Hartlepool mum calls for more parent and child spaces at town retail park after being given £60 penalty
A Hartlepool mum has called for more parent and child parking spaces at a town retail park after she was given a £60 penalty charge.
Vanessa Mbawa, 37, who was heavily pregnant at the time, was given the ticket at Anchor Retail Park on Marina Way after she was unable to park in one of the larger parent spaces outside Boots.
She had just come from a hospital appointment and also had her daughter Melissa, seven, with her.
Vanessa, who was there to collect a prescription, went in one of the smaller standard bays but says she had to park over the lines so she and her daughter could get out.
The car park’s managers have now agreed to give her a full refund.
Vanessa, who is originally from Germany and now lives in Hartlepool, said: “I had come from the hospital, was so tired, I had my daughter with me and had to get a prescription from Boots.
"I parked in a corner and tried not to inconvenience anyone. What really annoyed me was I saw people who actually didn’t have kids going in the parent and child bays.
"I was nearly due my baby and had a complicated pregnancy. When I got the ticket a couple of days later it was another stressful factor on top of everything else. It was very distressing.”
Vanessa tried to appeal the £60 charge to HX Car Park Management but it was rejected.
It would have gone up to £100 if she did not pay within two weeks.
The company said she had parked in a way which breached the terms and conditions of the site and there was sufficient signage.
They added: “Parking in this manner is reducing the room available in the adjacent bay. Parking in breach of the terms and conditions creates a domino effect and each driver in turn is hindered.”
Vanessa, a mental health support worker currently on maternity leave with new son Marcus, added: "Lots of people have kids and parking is always a problem.
"I definitely think there should be more spaces for parents and children.”
After being contacted by the Mail, a representative of car park managers Sanderson Weatherall said: “We will rescind the ticket and give her a refund.”
Vanessa said: “I’m over the moon.”