McDonald's has apologised to some of its Newtown restaurant customers who were incorrectly hit with £100 fines for parking hundreds of miles away near London.

The fast food chain said a "software issue" with its parking contractors was to blame after customers parked in Newtown were sent parking fines claiming that they had overstayed their welcome at another car park – at a filling station in Hertfordshire.

Some customers thought they were being scammed after receiving a letter from MET Parking Services saying they had exceeded the maximum permitted stay at BP South Mimms in Potters Bar near London on Friday, May 27 and Saturday, May 28.

None of the customers were at BP South Mimms, Potters Bar at the time but they were at the McDonald's restaurant in Pool Road, Newtown.

Sharon Owen, from Newtown, thought the cameras had been hacked when she received the fine. She said: "If they wrongly handed out fines, then that is really poor show because that can cause a lot of stress. I was fairly confident that I wasn't in London that night but it does make you wonder what is going on or if someone took your car for a joyride.

"There was quite a bit of time sorting that out but for people who are not so tech-savvy it can be very distressful and they could have ended up paying in order to have avoided paying a bigger fine.

"If it was that the cameras got hacked then they really need to be careful and on top of their security systems because that could result in a lot of people paying up money.

"People always need to double check a fine to see if it's genuine and not fraudulent because sadly there are so many fraudulent claims sent out to people and stolen that way."

Another McDonald's customer, from near Newtown, told the County Times: "I opened the letter and it said it was a fine and I thought 'oh no, it's happened again!'. I felt confused because I didn't think I did anything wrong.

"I then looked at the letter in more detail and it said that I was parked in Potters Bar. At first I didn't know where it was so I Googled it and it was hundreds of miles away. I have never been to that area. I immediately wanted to rectify the issue and went on the website to send my appeal.

"I'm glad I can search the location on Google but I know that some from the older generation may not know how to do that and get worried and pay the fine."

McDonald's has apologised to customers who have wrongly received a parking fine and asked them to contact the Newtown restaurant to resolve the issue.

A McDonald’s spokesperson said: "We are aware that some customers of our Newtown restaurant have been incorrectly issued parking charge notices due to a software issue with our parking contractors.

"Any customer who has received a notice in error should contact our restaurant on 01686 625404 and we will ensure that the matter is resolved. We apologise for the inconvenience that this has caused."