COUNTY NEWS: Councillor warns of ‘ridiculous’ parking fines at Waitrose and Tesco

Don McBeth outside Tesco in Burgess Hill

A parish councillor is warning residents to be aware of ‘ridiculous’ parking fines which he says are being given to motorists parking in Waitrose and Tesco.

Don McBeth, 73, of Ditchling, West Sussex, raised his concerns after his friend received a £60 Parking Charge Notice (PCN) after parking in Waitrose in Haywards Heath.

The car park sign at Tesco in Burgess Hill

He said: “Imagine that you drive to Waitrose and park in their car park. You then do the week’s shopping which includes a carton of milk, which costs £1. You then return to your car and leave the car park.

“After a few seconds you realise you needed two cartons, so you return to the car park. Big mistake, the second carton will not cost you £1, it will cost you £61.”

Mr McBeth said the reason it would cost this much is because by returning to the store within two hours you ‘fall foul of a company called Britannia Parking’.

“The company does not permit customers to enter the car park twice within a two-hour period,” he said.

Being chairman of Ditchling Parish Council I am concerned for people, especially the elderly, who may get these fines.

Don McBeth

“Being chairman of Ditchling Parish Council I am concerned for people, especially the elderly, who may get these fines.

“I understand the rules are to stop people misusing the car park, but they are catching the wrong people.

“I have noticed that Tesco in Burgess Hill are doing the same, except their time limit is three hours, with no return within one hour.

“I have never been caught by this practice, but it concerns me that quite unintentionally, other drivers will, because they don’t know of the rules.

“It has been my practice for many years to drop my wife off at Tesco to do the shopping, travel to the tip, then return to pick her up. If I do that now within an hour, it will cost me £70. It is ridiculous and unacceptable.”

Mr McBeth said he went to Waitrose and Tesco with his concerns.

“Waitrose told me to drop someone off in the car park and then pick them up outside of it, to avoid getting a fine,” he said.

“I asked them if they were going to make the rules clearer to customers on their signs and they said no.”

A spokesman for Waitrose told the Middy: “We do 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.”

Our sister title, Mid Sussex Times, contacted Tesco, but had not received a reply at the time of going to press.

A spokesman for the retailer has since replied advising us to get in touch with their head office, who could only be contacted by post.

The Mid Sussex Times also contacted Highview Parking and Horizon Parking, who manage the car parks, but have not yet had a response.

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