A birthday meal proved to be a very expensive treat for six-year-old Livvi Eagleton – after her mum was slapped with a £100 parking fine for staying too long.
Danielle Eagleton, of Leeds Old Road, Heckmondwike, visited Junction 27 in Birstall with her daughter and five of her friends.
The mum-of-one was treating them to a KFC. She had been there before and was unaware of any parking rules, so was stunned to find they had outstayed their welcome by 21 minutes.
She was given a £60 ticket, by the car park owners, because she had exceeded the 75 minute time limit.
She appealed the fine, arguing it was unfair to impose a time limit on paying customers, not least because she had six children with her for a birthday party. But it was rejected and she was ordered to pay £100 for challenging the decision.
Mrs Eagleton said: “I find it disgusting. We had gone to the cinema and then drove up to the car park to go and get some food.
“When we got there it was really busy and we had to queue to get food and then wait for a table for at least 10 minutes.
“I was the only adult with six children and all this had to be all done in an hour and 15 minutes. That is not possible when we went there for a party.” Mrs Eagleton said the meals cost around £30, including ice cream for dessert.
She said she acknowledged why restrictions were in place, but said each case should be judged on its own merit. She said: “I understand people parking in the car park and going over to the retail park – that is wrong. But we just went into the restaurant and when we were done we came straight back out.”
Motorists using the KFC car park are captured on camera as they enter and leave. When people stay too long, tickets are later issued by post.
Mrs Eagleton has since driven by the KFC car park and said parking signs had now been erected. She added: “The letter did say a sign was up in the car park but now there are lots of big yellow signs up. They have been put up since we went.
“KFC said the car park is nothing to do with them. It seems they are happy to take custom from me and the children but are not prepared to help me. ”
A spokesperson from KFC said: “The car park at our Birstall restaurant is owned and operated by a third party, and the time restrictions are designed to accommodate diners who generally eat for around 30 minutes.
“We always try to help our genuine customers, and if Mrs Eagleton contacts the restaurant, we will happily get in touch with the car park operators and ask if they would be willing to cancel the fine.”