Parking fines are still being issued by Norwich City Council despite the fact parts of its fine payment system have been out of action for almost a month.

Some motorists have been unable to use the site to view or challenge their PCN and are getting a 'forbidden' error code. 

Those who email the council’s alternate address receive a reply warning it could take “several weeks” to get a response. 

As a result, drivers are worried their fine could double in the interim.

Paul Smith, from Bedford, was visiting a friend in Norwich on Monday and parked on Union Street in a one-hour parking bay with a rule of no return within an hour.

He was issued a ticket claiming his car was there from 9.35am to 1.23pm, however he insists he left at 10.45 and when he returned more than an hour later he parked facing the opposite direction.

When he came to view the photographs of each observation and dispute the claim online he found the website was down and a helpline operator told him “a lot of people are having trouble with the website”.

Eastern Daily Press: A screenshot from Mr Smith's phone showing the forbidden error messageA screenshot from Mr Smith's phone showing the forbidden error message (Image: Paul Smith)

He said: “It’s permit parking so when I come to visit I have to move the car frequently. I wasn’t there all that time though, we’d left to go shopping at around 10.45 and didn’t return until 12.30.

“When I came to challenge it you get a screen that says 'forbidden' so I couldn’t see the photographs. 

“I don’t want to email a dispute until they’ve provided their evidence. I emailed a question and the reply says it takes them ‘several weeks’ to reply to PCN disputes - and I’ve only got 14 days to appeal before the fine doubles.

”I phoned them up and a lady said ‘a lot of people are having trouble with the website’.

“I think they should stop issuing tickets until they sort the website out.”

A spokeswoman said the council had been aware of the problem since November 7, had amended the page to promote additional ways to challenge or pay a PCN, and is trying to fix the problem. 

She said: “There have been minor, intermittent issues with this part of the council’s website, which have affected a handful of people either challenging or paying parking fines. 

“We have given alternative ways that anyone affected can get in touch with us about this.”