DOZENS of shoppers claim to have been wrongly issued parking fines at the Five Valleys Centre in Stroud.

A number of angry motorists have taken to social media to complain about the £100 fines, which are reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days. They have had varying degrees of success in appealing against the fines, with some vowing to go to POPLA (Parking on Private Land Appeals).

In many cases drivers say fines were issued weeks afterwards, meaning they had already disposed of their ticket.

They insist they paid and displayed tickets in the correct manner and left within the allocated time.

In November, the Five Valleys Centre introduced a new Automatic Number Plate Recognition system at the car park, as well as contactless methods of payment.

Since then the multi-storey has been managed by Creative Parking Ltd, with customers needing to enter their full registration number into the new pay and display machines, unless paying by phone.

Stroud artist Rachel Pegler is one of those challenging a fine.

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A few days ago she received a £100 penalty notice after using the car park in June.

“I haven’t got the ticket as it was so long ago I’ve thrown it away,” she said.

“I’ve not had any problems previous to this so can only assume it’s some kind of error.

"I was really quite shocked to learn that the same thing has happened to many other people.”

Andy Coombes, 64, from Ebley said he had received a fine more than a month after parking at the Five Valleys Centre.

After finding his old ticket by chance Andy was able to successfully appeal the fine but said he thinks the parking machines are difficult to use and that he would not be parking there again.

A spokesperson for Dransfield Properties, which manages the Five Valleys Centre but not the car park, said: “We are sorry to hear that some customers have had a negative experience when using our car park.

"This is not the standard of service we aim to provide, and we would like to reassure everyone that we are working closely with the company that manage our car park to support our customers.

“We strongly recommend anyone who has a query regarding their Parking Charge Notice should go through the appeals process in the first instance.”

"Please head over to the ‘Parking’ section of our website where you can find detailed information, including a user-friendly video, on how to use our pay and display machines and the terms and conditions of using the multistorey car park.

"Also, look out for the Five Valleys customer service team who are on site 7 days a week and are always available to assist with any issues or queries."

Creative Parking Ltd were approached for comment but were unable to provide a statement.