I was fined £100 for breastfeeding my screaming baby in pub car park for 13 minutes

A FURIOUS mum has slammed a parking firm after being handed a £100 fine for feeding her screaming baby in a car park.

Emily Mason had been driving with her four-month-old son Oakley when he started crying, so she pulled over in Cheltenham, Gloucs.

The tot was so distressed that she stopped in the Norwood Arms to feed him, and was horrified after receiving the charge from Britannia Parking.

The firm manages the car park on behalf of the pub and its owner, Greene King brewery.

Emily told GloucesterLive said: “Oakley needed feeding and he was really screaming. I pulled into the car park to feed him, but also as a safety measure.

“A screaming baby in a car is incredibly distracting – it can be a real risk to just carry on 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.

“I was there for 13 minutes, just three minutes over. I paid the fine, which was £60 if I paid it within two weeks, but appealed.”

The parking management company allows a 10 minute grace period for people dropping off or picking people up.

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But they still decided to fine the young mum, telling her that it was her "responsibility" to ensure she had read the terms and conditions.

However after being contacted by the pub, the company has since cancelled her ticket.

In an initial letter to the mum Britannia Parking said: “We have considered your appeal and comments you have made; in conjunction 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 that they have read and understood the terms and conditions for using the car park.

 “We give motorists a 10 minute consideration period on arrival before entering into the ‘parking contract’, this is double the time recommended by the BPA.

"If the driver has not purchased a ticket within this 10 minute period, a Parking Charge Notice will be issued.

'DISCRETION'

“By leaving your vehicle in the car park without a valid ticket you have broken the terms and conditions and therefore we believe the Parking Charge Notice to be valid and correctly issued.”

Emily added: “I understand why the pub needs to make sure its car park isn’t full of people using it to go shopping down Bath Road, but I feel Britannia parking could use a bit more discretion.

“I’d like them to think a bit more why people might have gone over the 10 minutes by a short while.”

A spokesman for Greene King said: “We have asked Britannia to cancel the ticket in question.

“We instil a parking charge as some of the community wish to use the car park for access to other businesses and we want to ensure we give our guests priority of parking.

“A small charge is installed, but if you eat or drink in the pub it is refunded from the bill and guests can register their number plate on the tablet.”

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