‘Legalised theft’: Driver hit with £100 parking fine for eating meal in Starbucks car park

Bakewell resident says that parking 'is a nightmare'

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Bob Spink visited a McDonald’s restaurant in Swansea with his girlfriend and was unable to find a parking space outside the fast food establishment. They opted to stop in a nearby bay outside of a Starbucks coffee shop, where he stayed for a “mere” 16 minutes.

He was then shocked to discover a letter through his door issuing him with a £100 fine for the 16-minute stop.

Sharing his subsequent parking charge notice on social media, Bob said he “had not realised these penalties were a thing”.

He said he was also shocked to find that others had gone through a similar experience.

Now the 50-year-old from Bath has vowed to “not go anywhere near a Starbucks ever again” after receiving the fine letter at his address in Brynmill.

Mr Spink claimed he had only bought a £12 order from McDonalds, but the car park was entirely full.

He then parked at a neighbouring Starbucks where they had plenty of open bays.

He added: “It just feels like legalised theft, I haven’t done anything wrong legally.

“I was baffled by it, we have just moved here and it’s something you can’t ignore as it only gets worse and increases the fee. 

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“I shared it in the hope of making people aware and steer clear of the chain. 

“We hadn’t even left the car, the premise of a car park is to invite people in and it just feels like a con and I don’t understand what they are trying to achieve.

“It doesn’t look great for the chain to use a parking enforcement with such tactics,” he told Wales Online.

The letter he received told him that if he paid the fine within 14 days it would be reduced to £60 so he did so to avoid the bigger charge.

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People responding to his social media post were also shocked to find that many other drivers had gone through the same thing.

The pictures caused some controversy in the comments, with some arguing  “it’s shocking they are allowed to do this”.

Others, however, said it was a “lesson learnt the hard way” and conceded to paying their own fines.

The Starbucks located on Fabian Way in Swansea uses National Parking Enforcement Ltd to run its car park.

The company also runs car parks at shopping centres, hospitals, hotels and universities.

Its website claims to offer “a unique, ethical, and transparent range of parking services”.

According to Wales Online, Starbucks acknowledged that the parking offence notice was the responsibility of National Parking Enforcement Ltd and declined to comment further.

Express.co.uk have approached Starbucks and National Parking Enforcement Ltd for a comment.

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