Tesco denies plans to put time limit at Peterborough car park after anger from MP, school and pub landlord
Tesco has denied it is planning to put in place a time limit at a car park in Peterborough after community leaders were enraged by the proposals.
MP Paul Bristow and headteacher of Ken Stimpson Community School Bryan Erwin were among those to have expressed their bitter disappointment after hearing the retailer was set to put a limit of two hours on people using the main car park at the Werrington Centre in Staniland Way.
Others to be against introducing a time limit at the car park included city councillors for Werrington John and Judy Fox and Stephen Lane, as well as local businesses.
Cllr John Fox said he had been told by the Tesco store manager in Werrington that the restriction was being brought in.
Currently there are around 500 spaces which are used by school staff, visitors to Werrington Leisure Centre and shoppers, among others.
Mr Erwin, who said he was speaking on behalf of the community, told the Peterborough Telegraph, that Tesco’s plans, if followed through, would place “enormous pressure on already pressured parking places,” with a large, new sports centre earmarked for the future.
He added: “It is an important asset for local people and it would seem unthinkable if its use were to be restricted in any meaningful way.
“The school and other users have been using the car park since it was built nearly 40 years ago and the sudden removal of this facility will be challenged. Any movement to restrict parking without considering the substantial wider stakeholders that use it will result in the detriment of all, including the reputation of Tesco.”
Mr Bristow, the MP for Peterborough, has also written to Tesco’s outgoing chief executive Dave Lewis to seek clarification on the food giant’s plans and request a meeting.
He wrote: “Given the anxiety this has caused, you should now urgently clarify your intentions. Restricting the car park’s use by the community would be entirely wrong and I hope you will reject this approach.”
Andy Simmonds, who runs The Ploughman in the centre, and has been a vocal critic of Tesco’s ownership of the land, said businesses including his own, and the wider community, would be badly affected by any time restriction on the car park.
He said he had been told by a senior figure at Tesco that there were plans to put in place a two hour parking limit.
He said: “Any restriction is going to have a massive impact on the community - people who use the sports centre, Saturday and Sunday morning football teams who use the pitches at the back.
“How are people going to get their shopping done, go to the library, pick up their dry cleaning, maybe have a fish and chips.”
The decision by Tesco to apparently row back on the plans was welcomed by the campaigners.
A Tesco spokesperson said: We regularly review car park arrangements at all our stores and listen to feedback from the community when doing so and we can confirm there are no current plans to make changes at Werrington superstore.”