Free Parking to Continue at Sainsbury's
Retailer has abandoned plans to charge for shorter term parking
Signs went up this week confirming that Sainsbury's car park will remain free for Chiswick shoppers. Charges will only be made if the stay is over two hours. There will be no requirement to spend money in the store to use the parking facilities.
The £5 charge that the store giant originally wished to impose will now only apply for 2-3 hours parking. Commuter parkers will be discouraged by a £40 charge for over 4 hours.
Sainsbury's originally considered implementing a £5 charge for anyone not spending over £10 in the store. This scheme would have been in breach of the covenant which placed conditions on the use of the car park and caused a storm of protest. When the matter was referred to the borough solicitor for Hounslow, Sainsbury's hurriedly back-tracked. The eleventh hour change to the plan is reflected on the parking sign that appeared this week outside the store. It states confusingly, "drop off/pick up of customers for a maximum of ten minutes duration is free of charge." Originally Sainsbury's had intended to allow a "grace period" for people using the car park for a short time.
As yet the barriers are not in operation. A planning application has appeared in this week's Brentford, Chiswick and Isleworth Times for the barriers and signs that have already been erected
Sainsbury's argued that the facility is becoming impossible to use for their customers with commuters using it as a free park and ride car park and other shoppers using it but not shopping in Sainsbury's. The store has the highest number of shoppers per square foot of any Sainsbury's store in the country and the main complaint from customers is concerns parking.
February 21, 2003