England

Holidaymaker flies home to find 'parked' car caught speeding

Chris Lynch
Image caption Chris Lynch said his car had been left with cigarette ash and mud in the footwell

A holidaymaker has revealed his car was caught speeding while it was left with a parking company near Gatwick Airport.

Chris Lynch, 20, from Dorset, also claims his Vauxhall Corsa racked up 150 miles on the clock while he was away.

He paid £76.94 to leave the car with Blue Star Parking by the airport while he flew to Greece with his girlfriend.

When the BBC called the firm on a number supplied by Mr Lynch, the person who answered said it was no longer operating under that name.

'Cigarette ash'

Sussex Police had written to him in July warning his car was caught travelling at 37mph in a 30mph zone by a local community group.

Image caption Mr Lynch said his car was short of petrol

'Emotional stress'

Mr Lynch believes his car was taken for a joyride. "It was a horrible feeling," he said.

He claims that as well as being short of petrol, his car was dirtied with cigarette ash and mud.

He added: "Even speeding is not something you would want to experience, knowing you were not responsible for it.

"The emotional stress has been on-going. I have not even received a response. They have been passing me on from person-to-person. Their office number is completely unavailable."

Image caption Sussex Police sent Mr Lynch a letter warning his vehicle was caught speeding

Sussex Police rescinded the warning letter after seeing evidence of Mr Lynch's holiday photos.

When the BBC tried to call Blue Star Parking on a number supplied by Mr Lynch, the person who answered said it was no longer operating under that name and closed eight months ago.

West Sussex County Council said Mr Lynch's complaint is among 500 about meet-and-greet parking near Gatwick.

Councillor David Barling said: "We have four investigations running separately at the moment in conjunction with Sussex Police and planning authorities. This seems to have been a phenomena since May."

Trading standards have advised holidaymakers to only use firms officially approved by the airport.