New parking practice is ‘backward step’ for town

The new dome-shaped parking sensors installed in spaces at Spalding's Sainsbury's car park.

The new dome-shaped parking sensors installed in spaces at Spalding's Sainsbury's car park.

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SUPERMARKET giant Sainsbury’s has been slammed for failing to support town centre shops by introducing new time-limit sensors in its car park.

The new dome-shaped sensors in spaces at the Spalding store now record when a car parks and alert a parking attendant when it has outstayed the two-hour limit. A £40 fine will then be issued.

But Pete Williams, landlord of the Punchbowl, New Road, and member of Spalding and district area Chamber of Commerce, reacted angrily, saying: “This town supports Sainsbury’s, so why can’t Sainsbury’s support the town?”

Mr Williams has vowed never to shop in Sainsbury’s again if he gets a ticket, because two hours is not enough time to enable shoppers to do what they want to do.

He said: “How selfish can Sainsbury’s get? It seems it will now be impossible to shop in store and also have time to pop into town or walk around the market without having to go and move your car.

“People don’t want the hassle. They want to drive somewhere, get out of their car and be at the shops.

“There are always going to be people who take advantage, but two hours just doesn’t give you time to do anything but shop in Sainsbury’s.

“This is a small town and I question whether there is a need for this enforcement.”

Sainsbury’s said the sensors will help ensure better availability of spaces.

Mr Williams’ anger over parking problems is not reserved for Sainsbury’s as he believes South Holland District Council is also failing to do enough to ensure the survival of the town centre.

He fears rumoured plans to redevelop Spalding bus station will result in the loss of more parking, exacerbating problems caused by the loss of spaces in New Road and Red Lion Street.

He said: “Why can’t the council see the big picture and do something to make it better? Then we wouldn’t have the problem of empty shops because people would see it is a vibrant town centre and want to come here.”