When a family in Bristol, UK, decided to head out to their local pub for a traditional Christmas lunch, the last thing they expected was to receive a parking fine of over $600, simply because they had taken too long to finish their festive meal.
Tina Hoskins and 23 of her relatives reportedly descended on the Brewers Fayre public house in Bristol for their annual Christmas meal. The family left the pub after spending over three hours there, having waited more than 45 minutes for their food to be served.
Tina Hoskins, as reported by the Bristol Post, was told to face charges of up to £60 ($100) for overstaying her limit in the pub car park, while later, Mrs. Hoskins and three family members who were at the pub were sent a letter ordering them to pay £60 for overstaying their welcome in the pub’s car park, where vehicles are limited to three hours. If they did not pay the fine within two weeks, the family was told charges would increase to $150 per car or $600 in total.
Mrs Hopkins, a school teacher, ranted to reporters about the incident.
“I was livid when the bill came through. I am outraged that they can charge you to park, especially considering the amount the party spent. I will not be paying this parking fine as I believe it to be a disgrace. Instead I will advise my family of a more friendly establishment for next year.”
According to a report in the Mirror, the extended family learned only later that the pub insists that customers using their parking facilities give a note of their car registration number to bar staff on arrival.
Due to the fact that Mrs. Hoskins says she was never aware of such a rule, and that their food had taken so long to arrive, meant the whole thing was just totally unfair.
“My youngest son was very tired, so we asked for chips quickly so he could eat before he fell asleep. However, they took an extremely long time and he fell asleep. The food for everyone was served at around 1pm. Then after my son woke up, he had chips before we left. It was lovely to see the family, but this meal has now been ruined by parking fines. If the food had been on time, none of us would have exceeded the three-hour time limit.”
Fortunately, and in the spirit of Christmas, the establishment in question, Brewers Fayre, has decided not to pursue the charges.
A spokesperson for the pub told reporters, “We were sorry to hear about the car parking fines faced by Ms Hoskins and her party while visiting the Bristol Concord Brewers Fayre in early December. In this particular instance we would like to cover the cost of the fines as a gesture of goodwill to the party and look forward to welcoming them back to the restaurant in 2015.”