CARDIGAN town mayor Cllr Sian Maehrlein is stepping up her investigation into why so many motorists are being wrongly punished for using the Coleg Ceredigion car park.

Cllr Maehrlein is maintaining an eagle eye on controversial parking operators Parking Eye. “I’m like a dog with a bone over this,” she warned.

She is continuing to urge drivers who feel they have been unfairly targeted to appeal fines received – while at the same time seeking to establish whether such cases can be probed by a higher authority.

At Tuesday night’s meeting of Cardigan Town Council, Cllr Maehrlein told colleagues that she knew of around fifteen motorists who had received refunds following appeals.

“If people are 100 per cent innocent I think it should go further – perhaps to the Ombudsman or whoever,” she commented in an earlier Facebook post.

“It’s awful that people are having fines for using the leisure centre.

“Please, please if you know you were fined wrongly make sure you appeal your ticket. Keep appealing until you get a result.

“I have sent emails to this company and also spoken to them on the phone.

“I received an email stating that maybe the number plates were dirty or the sun made them unreadable – really?”

And Cllr Maehrlein also voiced suspicion that so many fines were issued on the same weekend.

“I have been told that the cameras were all in working order,” she added. “It’s too much of a coincidence that all these fines were on the same day.

“Please keep on appealing your tickets. I can’t do that for you.

“This information needs to be shared all over the nation where Parking Eye machines are installed.”

The Tivyside reported in October how some motorists had received fines from Parking Eye having previously been told that no payment was required.

‘Several issues’ with charges at the car park had led to cameras being re-directed and times of parking amended, although it was branded ‘a money-making trap’ by one disgruntled motorist.

Dr Ieuan Davies, a consultant paediatrician based in Llantood, described spending a ‘futile’ three-quarters of an hour attempting to pay for parking in an almost empty car park while his daughter was playing football nearby.

“It was only after downloading an app that repeatedly failed to accept my payment that I re-read the confusing signs and realised that you can’t park in the college car park between 7am and 7pm,” he explained.

“But by then, I’d been caught and recorded on camera. So a fine was inevitable.”

“The ‘free’ parking around the leisure centre is utterly insufficient and, in my opinion, the college has effectively invented a money-making trap that’s punishing the parents of children who play sports in the evenings and weekends at the leisure facilities," he said.

A spokesperson for Parking Eye said: "We are aware that there was a technical issue with our system at the Coleg Ceredigion car park in Cardigan.

“Parking Eye operates a BPA (British Parking Association)-audited appeals process, which motorists can use to appeal their parking charge.

“We would advise any motorists who believe they have been affected by the issue to highlight this through our appeals process, where we can resolve as quickly as possible."