Northampton granddad slapped with £180 parking fine from a town he had never even visited after fake number plate mix-up

Peter Lay with his real car
Peter Lay with his real car

A Northampton man was faced with a rapidly increasing parking fine from a town he had never even visited after his number plate was copied by another driver.

Grandfather-of-six, Peter Lay, of Ashley Way in Westone, was left confused when he received a £40 charge for parking for nine hours at a Roadchef car park at a service station in Maidstone.

He was even more confused when it appeared that the photograph of the car which had incurred the charge had the same number plate but was not his.

Mr Lay, aged 78, was sent a reminder from car park management company, CP Plus, within days, increasing the charge to £90. Two weeks later, the fine was doubled to £180. Mr Lay did not contact the company because he feared it was a scam and that he would get hit with even more charges.

He said: “I have never even been to Maidstone before and you can see, even just from the shape of the car in the picture, that it isn’t mine.

“You can also see, if you look at the photo of the car, that the figures on the number plate have been altered so that it is a clone of mine.”

“I contacted the police and they suggested that my number plate had been cloned, but there wasn’t much that they could do about it.”

However, after an enquiry from the Chronicle & Echo, CP Plus have assured Mr Lay that they will withdraw the charges.

A spokesman for the company said: “CP Plus are a long-standing member of the British Parking Association (BPA) and they operate very clearly under the guidelines and laws that are set by BPA, who oversee the management of the entire parking industry and aim to protect the interests of both motorists and car park operators alike.”