SHOPPERS at a branch of Tesco in Somerset were confused to see they had been issued parking fines after police evacuated the area due to a suspected bomb.

At the supermarket, in Wells, on Saturday, April 6, police investigated a potential bomb near to the shop.

At around 8:15am, a member of the public reported finding suspected ordnance on Tucker Street, where the supermarket is situated.

Police officers rushed to the scene and contacted alongside a bomb disposal unit known as the the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit (EOD). 

As a precaution, EOD requested a 100-metre cordon was put in place at 9:15am, which led to people being evacuated from the nearby Tesco.

A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police said: "Following review of photos of the suspected ordnance by the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit EOD, it was decided the precautionary cordon was not required and it was stood down after approximately 30 minutes.

"The item was subsequently removed by officers and we left the scene at about 10:20am."

Although police reportedly instructed Tesco customers to remove their vehicles from the car park, others who had left their vehicles at Tesco before heading elsewhere ended up missing the instruction.

This meant that upon attempting to return to their vehicles, on-site police instructed them to stay away from the car park due to the active cordon brought about by the suspected explosive.

For some, this resulted in being handed a parking fine by Tesco's parking contractor Horizon Parking, as they had overstayed the two-hour limit.

Some of those who were issued Parking Charge Notices by Horizon attempted to appeal the decision, but had their appeals rejected by the company.

Questions were raised as to whether the parking company expected people to ignore police orders in order to obey their parking rules at the local Tesco.

However, Horizon stated they were not at first aware of the incident when the fines were issued, although disputes have since been resolved.

A spokesperson for Horizon Parking said: "We can confirm that we were not aware of this issue, however we can confirm that now that it has been brought to our attention, all affected Parking Charges have been cancelled."