Published: 00:00, 12 September 2018
A woman who was wrongfully fined for driving through services is warning others it 'seems like a scam’.
Toni Bates, of Cherry Tree Road, Rainham, wants to alert other drivers who use the farthing corner Moto services ‘shortcut’ they may get a fine.
The 42-year-old received a letter from CP Plus – a car park management service – who said that Toni had used the M2 services to park overnight.
The teaching assistant said: “I drove through the services on Wednesday, May 30 at around 7.40pm, from Bluewater.
“The next day I headed to Canterbury, and went through them again just after 11am.
“They must have assumed I was parked for that duration and attached a photo of my car driving in and out.
“I appealed and asked them to send me a photo of my car parked, which of course they couldn’t, and the fine was cancelled.”
The mother-of-three admitted she wouldn’t have cut through if signs said she would face a fine.
She said: “I was shocked.
“I felt it was dishonest of them as I hadn’t parked my car.
“It’s not fair or reasonable and it felt like a scam. I knew my rights and was happy to appeal, but I’m sure there are people that have paid the fine for an easy life.”
The cut through, off Matts Hill Road, is a popular shortcut for people who want to get through to Rainham, but is a private road.
Toni added: “There aren’t any signs stating you will be fined for driving through.
“Hundreds of cars pile through every day, despite the no entry sign.”
Spokesman for the Moto, Andrew Leatham, said: “Parking at all Moto sites is free for the first two hours, after which drivers are required to pay a fee which covers the next 24 hours of parking.
“This requirement is common to all motorway service area operators and is endorsed by the Department for Transport.
“It is prominently displayed throughout our car parks, along with instructions on where the fee can be paid at any time of day or night, including guidance on how to pay via a mobile telephone.
“All our car parks are controlled by automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras, which automatically generate a parking charge notice (PCN) if a vehicle is registered as being on site for more than two hours without paying the parking fee."