New parents slapped with a £60 fine because they overstayed in a Keighley car park by six minutes while feeding their poorly baby have branded the punishment “a disgrace.”
Mechanical engineer Nik Lansbury-Palmer and his wife Cathy, of Riddlesden, were returning from a trip to Haworth on Sunday, May 18 when their ten-week-old baby boy Alias, who has difficulty swallowing, became desperately hungry.
“It can be really tricky feeding him because he has a reflux condition and so when he suddenly gets hungry like he did that day, we have to feed him as much as possible,” said beautician and nail technician Mrs Lansbury-Palmer, 27.
“So we pulled into the Cavendish retail centre car park off Cavendish Street where the big sign says drivers have ten minutes free parking,” she said.
Mrs Lansbury-Palmer said the family stayed in her white Peugeot 208 car while she fed little Alias his bottle before driving off to continue their day out.
But they were horrified when days later they got an automatic fine from car park owner Excel Parking of Sheffield which had been generated by number plate identification.
“It said we had arrived at 2.49pm and had stayed for 16 minutes and if we paid straight away it would be a £60 or if we delayed it would be £100," Mrs Lansbury-Palmer said.
“We were absolutely fuming – that’s ten pounds for every minute we overstayed while feeding our new baby.
“We immediately appealed against it by sending off an email to the address given on the form,” Mrs Lansbury-Palmer said.
“I asked them to study the CCTV which would show me feeding our son and not that we had gone off shopping.”
However on Saturday they received a letter saying there were no grounds for appeal and the fine would have to be paid.
“We’re hard working people, I’m back at work even though Alias is so little and a £60 found fine is a lot to find.
“We think it’s just disgusting,” Mrs Lansbury-Palmer said.
A representative for Excel Parking Services Ltd said: “The car park at the Cavendish Retail Park is a clearly sign posted 24 hour pay on entry car park.
"This is specified on the five signs situated throughout the car park, including the entrance sign. The signage also specifies that a valid pay and display ticket must be purchased within 10 minutes of entering the car park and that anyone utilising the car park in excess of 10 minutes duration accepts, in full, the terms and conditions.
“Whilst we understand the circumstances Miss Garnett found herself, she or her partner could have obtained a pay and display ticket whilst the other person attended to their baby particularly if they didn't know how long it would take to feed the baby.
"It is important to highlight that there is no free parking at the Cavendish Retail park and the 10 minutes purely represents a reasonable grace period in order for motorists to understand the terms and conditions and decide whether they wish to park or leave.
"Although, we have rejected Miss Garnett's appeal, she has been given the opportunity to appeal to the independent adjudication service POPLA (Parking On Private Land Appeals), which is a free service to motorists."