New parking rules at Felixstowe

SUPERMARKET chiefs today defended action to stop people parking all day at their store in Felixstowe.The East of England Co-operative Society, which has this year carried out a £1million plus refurbishment of its outlets in the town, has become increasingly concerned at the use of its big free car park behind Great Eastern Square.

SUPERMARKET chiefs today defended action to stop people parking all day at their store in Felixstowe.

The East of England Co-operative Society, which has this year carried out a £1million plus refurbishment of its outlets in the town, has become increasingly concerned at the use of its big free car park behind Great Eastern Square.

Some people have been parking and going to work all day, and others to shop elsewhere - preventing Co-op customers parking.

Now the company has installed an Automatic Number Plate Recognition system in its car park to identify drivers parking too long.

The car park will remain free for a limited two and a half hour period, with no return within four hours, but will now be policed by the ParkingEye 24 hours a day, all year round.

Miriam Harrup, spokeswoman for the East of England Co-operative Society, said: “Unfortunately, our free shoppers' car park has been used regularly by people not using our facilities, or indeed the other local shops and services nearby, but have left their cars there for long periods meaning that genuine shoppers can't park.

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“We are certainly not trying to stop people shopping in that area of the town, or using the facilities nearby, they are still very welcome to park in our car park free of charge as long as it is only for two and a half hours. There are also other alternatives in the area.

“Appropriate signs are in place to let parkers know about the change in advance of the installation of the new system, which is regularly used by supermarkets and retail parks.”

Town councillor Doreen Savage said the system was not the sort of thing she would have expected the Co-op to introduce in a town like Felixstowe.

“I believe the Co-op will be fining people if they stay over two and a half hours now,” she said.

“This system is not the sort of thing you would expect within our community.

“There are concerns and mine is that people will get caught out and pursued for money. But the store is being generous in still letting people park there for free.”

Is the Co-op being fair with its free car park? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk