pate received a letter and a £45 fine from Parking Eye – a parking enforcement company working for Co-op – saying she had been parked at the supermarket for more than eight hours. The limit is two hours.

Parking Eye uses cameras to record car number plates as they enter and leave the car park to make sure they are not abusing the free parking.

Mrs Pate said she was furious to receive the fine and has questioned the positioning of the enforcement cameras.

The mother-of-one said: “It’s outrageous. I was only in the car park for a short time on both occasions and I bought something in the store both times – I wasn’t abusing the system.

“If there is another car in front of you when you go in and out I don’t think the cameras can see your number plate. Some people will just pay these sorts of fines without appealing.”

Mrs Pate wrote to Parking Eye to protest about the ticket and was initially told her appeal was unsuccessful. She has now sent bank statements to prove she shopped in the store on two separate occasions but has not heard anything back from Parking Eye or Co-op.

She said: “I am a loyal customer and been shopping there for 27 years – if people keep getting tickets they may start going to Sainsbury’s instead.

“They need to move the cameras to make sure the recordings are accurate.”

A spokeswoman for the Co-op blamed the error on poor weather conditions.

She added: “Parking Eye is one of the Co-operative Group’s car park management companies. The extreme weather conditions had resulted in poor visibility. Although additional checks were put in place, regrettably this fine was issued in error.

“We have been informed by our parking management company that the customer contacted them by e-mail. The decision was then made to withdraw the fine. Regrettably, a letter confirming this was not sent then but has now been posted.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”