A Suffolk man has been left shocked by a £70 fine after leaving a hospital car park when the machine told him no fee was payable.

Brian Smith was leaving car park D on October 11 outside Accident and Emergency at Ipswich Hospital when, upon entering his registration details, he said he was informed that he did not have to pay.

He was later to receive a Parking Charge Notice in the post, due to the automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system in place at the car park.

The family, from Leiston, had been visiting the department with their daughter, arriving there around 6pm and left at 2.15am the next day, after eight hours.

His appeal with the parking company that issued the notice, Car Parking Partnership, was rejected due to lack of evidence.

Mr Smith said: "You just drive in when you arrive; you aren't given a ticket. On the way out, you had to key in your registration number and it would just come up on your screen with what you have to pay.

"It told me I had nothing to pay, and by that time it was after 2 in the morning so we made a quick exit. I got the message and just drove out.

"I was very surprised when I received that letter a week later. We appealed but, because I had no evidence, this was rejected. If it happens to you, I recommend photographing the screen."

Fiona Sparrow, associate director of facilities at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Ipswich Hospital said: “We’re sorry to hear about their experience.

"We would encourage anyone who thinks they have been unfairly fined to contact our dedicated travel team at Travel.Plan@esneft.nhs.uk who will be able to investigate this.”