An angry resident says a parking ticket his son received while his car was situated outside the family’s Watford home is "petty" and "bureaucracy gone mad" since a permit was displayed.

Alex Kent, 68, was being visited by his son, Giles, and his grandchildren during the summer holidays.

The safety food consultant gave his son a four-hour visitors permit, which he says was clearly displayed in the car, parked in Malden Road.

Mr Kent says that, although the date and hour section of the permit were appropriately scratched out, the minutes section was not, resulting in a ticket being issued less than an hour later.

Mr Kent said: "My son was visiting me and I gave him a parking permit as we didn’t want him to get a ticket.

"We placed a card valid for four hours in the car and scratched out the number eight to indicate the hour, but we didn’t scratch out the minutes. It just didn’t occur to us that this would be a problem."

The permit was displayed in the car at 8am and when the family returned to the vehicle a few hours later they were confronted with a penalty charge notice, issued at 8.52am.

Mr Kent said: "It was a four-hour permit, so it still would have been well within the validity.

"The penalty charge notice is so petty and any reasonable person would have realised it is petty and cancelled the notice.

"This is bureaucracy gone mad."

Mr Kent added: "It was a lovely family holiday until that happened."

Mr Kent’s son, Dr Kent, did write a letter challenging the charge. However, the council responded that, as the visitors voucher had no minutes scratched off, it could be open to misuse at a later time during the same hour.

The full penalty charge notice was £50, with a discounted price of £25 if paid within two weeks.

Watford Borough Council said the vouchers are clear as to what visitors are required to do when it comes to filling them out.

Council spokesman, Mark Jeffery, said: "We oversee and enforce residential parking schemes, after residents say they want it.

"These visitor vouchers clearly state that the day, date, month, am/pm and time of arrival should be scratched off to make them valid.

"This didn't completely happen in this example, so Dr Kent was issued a penalty charge notice. It has now been paid, so the matter is formally closed."