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Asda car parking fines spark anger
ASDA in Worcester has reported a significant rise in customer numbers – but its popularity has left some shoppers falling foul of its new parking cameras.
The store in St Martin’s Quarter, Lowesmoor, says customer numbers are up by 21 per cent year on year.
It has previously been reported that the car park has been gridlocked on occasions because of the popularity of the store and its adjoining car park, which charges just £1 for three hours.
And in a bid to stop non-customers out-staying their welcome, Asda has installed registration recognition cameras at the entrance and exit.
But a number of unhappy Asda shoppers have contacted your Worcester News after receiving fines from Smart Parking, which administers the store’s parking scheme.
Each had been parked for three hours or less, but had spent longer within the car park as they struggled to find a space.
Jane O’Neill, of Chapman Drive, Warndon, was sent a ticket stating she had been in the car park from 10.53am until 2.47pm.
When she contacted the store and Smart Parking she was told there was no way out of paying the fine, but it has since been quashed.
The 51-year-old said: “We were back to the car park within three hours as on the ticket and it was the time queueing to get in and out.
“I think they cancelled it because I contacted the paper. I think it’s disgusting. It is very confusing.
“When you are paying you have the ticket and check the time. That is the time you believe.”
Meanwhile, Frank Lauriello, of Warndon Villages, said his wife Kate got a ticket for being inside the multi- storey for three hours and 22 minutes. His ticket will also be revoked but he agrees the system needs to be clearer.
“Inevitably you get caught in queues and then you have to decant the shopping,” he said. “It takes the shine off Asda.”
An Asda spokesman said the grace period of 20 minutes had been increased to half-an-hour and advised if customers exceeded this they should hold on to their ticket and receipt to get their ticket cancelled.
He said the new cameras were intended to stop non-customers depriving customers of spaces.
As well as a 21 per cent rise in customer numbers, the Worcester store has seen a 30 per cent rise in sales of its George clothing range.
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