Hundreds of parking fines are to be repaid after a council discovered it had imposed them on motorists using free car parks.
Cheshire East Council revealed that 675 penalty charge notices had been wrongly issued between October 2015 and March 2019.
It came to light during a recent consultation to increase parking charges when it was realised that the error had affected seven out of 116 car parks in the area.
The fines are thought to total nearly £20,000 and the council has urged people who were affected to claim reimbursement.
Frank Jordan, executive director of place and acting deputy chief executive, thanked council member Cllr Rod Fletcher for drawing attention to the issue.
Mr Jordan said: 'We would like to apologise to those who have been incorrectly issued a penalty charge notice during this time period and urge any affected motorists to claim full reimbursement.'