A furious driver says parking bosses have made the wrong call after she was slapped with a £50 fine.
Joanne Anderson, 44, from Sunderland, received a parking charge notice after parking in Frederick Street, Sunderland.
She says she parked in one of the alloted bays and followed the instructions on a nearby parking meter to pay by phone.
However, when she returned to her car about 20 minutes before the hour-long stay expired, she found she had already been issued with a ticket.
Ms Anderson is now facing an appeal process to avoid having to pay the sum.
She said: “I parked my car and legally paid on the app, but when I got back to the car there was a fine slapped on my windscreen.
I’m livid – I couldn’t believe it when I saw the ticketJoanne Anderson
“The parking warden was in the street and he said that there was nothing he could do about it because it was already issued.
“I even showed him evidence that I had paid for it, but he couldn’t do anything.
“I’m livid – I couldn’t believe it when I saw the ticket.
“I think it’s disgraceful, because I’ve got to go through an appeal now and who knows how long that’s going to take.
“I’m concerned that this could happen to other people as well.”
Ms Anderson, who runs Siblings Nursery, in Sunderland, says she did not have enough change to pay for parking with cash, so chose to pay by phone using the instructions on the parking meter.
The penalty charge of £50 will be reduced to £25 if it is paid within 14 days, but Ms Anderson is appealing.
A conversation with a parking warden left her even more angered.
She added: “He could see on my app that I had paid but said the information hadn’t reached his machine yet.
“If the system is that slow, they shouldn’t be using it and there shouldn’t be the facility to pay by phone.
“The parking warden should also have the facility to take the fine away and reverse it if there is evidence someone has paid, to avoid this whole appeal process.
“People don’t have time to go through unnecessary appeals like this.”
A Sunderland City Council spokesman said: “The city council’s parking strategy and its services are about improving road safety, reducing congestion in the interests of all highways users, and promoting economic activity.
“The Highways Code also sets down a series of obligations for motorists when it comes to parking.
“The council is unable to comment on individual cases.
“However, there is an appeals process for anyone who thinks a notice has been issued unfairly.
“The details are provided on the rear of the Penalty Charge Notice or alternatively on the council’s website.”