Friday, July 7, 2017

News: Parking restrictions start up at Rotherham Tesco

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Controversial new parking restrictions at the Tesco Extra store in Rotherham town centre have come into force.

Tesco is now providing three hours free parking at the Drummond Street store but with the condition that shoppers wanting to park for over 30 minutes will have to spend £5 in the store and register their vehicle.

The new "ParkShopReg" system has been implemented which involves parking being validated on the day of visiting the store. This can be done at store using the machines provided or by using a mobile phone app. A free parking voucher is printed for customers in store which includes a barcode and voucher code. Drivers will have up until midnight on the day to validate using the app.

Operated by a private firm, Horizon Parking, those who don't validate their parking or stay longer than three hours will be issued a penalty charge notice of £70, reduced to £40 if paid in 14 days. An Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) parking control system is in place.

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The changes were approved by the planning board at Rotherham Council in May.

An approved parking plan to offer two hours free parking when the store was approved in 2014 was "to limit the availability of free parking and to encourage the use of sustainable transport" and not related to offering users the opportunity to make linked trips into the town centre. It was not to provide a car park so users can just visit the town centre, but for a car park for the store.

The initial condition was a imposed as a limitation rather than a requirement but the planned changes drew objections from the Council's regeneration arm, RiDO, which is responsible for the town centre and the nearby markets, who warned that new proposed parking restrictions will have a negative effect.

Tesco stated that the car park was coming under considerable pressure and is being used by non-Tesco customers. Planning consultants for the retailer added that "the revised controls will ensure that there is a greater turnover of parking to create more freely available spaces for shoppers to visit both the store and shops located in the town centre."

Across town on Forge Island, landowners, Rotherham Council, has cleared the former Tesco store and is to extend the temporary car park from 309 spaces to over 500 spaces. Parking in the "red zone" is free for two hours in the week with all spaces free to use on Saturdays and Sundays.

Images: Eltherington


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