IN December I visited my usual barbers in Darlington’s Duke Street and parked in the car park opposite the barber shop. I usually park there or on the street. All was good until I attempted to pay at the machine. Unfortunately both machines wouldn’t accept payment.

I proceeded to look and see if there was anyone around and noticed other vehicles without tickets and some with.

So, in a quandary and short of time I thought “Well I’ll go get my haircut and hopefully someone would be there on my return”.

But on my return there was no one to be seen and no parking ticket so I thought no more until I receive a parking fine offering me a reduced figure of £60 if I paid now.

Oh so kind of them. I tried calling the number after numerous attempts to no avail so I objected online explaining if they view their CCTV system they would indeed see my numerous attempts to pay as I always carry a stash of £1 coins for this sole purpose.

I have just received a reply to my claim of innocence more or less calling me a liar. Hmm, I’ve never expected anything for nothing but to be robbed in this way and in a town that desperately needs the spending public I find it despicable.

I wonder how many other readers have found themselves in this position?

I paid the £60 online against my better judgment as I don’t need the hassle, but to park my car, pay £20-plus for a haircut and hot shave with an ashtray full of pound coins kept solely for this purpose really gets my goat and I will never use this facility again.

I will park in the council’s car park in close proximity to another barbers, so I’m sorry my Kurdish friends but my custom has gone elsewhere, no fault of yours.

John Cumberland, Rushyford.