A COMPANY director has set up an online group urging drivers to boycott a DIY store after he was stung with a £60 fine for using the shop twice in one day.

Rob Gale started the group when he received the fine for Parking at Focus in Dorchester once in the afternoon to pick up a pedestal trap for a sink, and then returned for a second time at 6.30pm to get more DIY equipment.

An enforcement notice sent to Mr Gale’s home said he had parked at the Dorchester shop for three hours.

Crossways dad-of-two Mr Gale, 41, refuses to pay the fine and will produce his store receipts to appeal the decision.

He said: “I felt absolutely devastated when I opened the parking fine.

“They thought I’d been there for over three hours but I was only there for 20 minutes each time.

“If they’ve got the technology to read your number plate going in and out, then why are they not able to do it for someone twice?

“They’ve given me an appeals address, but I’m not optimistic that I’ll get anywhere with it.”

Cameras in the car park of Focus photograph number plates when vehicles enter and exit the site.

A week after his visit to Focus, Mr Gale was sent a parking charge notice by Gerrards Cross-based G24 Parking Solutions.

It shows photographs of Mr Gale’s red Nissan Almera arriving at the Great Western Square car park at 3.23pm and leaving at 6.45pm.

Mr Gale, who oversees Winfrith-based Burn Technology, says he has receipts from Focus to show he visited on two separate occasions.

He is now urging people to boycott Focus in Dorchester. Mr Gale says similar problems have happened at B&Q in Weymouth which uses a similar camera system and is managed by ParkingEye.

“I’ve set up a Facebook group to make people aware of what could happen using the car parks of these DIY stores.

“A lot of people must have experienced this – you go home, try and fix something and run out of what you bought so you need to go back for more,” Mr Gale added.

A spokeswoman from Focus said that the store manager has the discretion to waive car-parking fines upon production of relevant receipts.

She added: “The car parking facility put in there has been put in for a reason.

“If it’s in the town centre or there’s a railway station nearby, the car park gets abused.

“Fines have been put in place to make sure customers can park and shop within our site.”

When asked by the Echo why the automated fines system doesn’t detect situations when cars leave the car park and return for a second time, she said: “That’s something you would have to take up with G24.”

The department manager was not available for comment when the Dorset Echo contacted G24 Parking Solutions.

* Similar problems were experienced at Weymouth’s B&Q earlier this year, where shoppers who visited the DIY store twice in the same day received £80 fines.

Chickerell resident Lee Spalding visited the store once at 8am and eight hours later.

He then received an £80 parking ticket saying he had been parked in the same spot all day.

Paul Nibbs, of Weymouth, also received an £80 fine after borrowing his girlfriend’s car to visit B&Q later in the day after she had already visited.

A spokesman for Parking Eye, which manages the B&Q car park, refused to comment.

A B&Q spokesman said: “We definitely do not have a policy where customers should be told they cannot return twice in one day.”