LAST August, on a lovely evening, we parked our car in the private car park of a riverside pub/restaurant in Crickhowell where myself and my wife had one drink before leaving.

When parking I had noticed the “Permit Holders Only” notice on the entrance to the car park, but incorrectly assumed that this related to those other than customers who used the car park.

A week later I received a parking charge of £60 (increased to £100 if not paid within twenty eight days) from a car parking enforcement company.

I immediately rang the pub/restaurant to explain my mistake and explained that I had been a genuine customer.

I was informed by them that I should have entered my vehicle registration number on a machine inside the premises, and that it was a matter between myself and the car parking company, but if I proved that I was a customer they would not likely proceed.

As suggested I contacted the company, who requested proof that I was a customer, which I did as fortunately I had paid by card and sent them a copy of the transaction.

The goalposts then changed and they responded by saying that I was still liable as I had not entered my registration number into a machine in the premises, but if I paid a reduced charge of twenty pounds then no further action would be taken.

I refused to pay this as a matter of principle, I had been a customer, and I appealed.

The appeal was (predictably) unsuccessful and by which time had taken me beyond the twenty eight days, increasing the charge to one hundred pounds.

After having been told by the parking company of the further costs involved if the matter went to a civil court I reluctantly paid.

I have since been informed that this has also been a problem with others who have visited the premises and I note that additional signage has now been erected, clearly there has been a problem.

However, despite the additional signage, be warned, should you accidentally enter the incorrect number of your car into the machine on the premises, or in any other way transgress you will receive no help from the owners of the premises or the car parking company who will find any way of raiding your wallet.

Beware folks!