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A mum has been left fuming after she was fined £60 for going over the parking limit outside Home Bargains while she was breastfeeding her son.
Katie Sims, 31, was sitting in the car park in South Shields, Tyneside, in September, but didn’t realise the spot had a time restriction.
The science teacher was breastfeeding her four-month-old son Bobby and went over the 90-minute allotted time by 45 minutes – without knowing there ever was one – The Sun reports.
ParkingEye, the car park’s operator hit her with a £60 fine, which she challenged – before being left frustrated with the company’s customer service team.
She described their response as "disrespectful", saying: "I thought it was really insensitive. I understand why I got the fine but on the appeal they said there was no evidence. I'm not sure what evidence I'm supposed to send."
The fine was eventually rescinded, but the mum-of-two believes her reasoning was justified and it shouldn’t have escalated so far in the first place.
She told the Daily Mail: "The signage was poor and I didn’t know there was a restricted time to stay but the way they worded the appeal upset me the most and I found it very disrespectful.
"There’s nothing more important than feeding your child. Bobby is my second child I’ve breastfed and I think there’s still a stigma around breastfeeding in public."
The 31-year-old claims she explained to the company that she had to stay there because her baby wouldn't settle.
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She continued: "I was there for over two hours because I was getting shopping and the baby wouldn't settle so I walked around for a while, went back to the car and fed him and then had to go back for my shopping."
In a statement, ParkingEye said the store's car park features prominent and highly-visible signs, displaying the terms and conditions of the parking facilities and is monitored by ANPR camera systems.
A spokesperson for the company said: "The motorist parked for longer than the maximum stay period of 1 hour and 30 minutes and therefore received a Parking Charge Notice.
"However, following a review of the circumstances, we have cancelled the charge as a gesture of goodwill."
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