A Northampton mum who was given a parking fine for spending too long in a free McDonald's car park is selling Happy Meal toys to pay for the ticket.
Kate Markowska, her husband and their two children (aged two and five) spent 111 minutes at the Weston Favell branch of the fast-food restaurant on Sunday, January 21.
Free parking in the McDonald's is limited to 90 minutes, but Mrs Markowska said it was difficult to take notice of this because of the snowy conditions on the day which meant they rushed inside to keep warm.
"It was snowing that day so we stayed, we ate our food and the kids played in the play area," said Mrs Markowska, who called the charge unfair.
"A week later we received a letter for a £100 parking fine from the parking firm they employ.
"I have appealed it but it was refused."
She added: "When I got the first letter I was shocked, I did not know what it was for," said Mrs Markowska.
"I was completely shocked and angry."
Not only did the snow mean the family rushed inside the restaurant, it also delayed them leaving the car park.
“An hour-and-a-half is hardly enough time to eat,” said Mrs Markowska.
“It was snowing so we had to be careful walking across the car park, scrape the car, get the kids in the car.”
In response to the fine Mrs Markowska set up an eBay auction of Happy Meal toys her children have collected over time.
She hopes to recoup between £30 and £100 to help pay for the ticket.
“We are trying to raise the money to pay the ticket by selling the Happy Meal toys.
“I’m quite angry with McDonald’s and I don’t want anything else to do with them.”
In its letter to Mr Markowska, MET Parking Services (who operate the McDonald's car park) said the terms and conditions of parking are clearly stated on signs that are prominently displayed at the entrance to and around the car park.