New ‘baffling’ Kettering Sainsbury's car park rules 'jeopardise' night-time economy, councillor claims
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A councillor has called for a re-think after ‘baffling’ rule changes were introduced at one of Kettering’s largest car parks.
The new regulations for the Sainsbury’s car park in Rockingham Road could see motorists hit with penalty charge notices for any stay longer than 10 minutes outside of store trading hours.
A pay-to-park app must be downloaded to access out-of-hours parking spaces, but Cllr Keli Watts (Lab, Northall) is concerned the new ANPR monitoring could impact Kettering’s night-time economy.
She said: “The Kettering night-time economy is in serious jeopardy – all the people who are enjoying the restaurants, the arts centre, the Salvation Army use the car park.
“The signs are confusing and baffling. People are going to park their cars and will get fined without being aware.”
It is believed the new measures have been introduced to deter rubbish being dumped around the store’s recycling bins.
Cllr Watts said: “If there’s a problem with anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping, why don’t they put in more CCTV? They could be working with other partners to find a solution.”
Sainsbury’s customers using the pay and display car park with still receive a refund with charges payable between 8am and 6pm Monday to Saturday (including Bank Holidays).
The maximum stay in the car park is two hours. Outside store trading hours the maximum stay will be 10 minutes.
Currently the first 30 minutes is free for all users – up to an hour is charged at £1 which goes up to £1.50 for the maximum two hours.
Newly installed yellow signs warning customers say: “This car park is patrolled. Please observe the following conditions to avoid a parking charge notice of £85.
"We are using Automatic Number Plate Recognition and/or handheld cameras to capture images of vehicle number plates to monitor and enforce (the above) terms and conditions.”
The store’s opening hours are 8am to 9pm from Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sundays – after closing, vehicles will be restricted to 10 minutes on site unless a space is ‘reserved’.
Separate green signs attached underneath the main sign display the QR code for the ‘pay by phone’ facility. Users have to add their registration number and can chose a time slot.
But Horizon’s website says: “The spaces are available 24 hours on all days. You can enter/exit this car park multiple times throughout the duration of your booking.”
Using the app or by going online, people can book by the hour, for out-of-store-hour stays. The cost for one hour or 24-hours is currently charged at the flat rate of £4.34.
A month-long space can also be booked with a space currently being charged at £72.25.
A Sainsbury’s spokesman said: “10-minute parking restrictions are in place at our Kettering store outside of opening hours. If any members of the community would like to use a space for longer, they can pay to reserve a space via www.horizonspaces.co.uk.”
Cllr Watts added: “Ultimately, it’s not just the people and business owners of Kettering who will suffer, it’s the Sainsbury’s reputation in the town. Sainsbury’s need to re-think how this is done.”