Lidl: former mayor refuses to pay £90 parking fine

Car Park Cameras outside the store SUS-140723-100322001
Car Park Cameras outside the store SUS-140723-100322001

Lidl customers stung by controversial new parking charges at the Eastbourne store are continuing to react angrily to charges being imposed.

The store recently installed cameras at the entrance which check number plates entering and leaving the car park and shoppers who leave their cars longer than 60 minutes in the car park have been receiving £90 fixed penalty notices.

The no frills store said the strict rules had been introduced after consultation with shoppers and in a bid to stop mothers using it for the school run at nearby Tollgate School.

Among those receiving penalty notices was Eastbourne businessman Graham Buchanan and former Eastbourne mayor Carolyn Heaps who said they would not be paying them as there is a question mark over whether they can be enforced legally.

Eastbourne Citizens’ Advice Bureau said this week customers who had received the penalty notices for £90 – reduced to £45 if paid within two weeks – should check the website as some notices can only be appealed against if they have been imposed unfairly.

Graham Buchanan said he would not be paying it and would boycott the store in future.

And Carolyn Heaps said, “I received a civil parking demand for £90 for staying in Lidl car park for more than 60 minutes when I shopped there. May I warn everyone who reads this about this new restriction. Lidl divorces itself from the scheme by telling us to contact the parking control company Athena.

“I have complained to Lidl and appealed to the parking company but why should I have to do this for shopping in their supermarket? People should vote with their feet by boycotting Lidl Eastbourne altogether.

“I feel sorry for cash strapped families and pensioners who are stung by this cash cow of a scheme. Shame on Lidl. Lidl should change its mind before more people change theirs about where they want to shop in future. I certainly have.”

A spokesperson for Lidl 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.”