A row has broken out over controversial new restrictions imposed at the Lidl car park in Eastbourne which has seen shoppers who park there for more than 60 minutes receiving £90 fines.
The store in Seaside says the new regime – with cameras in the car park recording what time vehicles arrive and leave – was brought in after complaints from customers were unable to find a space.
But Eastbourne shopper Graham Buchanan is furious after he received a penalty notice for £90 after doing his family shop, which took over one hour and 17 minutes recently.
Graham said, “As a regular customer of LIDL I’m afraid I didn’t notice the cameras or the signs the previous week. The store said the system has been put in place to deter motorists abusing the use of the car park especially parents at a nearby school.
“My issue is not over the fact that there are parking restrictions. However 60 minutes is an unreasonable time allowance to conduct a weekly family shop on a busy Saturday morning. Whilst I can certainly try to speed up my shopping by avoiding browsing and examining the goods on sale, what I cannot control is the length of time to process at checkout.
“I suggest Lidl increase the time limit first and then I just MIGHT consider shopping in the store again. If the objective of the new system was to deter unwanted motorists whilst enhancing the customer shopping experience then I’m afraid it fails miserably. However, if the aim is to reduce the amount of time one spends in the store or indeed the number of customers Lidl has, it will be a resounding success. I will not be paying the fine nor will I be appealing to a parking management company.”
A Lidl spokesperson said, To ensure we can offer a parking space to all of our customers throughout the day we have amended our free parking. New signage was placed around the car park two months prior to changes. We believe the changes to the Eastbourne store’s car park will help towards a happier shopping experience.”