Lidl makes car park U-turn

Graham Buchanan outside Eastbourne Lidl. SUS-141022-172019001
Graham Buchanan outside Eastbourne Lidl. SUS-141022-172019001

Supermarket chain Lidl has backed down over its controversial parking regime.

The store came under heavy attack from customers in September when it installed cameras at the entrance to the car park and fines for anyone staying longer than an hour.

But last weekend the store abandoned the scheme and instead customers can now park for free for up to 90 minutes.

A Lidl spokesperson said, “Our customers at the Eastbourne store told us that they were finding it challenging to do their weekly shop within the 60-minute free parking time frame, particularly during busy periods when the car park can become congested.

“We listened to what our customers were telling us and have subsequently increased the free parking available to 90 minutes to allow them to carry out their shopping at a more leisurely pace.”

Now, customers going in to the store are asked how they travelled there and asked for their registration number if they are in a car and using the car park.

That information is put together with the cameras which still operate at the entrance to the car park and no further action is taken.

People using the car park and who do not register their car details at the tills will still receive tickets.

The changes have been welcomed by Graham Buchanan who led a fierce campaign against the scheme on social media after he received a fixed penalty notice in the post when he spent more than an hour doing the weekly family shop.

Graham, who vetoed the store along with countless other shoppers when the strict parking regime was brought in, said this week he was delighted at the change of heart by Lidl.

“This is a good result for people power,” he said.

“I’ve badgered, pestered, emailed, blogged, Facebooked and phoned.

“I don’t think for one minute it had anything to do with me but I’ve had so many comments from Eastbourne folks and beyond that Lidl has probably had so many complaints they’ve capitulated.”