Emily Mason stopped at the Norwood Arms pub in Cheltenham to feed baby Oakley and make sure she was driving safely, but was shocked when she was later fined.
Image: Aled Thomas)
A mother received a £100 parking fine after stopping in a pub car park to feed her baby as she screamed with hunger.
Emily Mason was driving through Gloucestershire when her four-month-old son Oakley started screaming in the car.
The mother of four stopped at the Norwood Arms in Cheltenham for safety and managed to feed her baby in the car park.
But he was surprised when he received a £100 fine from Britannia Parking, which manages the car park on behalf of the pub and its owner, the Greene King brewery, Gloucestershire Live reports.
Emily, from Cheltenham, said: “Oakley needed to feed and was really screaming. I stopped in the parking lot to feed him, but also as a security measure.
“A screaming baby in a car is incredibly distracting. It can be a real risk to continue driving if you’re distracted, so it wasn’t just me trying to calm him down.
“I was trying to make sure I was driving safely.”
The car park management company allows people a grace period of ten minutes which can be used for pick up and drop off, for example.
But she took a hard line with Emily, who claims she stayed more than three minutes during her emergency.
She said: “I was there for 13 minutes, just three more minutes. I paid the fine, which was £60 if paid within two weeks, but I appealed.”
Britannia Parking initially seemed indifferent to Emily’s attractiveness.
In a written response to his claim, he said: “We have considered your appeal and the comments you have made together with any evidence you have provided and the photographs we have on record.
“The parking charge notice was issued to your vehicle because a valid ticket was not purchased.
“It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure they have read and understand the terms and conditions for using the car park.”
The letter went on to note that the company gives motorists a ten-minute consideration period on arrival, which is double the time recommended by the BPA.
It added: “By leaving your vehicle in the car park without a valid ticket, you have violated the terms and conditions and therefore we believe the Parking Charge Notice is valid and properly issued.”
Emily said she understood why the pub needs to ensure its car park doesn’t become overcrowded with drivers using it to shop elsewhere, but feels Britannia Parking could “use a little more discretion”.
She said: “I wish they’d think a little bit more why people might have gone the ten minute mark for a little while.”
The Mirror Online has contacted Britannia Parking for comment.
The Greene King brewery confirmed that it requested the cancellation of the ticket.
A spokesperson said: “We have asked Britannia to cancel the ticket in question.
“We instilled a parking charge as some community members want to use the parking lot to access other businesses and we want to make sure we give our guests priority parking.
“There is a small charge installed, but if you eat or drink in the pub, it is reimbursed from the bill and guests can register their number plate number on the tablet.”
Emily was delighted with the result and applauded the decision.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.