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Single mother faces £170 parking fine after overstaying at McDonald’s for just 14 minutes  

by Press room

Single mother faces £170 parking fine after overstaying at McDonald’s for just 14 minutes while she treated her children to a slap-up meal

A terrified single mother was handed a £170 fine after overstaying in a McDonald’s car park for just 14 minutes, it has been claimed. 

Catherine Bowden, treated her two young children to a McDonalds in Walsgrave, Coventry, last November following negative Covid tests.

But the 40-year-old is now ‘worried sick’ having been left with a parking fine that she will struggle to pay off, according to the Metro.

She told the publication: ‘I’m a single parent who doesn’t have a lot of money to be honest, so I’d treated my kids to McDonald’s as I knew they had a play area.

‘I’m worried sick, I’ve never been in debt in my life and don’t know what to do.’

Catherine Bowden (pictured) was fined after taking her child to McDonald’s in Coventry

A McDonald's spokesman reportedly said that signposts were 'clearly displayed' at the branch

A McDonald’s spokesman reportedly said that signposts were ‘clearly displayed’ at the branch

Catherine claimed that she had misread  the signposts that laid out parking time limits, causing her to accidentally overstay.

Although the fine was initially said to be £50, it bumped up to £170 in the time that Catherine was desperately trying to contact McDonald’s for help.

The mother slammed this as ‘unfair’ and claimed she would not have chosen to go to McDonald’s if aware of the cameras or 90-minute limit. 

Despite this, a McDonald’s spokesman told MailOnline that signposts were ‘clearly displayed’ at the Coventry branch.

Details were said to have been readable from a number of lampposts and near to the entrance of the car park. 

The spokesman added: ‘We have parking restrictions in place at a number of our restaurants, with a time limit to ensure there is adequate parking for all of our customers. 

‘Ample signage regarding these restrictions is clearly displayed both as you drive into the car park, on various lampposts within it and inside of the restaurant. 

‘We work with industry-approved contractors to ensure customers do not exceed the 90 minute limit.’

A Stoke-on-Trent taxi driver was also handed a £60 parking fine after stopping outside a McDonald’s branch for just 47 seconds in a similar incident.

Kam Parvez, 33, had gone to pick up a customer when parking operator iPark Services said he parked on yellow ‘keep clear’ markings near the entrance to the McDonald’s car park.

He has successfully overturned the penalty after winning a second appeal.

McDonald’s previously declined to comment regarding the Mr Parvez incident as it did not take place on its premises. 

How to challenge unfair parking fines: READ MORE

  • Success rate for appeals relating to parking charges at London Tribunals is 51%
  • Success rate for drivers appealing to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal is higher at 64%
  • Of four million tickets issued in 2020 by the British Parking Association, just a quarter of drivers appealed their ticket. 


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