Shoppers force a parking change
5:30am Saturday 1st March 2014 in By Elizabeth Mackley
A CAR park’s policies which had Royal Wootton Bassett shoppers in uproar have been changed as a result of customer complaints.
The car park at the back Morrisons M Local store in the High Street has changed its 30 minute maximum time limit after shoppers who were hit with £100 fines after over-staying complained.
Customers can now park for free for 45 minutes in the car park, which is run by private car parking company Premier Park and uses cameras to clock when vehicles arrive and when they leave.
They can also pay £1 for an additional hour’s parking, which will be refunded when they spend more than £10 in-store.
Chris Wannell, a member of the Wootton Bassett Town Council, received numerous complaints after shoppers were caught out in the car park.
He said: “It is an improvement, it is definitely an improvement.
“But some customers who were only three minutes late back to their cars were still being fined £60, which I think is poor and unreasonable. I think probably five to ten minutes is reasonable but not three minutes.”
But Liz Eastgate, whose elderly mother was hit with a fine after failing to return to her car quick enough last autumn, does not think the changes will encourage more people to park there.
Her mother, who is in her 90s and has difficulty walking, thought that her disabled badge would allow her the usual three hours to complete her shopping.
Liz said: “By the time she had got her things together, queued up to pay and got back into the car she had exceeded the limit.
“I think camera-controlled car parks are new to people in Royal Wootton Bassett.
“The time limit is better now but when you can park for free for two hours on the high street or pay 30p to park in Borough-fields I still don’t think they will be parking there.”
The change in terms and conditions came as a result of a collaborative effort between the landlord, Premier Park and Morrisons to find an arrangement that would better suit customers.
A spokesman for Morrisons said: “After listening to customer feedback, we have worked with the landlord to introduce these new parking arrangements which we hope our customers will welcome.
“We think this will ensure all shoppers visiting Morrisons M Local have a space to park in, while also having the option to extend their stay and visit other places in the town centre.”
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