Couple slapped with 'Britain's most ridiculous parking fine' in free car park (2 Pics)

Despite signs stating 'one hour free' the couple were slapped with a £60 fine

A couple have been left raging after being slapped with an "utterly ridiculous" £60 fine despite parking in a spot labelled as 'free' outside two restaurants just four metres apart.
Kate Readman and her husband parked outside Starbucks for 30 minutes while they popped into the next door McDonald's in Southgate retail park near Stansted Airport.
After spending just 30 minutes in the restaurant, they made the 30-second journey back to their car and drove home, thinking nothing more of it.
But weeks later they got a nasty surprise when a £60 fine landed on their doorstep from the firm that manages the car park, MET Parking Services.
The restaurants are just four metres apart, with one entrance and exit into the split car park

The letter demanded the cash and a search on the company's website revealed their every movement after leaving their car had been captured on CCTV.
Kate said the couple, who had just got off a flight, had been careful to check parking restrictions and a sign in the car park had said 'one hour free' but did not specify a restaurant.
Their situation is not uncommon and dozens of people on online forums have also complained about the 'unclear signs'.
Many users, including on MoneySavingExpert, The Consumer Action Group and Legal Beagles, say they are dubious about the company's use of CCTV and suggest it is a cunning tactic to win fines from motorists who would rather pay than dispute it.
Mrs Readman told The Guardian: "We left the car and walked the 30 metres or so to the McDonald's which is next door to the Starbucks, ate and drove off after around 30 minutes – well inside the allotted free hour.
"I genuinely could not believe it when I got the letter. But when I went online I found plenty of posts from others who had received similar letters.
"If this model were carried forward to other retail parks you would have to park directly in front of the shop you wished to visit and then move your car each time you wanted to go to another shop. It's utterly ridiculous."
Various signs in the car park say one hour's free parking 'on site', but do not specify where, while others tell drivers a particular area is reserved for McDonald's or Starbucks customers only.
Despite having one exit and entrance, the car park has been split into two units - one for each restaurant.
MET lawyers defended the policy and said the two areas are 'clearly distinct and separately signposted'.
But customers have complained it leads to confusion, and Mrs Readman said staff at both restaurants agreed it could be more clearly signposted but there is 'nothing they can do about it'.
After investigating on online forums, Mrs Readman found she may not have to pay the fine as if MET fails to send letters within 14 days of the visit, it can be ignored.
Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 states the 'notice to keeper' must be made within the two-week period.
Firms are still able to send communications threatening action, but unless a court summons is issued they can be ignored, according to advice on forums.
The Guardian spoke to a partner at JMW Solicitors, which represents MET, who said on on behalf of MET: "There is nothing unusual about different businesses having their own car park or reserving free parking for their own customers."
Couple slapped with 'Britain's most ridiculous parking fine' in free car park (2 Pics) Couple slapped with 'Britain's most ridiculous parking fine' in free car park (2 Pics) Reviewed by Your Destination on November 10, 2018 Rating: 5

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