A DRIVER has slammed Southend Council after spending almost three months fighting a parking fine caused by a “faulty machine”.

According to the Benfleet resident, multiple drivers who parked at the Shoebury Common South car park on April 7 were hit by fines after a pay and display machine stated it was “not a pay period”.

He claims that multiple drivers all returned to their cars to find parking tickets had been placed on their windscreens and alleges that Southend Council initially refused his appeal.

Despite initially paying the £25 fine, the driver has now has had his ticket rescinded and fine refunded after writing to MPs in the area to highlight the issue.

Southend Council has confirmed the fine has been overturned.

He said: “When my case was dismissed, I could not believe it.

“I had sent an image of the screen clearly saying ‘no pay period’, they were just ignoring the evidence, getting their money and closing the case.

“I was told I couldn’t dispute it because having paid £25 was an admission of guilt.”

Weeks later, the man was told the issue had been dropped, after a full investigation.

While pleased at the decision, the man believes the issues affecting others are equally as serious as his own.

“I don’t get stressed particularly but it is just the sheer and utter frustration, the fact that whoever was in that office reviewing my case does not care,” he said.

“They just wanted to close the case, get the money and I want to expose just how many other people have been impacted like I was.

“They made a couple of hundred quid on that day when they really shouldn’t have. That is how they treat people.

“Those people have fallen victim to their own council, and I have too.

"I will get my money back but I have likely spent around £125 in terms of time and effort spent emailing, I’ll have no compensation.”

A Southend Council spokesman said: "We can confirm that a Penalty Charge Notice was issued correctly by a Civil Enforcement Officer at Shoebury Common South car park.

"However, the motorist later provided evidence of a machine fault that the officer may not have been aware of.

"Upon reviewing this information, we determined that the PCN was issued in error due to the faulty payment machine."