Drivers could face heavy fines at The Co-operative in a bid to end ongoing parking misery at the Hebden Bridge store.
A new restrictive parking policy with steep fines for drivers in breach of the rules has been introduced to tackle the persistent parking problem at the Market Street store, says The Co-operative Food.
The store car park now operates a pay and display maximum of two hours stay at all times and issues a £70 fine for anyone in breach of this.
Shoppers must now print and display a ticket from a machine which gives them up to one hour free parking.
People can stay in the car park for a maximum of two hours but must pay £1 for this, at the machine - which is refundable to shoppers who spend £10 or more in store.
Drivers must take extra care when leaving vehicles in the car park - anyone who parks over two hours, overnight, does not display a ticket, parks out of a marked bay, parks in a disabled bay without a valid blue badge or in a parent and child bay without a child under the age of 12 could be issued a parking charge notice fine of £70 by Horizon Parking.
Car parking restrictions do not apply if a valid blue disability badge is displayed.
The new measures have evoked a mixed response from shoppers.
Shopper Julie Littleboy, of Hebden Bridge, said: “I wouldn’t have known about it unless you mentioned it. I bet there’s a lot like me that’s ended up with fines because it’s not very well advertised which is really disappointing. It should have been made more clear.”
Stephanie Thomas said: “They’ve had to do it because people take the mick and park here all day. The car park might be full but no-one’s in the store - they’re all in the restaurants or at the cinema. It’s like this in my village - it would be good if they introduced the restrictions there too.”
Fiona Whyton said: “I think it would have been better for the Co-op to have made the new regulations more transparent - I only heard about it through Facebook. I know people who’ve been shocked to receive fines - they simply weren’t expecting them.
“But I’m happy in that there will be more spaces free now - especially in the summer when the town is awash with tourists - so I can certainly see why the charges have been brought in.”
Prior to the changes, enforced last week, an automated number plate recognition scheme was in place at the store - with a maximum two hour free stay.
A spokesperson for The Co-operative Food, said: “We have been keen to make improvements for customers of our store regarding car parking arrangements and a new scheme is in place at our Market Street, Hebden Bridge store.
“Parking restrictions are used where controls are needed to ensure space remains available for our shoppers, and we are pleased to continue to offer free parking for customers at the store.”