A woman who stopped in a hotel car park to feed her hungry baby has been fined £60 for doing so. Gemma Clark paused in the car park of the Royal Britannia Hotel in Hull to breastfeed her four-month-old baby, Holly, and was shocked when she received a fine through the post a few days later.
Gemma told the Hull Daily Mail that she was on her way back from Lincoln when her baby started crying. Finding nowhere safe to stop in town, she pulled into the car park, sited at the rear of the hotel and operated by Smart Parking limited.
"Holly was screaming the car down so we needed somewhere safe to pull over where I could feed her," Gemma said. "Ferensway was completely rammed and we thought this would be the safest option."
Gemma claims she, her partner and her baby were only there 15 minutes, but despite the short period she received a fine from Smart Parking.
She attempted to appeal but paid the fine in the end as she said the firm did not respond within the 14-day grace period. "The fine goes up to £100 if not paid within 14 days," she said. "I couldn't leave it any longer. £60 is bad enough when you are on maternity pay."
Smart Parking has not commented, and Gemma says she just wants others to be aware of where they pull over. "I thought we were being safe and pulling over in a safe place, but obviously not.
"It has ended up being an expensive meal."