Taxi driver pals dining at Edinburgh McDonald’s stunned by £100 parking fines

A group of taxi driver pals who dined at an Edinburgh McDonald’s restaurant were left stunned when they each received £100 fines for exceeding a 90-minute time limit to park there.

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 4:55 am

Let us know what you think and join the conversation at the bottom of this article.

Cabbie Mary Erskine met up with the three other drivers outside of work for the first time in a year to enjoy food and drink at the London Road branch at Meadowbank, as they had done for many years until the pandemic arrived.

And instead of enjoying a Big Mac, they were hit with a whopper of a fine.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Big Mac, big fine for cabbies who ate at the Meadowbank McDonald's

But last week she received a letter from a firm called UK Parking Control stating she was 11 minutes over the permitted time and would be charged £100. The letter, seen by the Edinburgh Evening News, says the company will accept a reduced sum of £50 if payment is received within 14 days.

She says her three friends each received the same parking charge letter, which shows camera footage of her vehicle and associated arrival and departure times at the McDonald’s car park.

The 62-year-old, a taxi driver in Edinburgh for 31 years, said: “I think it’s shocking. We were regular customers and we knew most of the staff there before Covid.

“It’s just not right, and I think the fine itself is really high. That’s them taking £400 for us to eat in McDonald’s.

The parking fine notice received by Mary Erskine

“McDonald’s are not interested, even though they can confirm we were eating in the restaurant and the years of custom we have given them. We were the only four sitting in that night - it’s absolutely disgusting.”

The taxi drivers decided to meet up to eat, drink and socialise at the McDonald’s restaurant in London Road at around 8pm on Thursday, August 19. Most have been unable to socialise for more than a year due to strict lockdown regulations introduced under emergency Covid-19 legislation.

Ms Erskine said she was running about 20 minutes late when she got there, that the ordering process took some time and that they were spending time chatting while eating and were not merely sitting about taking up valuable customer space.

She insisted at no point did anyone in the group notice any warning signs about parking restrictions - either in the car park or inside the restaurant.

Ms Erskine continued: “I have never had a parking ticket or driving offence. If I knew there were cameras, this would not have happened. Why do they not let the public know about the cameras?”

A McDonald’s spokesperson said senior staff were attempting to have the fines overturned.

They added: “There is a sign on entry to the car park plus another six signs spread throughout what is a fairly small car park.

"The cameras and signage were installed in early October and went live on 23/10/2020.

"We have got the four license plate numbers and we are speaking with the car parking company to try and have the fines retracted in this particular case.

UK Parking Control has been contacted for comment.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.