A recently bereaved pensioner had a family birthday meal at a Pembrokeshire pub ruined by a parking fine due to what her family maintain is insufficient signage.

Chris Didlock was meeting her daughter and family for a celebratory lunch at the Harbour Inn in Solva.

She parked in the harbour car park, which was quite full and went to the pub for lunch. As a visitor to Pembrokeshire she had no idea that the car park was pay and display and says the machine was obscured by the cars parked in the area.

On the way into the pub she didn’t see any signs to tell her she needed to pay for parking and neither did the two other adults that were with her.

“Three people got out of her car and not one of them saw a sign,” said her daughter Katy who is a local.

“The pay and display machine is tucked away next to the toilets. As the car park was full, from where she parked it was unseen.

“To her it was a pub car park and normally you don’t pay for those.

Western Telegraph: Katy says that the machine is not obvious if the car park is full and drivers have parked down the

“She was extremely upset. On top of recently losing her husband, this was the icing on the cake.

“She was in tears. She would never not pay. It’s disgraceful. There should be more signs in the car park.”

Katy ended up paying her mum’s fine for her but feels that visitors to the area need to know that the car park is a pay and display due to what she believes is a lack of signage.

“It caused her no end of stress she did not need at this time,” she said. “What was supposed to be a lovely birthday weekend turned into the worst day they had on their holiday.

“I would like to see more signs around the car park. I wonder how many other non locals have been fined for this reason.”

A spokesperson for Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority said: “Car park signage is consistent across all of the authority’s charging car parks, with 1.2 metre by 1.2 metre signage boards, pay and display machines and reminder signs at all sites, including Solva.

“Information about parking charges in all authority charging car parks is also detailed in full on the authority’s website, as well as the option to pre-book parking and pay ahead before parking a vehicle via the Pay by Phone app.”

Katy has also been in touch with the park authority which has told her that it is satisfied that the provision of signage is sufficient and that there are no plans to increase, alter or relocate the signage in Solva.

“The signs are not noticeable,” said Katy. “They are not on the other side of the car park near the pub where you go in.

“’No one saw any of them. When I suggested a sign on the opposite side he [the national park employee] said ‘no we won’t be doing anything it’s been fine for six years’.

“Maybe they just haven’t had complaints before but it’s not really acceptable.”