UNTIL June 3 I had never visited Bolton. I may never do so again as a consequence of my experience in the Kay Street Car Park!

The reason for the visit was an appointment at the SpaMedica Clinic on Churchgate to be assessed for a cataract operation. (no complaints about them).

My husband drove and I tried to follow the street map giving him directions – not easy in a city where very few of the street names are visible.

We got well and truly lost and were running out of time to keep the appointment at 12.45pm when I spotted a street name that was in the right area and a car park.

Finding a space we could get into was the first hurdle. Then we had to queue at the pay machine which we discovered was one of those only taking card payments – a first for us.

I tried to enter my registration number unsuccessfully about three times, then Bingo! I seemed to have got it right since the machine then asked how long, the answer being 2 hours, then if I wanted a ticket or a receipt.

Having only five minutes to find Churchgate and uncertain if pressing Yes would result in another round of frustrated button pushing, I didn’t.

It seemed to me that having had my payment acknowledged in this way, there was no need. We found Churchgate with the help of a friendly Boltonian and received courteous and professional help at the Clinic (who incidentally have a car park but not one we had managed to find!).

It was not a pleasant surprise to receive a letter the following week charging me £100 for failing to pay for parking in Kay Street. By paying early I could reduce the amount to £60. I have paid. When I contacted my card supplier I was informed there was no record of an amount for parking being deducted on June 3 or any other day.

What concerns me here is that I did my best to conform to the procedure to pay for parking. Could it be that the machine was faulty in not recording my card details? Has anyone else had the same experience in this car park, or any other for that matter? I don’t wish to suggest malpractice but it does strike me that this is any easy way for the car park owners to make £60 rather than the £2 or £3 they would otherwise get from bona fide users.

Mr. A Greenwood