Parking restrictions scare shoppers away

I ARRIVED at St Helens Retail Park (Peasley Cross) on Sunday October 24th with the intention of doing some early Christmas shopping.

Got a good start at TK Maxx, spending over £ 100, took a quick look at B&M and then decided to drop my groceries in my car before continuing on to the rest of the units and stop in Costa for a coffee.

It wasn’t until I approached my car that I spotted the new parking restriction sign giving shoppers only two hours of free parking. Having been in the shopping park for just over two hours already, I knew I had been another victim of an outrageous £ 100 fine.

My shopping day being over, I left the retail park without visiting the other units. My day and my shopping were completely ruined.

I contacted TK Maxx the next day and was told the panels were installed on October 17th, but they were not yet sure if they were fully operational. However, if they were, there was nothing they could do to help or waive any fines incurred. I was told the majority of the business units were not happy with the charges, but the owner installed them to prevent rugby fans from using the parking lot on match days.

I fully understand that they want to prevent people who do not shop from using the parking lot, but limiting shopping to two hours on a large shopping park is ridiculous.

Even more annoying, the two units I visited either had no warning of the new posted restrictions or had the option of extending the stay by two hours, as did the cinema parking lot.

I think in the coming months many buyers will be fined that they cannot afford for spending their hard earned money shopping in these units, totally oblivious to the new restrictions.

Purchasing units can do several things to help their customers:

1. Post notices on doors and around stores.

2. Challenge the owner to extend the deadline.

3. Cancel charges with proof of purchase.

Units must defend their customers or they may find people shopping elsewhere. A return taxi to Liverpool is cheaper than having to pay a fine of £ 100 for daring to shop for more than two hours.

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