A Wiltshire couple were left “fuming” after being slapped with a parking fine for dropping their son off at a railway station.

Peter Daws dropped his son Callum at Chippenham train station shortly before 11am on September 9 before returning to pick him up at 1am the next day.

The 65-year-old used the short stay car park, which has a maximum wait time of 20 minutes, and told this paper he “didn’t even turn the engine off” during the brief period he was there.

So he and his wife Sharon were shocked when they received a £50 parking charge notice from APCOA Parking, claiming Mr Daws spent over 14 hours parked in the car park.

He said: “I’ve never had a parking fine before in 49 years of driving and as far as I’m concerned I still haven’t because that was just wrong.”

Wiltshire Times: The short stay car park signThe short stay car park sign (Image: Newsquest)“We were absolutely fuming”, added Mrs Daws. “We can’t be the only people this has happened to either.

“We always follow the rules, so it makes you frightened to park anywhere when something like this happens.”

The couple claims they appealed the decision with APCOA but that this was rejected.

Mrs Daws said: “It’s just ridiculous because they must have had pictures of the car going in and out when it did, but they’ve obviously not even bothered to look.”

Her husband added: “They’ve clearly made a mistake, but they just don’t want to admit it.”

Wiltshire Times: Peter and Sharon Daws at Chippenham railway stationPeter and Sharon Daws at Chippenham railway station (Image: Newsquest)Want to see fewer adverts and more exclusives on the Gazette & Herald? Become a digital subscriber now for just £5 for five months

With time ticking down until the fine became a whopping £100, the pair were left with no choice but to pay the £50 fee.

But following a request for comment from this paper, GWR has now confirmed the fine was issued in error.

After they contacted APCOA it became clear the automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system in place at the station had not picked up Mr Daws leaving or re-entering.

GWR apologised for the confusion and emphasised that a refund has now been issued.

Wiltshire Times: The entrance to the car park at Chippenham railway stationThe entrance to the car park at Chippenham railway station (Image: Newsquest)A spokesperson for the firm said: "We are really sorry that (our) customer has been charged for parking. Many of our stations use ANPR to determine how long a customer spends at the station. 

"Unfortunately, on this occasion it appears that the camera did not pick up one of the plate reads. Having reviewed the images, we have arranged for the parking notice to be cancelled and our contractor will be in touch to confirm this in due course." 

At the time of writing Mr and Mrs Daws were awaiting confirmation of this from APCOA.