A MAN has been left enraged after what promised to be a “stress free” day turned into anything but when he was slapped with a parking ticket.

Neil Bayles, of Portsmouth Road, Clacton, travelled to Colchester Park and Ride’s pick-up point, in Cuckoo Farm Way, on August 26.

After parking up his grey Vauxhall in the designated car park, Mr Bayles says he proceeded to register his car in the office.

He then purchased an all-day travel ticket, at a cost of £3, before heading off on his journey, hoping for the “stress free” experience Colchester Park and Ride promotes.

When he returned later in the evening, however, at roughly 6pm, he was stunned to find he had been issued with a £25 fine.

According to the ticket, Mr Bayles “parked without payment of the parking charge”, which he profusely disputes.

“It would have been constructive if the person issuing the penalty could have walked a few steps to the office and checked in case there was an issue,” he said.

“It’s not as if many people are using this park and ride, and no wonder when they are not performing their job properly and customers are treated like this when they follow the procedure.”

Mr Bayles says he has since raised the issue with Colchester Park and Ride, Colchester Council and Essex Council.

He has also complained to the Essex Parking Partnership - the company which issued the penalty - but has been told it could be as long as six weeks before he gets a response.

If Mr Bayles fails to pay the initial charge of £25 within two weeks, however, it will be automatically doubled.

He added: “The last thing I want is to receive a summons for not paying, so I am just going to have to. But I was not the only person that week to be issued with a penalty fine.”

Essex Parking Partnership and Essex Council were contacted for comment but did not respond before we went to press.