A GRANDMOTHER who was fined £100 for staying in a fast food restaurant car park for longer than one hour says the time limit is "ridiculous."

Maxine Horton, of Plumer Road, Poole, took her grandchildren to Kentucky Fried Chicken at the Wessex Gate Retail Park for a treat last month.

The youngsters had just recovered from scarlet fever, and the outing was one of the first times they'd been able to leave the house.

But weeks later she received a parking penalty from Euro Car Parks, stating she spent one hour and 18 minutes in the retail park's car park, in contravention of the one hour limit.

That one hour limit had only been introduced earlier this year, but Mrs Horton said: "It gets really busy in there on the Fridays and Saturdays, you cannot get in and out with a couple of kids that need to be fed, it is impossible.

"It is ridiculous, you cannot get kids in and out in one hour, I don't care who you are."

Mrs Horton visited KFC on the evening of April 26.

She said: "It was the night of Storm Hannah and it was pouring down with rain, pitch black and was blowing a hooley."

The grandmother, who is contesting the penalty, parked facing PC World and didn't see the sign on the post, saying after 8pm you can only stay one hour.

"We went in, they chose what they wanted to eat," said Mrs Horton. "We came out and we were exactly an hour and 18 mins in the car park.

"I didn't think anything more about it, went home, then last week I got a Euro Car Park's 'notice to keeper' for a £100 charge."

She thought it was a scam at first but after contacting Euro Car Parks they explained this signage went in on January 3.

We contacted Euro Car Parks for comment, but by the time the Echo went to press they had not responded.

Most of the retailers on the park close at 8pm, but KFC shuts at 11pm. and McDonald's operates 24-hours-a-day.

However, Mrs Horton said: "Now that we are getting the lighter evenings, lots of people will be coming off the beach, too tired, wondering what to cook. And they may decide just to nip into McDonald's or KFC to get something for the kids.

"To be fair there are lots of signs, but where I was parking there were none at all."