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Student slapped with £100 charge for 15 minute stop at McDonald's

PUBLISHED: 19:00 26 November 2019 | UPDATED: 14:29 28 November 2019

McDonald's lets customers park for an hour for free at Cardinal Park in Ipswich Picture: ARCHANT

McDonald's lets customers park for an hour for free at Cardinal Park in Ipswich Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

A McDonald's breakfast cost one hungry customer £100 - after she was slapped with a hefty fine, despite being parked for just 15 minutes.

Almost a fortnight after her McDonald's breakfast, Miss Priestley discovered she also had a £100 penalty notice Picture: LAURA PRIESTLEYAlmost a fortnight after her McDonald's breakfast, Miss Priestley discovered she also had a £100 penalty notice Picture: LAURA PRIESTLEY

Laura Priestley, a 19-year-old bioscienece student at the University of Suffolk, makes an hour-long commute to the campus in Ipswich for her home in Thetford for her studies.

Stopping for a sausage and egg McMuffin at the Cardinal Park McDonald's drive-thru on November 14, Miss Priestley said she took no longer than 15mins to eat her breakfast and take her car to a university car park for the day.

But she was shocked to find out she had been charged £100 - with operator Euro Car Parks claiming she had spent almost nine hours there.

"I used the drive-thru, parked up and stuffed my face really quickly, then went to university," said Miss Priestley.

Euro Car Parks took over control of Cardinal Park car parks in 2019, with what appears to be identical pricing to previous operators, UK Parking Control Picture: ARCHANTEuro Car Parks took over control of Cardinal Park car parks in 2019, with what appears to be identical pricing to previous operators, UK Parking Control Picture: ARCHANT

"I was at McDonald's at 7.15am, and I have the receipt from the other car park that shows I was there at 7.45am.

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"I went back to Cardinal Park for lunch in the afternoon and they've sent me a photo of my car leaving the car park then - I wasn't in their car park for the whole day."

The letter sent to Miss Priestley shows her car is recorded as leaving Cardinal Park at 4.22pm, which she admits is correct - but insists she was at the Orwell Quay car park in Duke Street between her morning and afternoon visit.

Cardinal Park car park in Ipswich, previously run by UK Parking Control, is now run by Euro Car Park Picture: ARCHANTCardinal Park car park in Ipswich, previously run by UK Parking Control, is now run by Euro Car Park Picture: ARCHANT

Euro Car Parks has been contacted for comment. The company asks that all appeals be submitted in writing.

The car park was previously operated by UK Parking Control until June 2019.

Since the car park changed hands, there have been no changes to the cost of parking.

Miss Priestley has pointed out that in the small print at Cardinal Park, McDonald's and KFC customers are allowed to stop at the car park for up to one hour for free, providing they use the restaurants' allocated bays.

Miss Priestley, a full-time student at the University of Suffolk, only stopped at the McDonald's car park for 15 minutes to eat her breakfast, then moved to a university car park Picture: LAURA PRIESTLEYMiss Priestley, a full-time student at the University of Suffolk, only stopped at the McDonald's car park for 15 minutes to eat her breakfast, then moved to a university car park Picture: LAURA PRIESTLEY

Cineworld customers can still get four hours of free parking, providing they log their vehicle registration and the consoles provided in the cinema.

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