A WOKINGHAM supermarket is to crack down on customers abusing its parking facilities.
From Monday, February 25, number plate recognition technology is to be introduced at the Rectory Road branch of Waitrose & Partners.
A sign in the store alerting shoppers to the news warns that from this date the maximum allotted time for parking will be just 90 minutes. Anyone who goes over that or returns to the car park to park again within the following two hours, would face a £70 parking charge.
The news has gone down like a lead balloon on social media, with one shopper saying, “I can’t shop in an hour and a half, how can you browse?”
Another said: “Makes it hard for people to go shopping and use the cafe then.
“It would be better if they just made it a token to exit or a charge with money off your shopping.”
And a third said: “Brilliant, now Wokingham town is even less accessible”.
However, others thought it was a great idea.
One said: “Sounds good to me. So many people park there and go into Wokingham to shop. Try and get shopping done in as little time as possible so I don’t waste time there, rather spending time outside not spending money.”
And another said: “It’s not Waitrose’s duty to provide parking for the whole of Wokingham”.
But store bosses feel that the new timing restrictions will be ample for its shoppers.
A Waitrose & Partners spokesperson told The Wokingham Paper: “Customers can park in our car park for 90 minutes, which we believe offers customers plenty of time to shop with us and visit our cafe.
“The new system is designed to ensure we continue to look after our customers who have found it difficult to find spaces because of the increasing pressure our car park has come under, especially during busy trading periods.
“We understand that on occasion there are certain circumstances where our customers may need to return within the time period.
“When this is the case, we kindly ask them to talk to one of our Partners on the Welcome desk.”