A BIRTHDAY celebration turned sour after a disabled driver was shocked to receive an £80 parking fine.

Neil McManus and his family shared a special meal to mark his step dad Anthony Connor’s birthday at The Brighton Belle pub in Winsford.

It was the first time Neil, his wife Claire and their three children had met up with Anthony and Neil’s mum Liz since Christmas.

Neil, 39, of Fir Tree Close, said: “We saw the pay and display machines in the car park but there was a sign that said if you’re using the pub you don’t have to pay.

“It was only when my mum went to order the food that a member of staff behind the bar asked her if she had put her registration number into a computer on the bar. We didn’t know you had to do this.

“She put her registration number in straightaway and I put my van’s registration in as well. They didn’t make it clear that you had to register your vehicles inside the pub. There were no signs on the tables or in the pub.”

Liz registered her blue Honda and Neil put in details of his blue van and the family spent several hours in the pub as their children played outside.

A week later Neil’s mum was shocked to receive a parking fine for £80 from Parking Eye.

“My mum is disabled and was really upset,” said Neil. “We had enjoyed a really lovely family meal together and this spoilt everything.

“I’m a self-employed painter and decorator and my parents live in Altrincham so we don’t often get the chance to see each other.”

The pub on Middlewich Road introduced parking charges earlier this year because commuters using the nearby railway station were blocking spaces.

Neil said: “I can understand the pub putting in a pay and display because people going on trains were using their car park.

“We only live round the corner.There were cars all round the bend on Rookery Rise since the charges came in.”

Claire sent an email to The Brighton Belle to explain that they had registered both vehicles but did not receive a reply.

After the Guardian intervened, the pub cancelled the parking fine and has removed the Parking Eye camera.

A spokesman for the Brighton Belle said: “We would like to apologise to our customer who received a parking fine by mistake and can reassure her that this will be cancelled.

“We recently installed Parking Eye in our car park to ensure it was used exclusively by our customers. However, following feedback we have switched it off and will now consider alternative parking solutions instead.”