A GRANDMOTHER who was given a £70 parking ticket after visiting a shopping centre twice in one day is set to have the fine cancelled, after contacting The Press.

Helen Downes, of Whitethorn Close, Huntington, got in touch with the paper after being landed with a penalty notice at York's Monks Cross retail park on Monday.

She had taken her two-year-old granddaughter Holly shopping, and had parked in the centre's car park at about 10.30am.

At 12.30pm, she left to get lunch for her granddaughter, before returning at 2.30pm for another hour's shopping.

"When I returned to my car it had a parking ticket on it," the 51-year-old cleaner said.

"The attendant was nearby so I asked him why I had a ticket, as I had only been there an hour.

"He said I had been there longer. Apparently the sign as you go in to Monks Cross says you can park there for four hours, and no return within four hours.

"But there are no signs for you to read while you are not driving."

She added: "I explained to him that I went home at 12.30pm and had returned at 2.30pm.

"But he was not interested, and told me I should obey the rules and pay the £70.

"I thought that was a bit steep. I had only been there three hours in total."

She added: "I know there have to be rules, but a £70 fine for a shopping trip is ridiculous."

But Katherine Sharp, centre manger at Monks Cross, said the fine was the result of a computer system, that had checked her vehicle into the car park in the morning.

It had not registered that she had left for lunch, so the parking attendant assumed she had been there for five hours.

She offered to cancel the ticket immediately if Mrs Downes got in touch with her.

She said: "We protect the car park for all shoppers and make sure that everyone can get a space.

"A four-hour limit is in place, and obviously the lady went home for lunch, and it is just a problem with the computer.

"We have no problem with cancelling the ticket, and if she had come to me then I would have done so straight away."

Helen said: "I am delighted, because it is such a lot of money to have to pay out just to go on a shopping trip.

"I just had a nice day out with my granddaughter. You do not expect that. I am very pleased that I won't have to pay it."