Fresh concerns over new parking system at Horsham supermarket

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Fresh concerns are being raised over a new parking system at a Horsham supermarket.

Shoppers visiting Sainsbury’s in Worthing Road are now being told they can park for free for up to two hours in the supermarket’s car park.

Previously, parking was free for up to half an hour, and free for two and a half hours if people spent £10 in the store.

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However, there was much confusion when ticket machines were installed last year. People had to ask for a parking ticket to insert in the machines when they finished shopping – and many reported being ‘fined’ up to £85 despite following the rules.

Car park ticket machines at Sainsbury's supermarket in Worthing Road, Horsham, have been taken out of action. Photo: Sarah PageCar park ticket machines at Sainsbury's supermarket in Worthing Road, Horsham, have been taken out of action. Photo: Sarah Page
Car park ticket machines at Sainsbury's supermarket in Worthing Road, Horsham, have been taken out of action. Photo: Sarah Page

Now the parking machines have been covered over with notices on them stating: ‘Changes to car parking operation: This site is now 2 hours maximum stay. Free parking for Sainsbury’s customers. No requirement for a ticket or payment.’

Other notices warn that anyone over-staying the two hour limit could face a parking charge of £85.

But some local residents fear that the free-parking-for-two-hours scheme could lead to drivers parking at the supermarket while shopping elsewhere.

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Swan Walk shopping centre car park charges drivers £2.60 for up to two hours and Piries Place car park charges £3.20 for up to two hours. Both of those car parks are run by Horsham District Council.

Many have shared their concerns on social media. “No-one will pay to use car parks in town any more,” said one.

Another said: “If you can park unrestricted for two hours then I can't help but wonder how many people will park there who aren't using the store at all. And if customers can't park there due to non customers taking up the spaces, I can't see the new system lasting long.”

Another said: “That’ll be fun at Christmas when the car park is gridlocked!” And another agreed: “People take the Mickey by parking in Sainsbury's and go into town, that’s why it's so hard to find a parking space at times, especially at Christmas.”

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Another described it as ‘crazy’, adding: “Surely it will be impossible for Sainsbury’s customers to get parked now and will lose them business. They’ve gone from one extreme to the other.”

But some welcomed the change. One said: “It would be amazing not to faff about with the machines anymore!”