Fight continues over parking fines at Harvester restaurant

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Hundreds of furious diners who have been fined for parking at a Harvester restaurant are continuing to fight against the charges.

Up to 200 customers have been issued the notices after parking at The Mallard near Hemel Hempstead station.

Shane Garner is one of the customers who has been penalised by private parking firm Absolute Parking Management (APM) – which recently lost the contract to operate the car park at The Mallard.

Shane faces a £100 fine as he typed the number zero instead of the letter O by mistake when typing his car’s registration plate into the machine.

The 40-year-old design manager, who lives in Welwyn Garden City, was visiting a friend at the restaurant.

He said: “You would like to think that they would use a bit of common sense with this – but amazingly they are actively pursuing it.”

But APM has argued that it has issued the fine ‘correctly’ as Shane did not meet the terms and conditions by filling in the correct details.

Shane added: “I’m going to be fighting it all the way. I don’t think there’s a judge in the land that would award them anything.”

Shane has also struggled to contact APM, a frustration shared by Hemel MP Mike Penning.

Mr Penning has already made an official complaint to Herts Police asking them to investigate whether any ‘fraudulent’ activities have taken place.

The MP said: “I cannot believe that this parking company are refusing to cancel these fines. Now they won’t even respond to letters from me. It’s getting beyond a joke now.”

APM declined to comment, but has told the Gazette previously that it is in a legal dispute wih Harvester operators Mitchells & Butlers, and that it refutes the allegations made by Mike Penning.