Customers’ anger over parking hike at east Leeds shopping centre

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Customers at a shopping centre have voiced their opinion to news of a price hike for parking.

The Crossgates Shopping Centre has put up its minimum parking price to £1.20 for up to a two hour stay.

The public bombarded the YEP Facebook page with angry comments, with some threatening to boycott the 60 shops and units.

Lindsey Hoyle said on the YEP Facebook page: “That’s ridiculous, especially as the shopping centre doesn’t have as many shops as it used to. It consists of charity shops and mobile phone shops, so we’re being charged more for less. The price increase will make people park on Church Lane and other local streets, which is not fair to residents.”

Charlotte Wright said: “I wouldn’t mind paying for parking if it was half decent. It needs a massive refurbishment and some high street shops instead of cheap, tacky ones. They are never going to increase takings for the centre whilst there are so many free parking alternatives nearby. They need a massive funding investment rather than trying to raise money from parking.”

Rachel Carroll said: “It’s risen every year by 20p. I have stopped shopping there and I know others that have too. The last time I went the free 15 minutes to nip in and out had stopped.”

Amanda Dobinson said: “I remember when they first started charging and it was 20p an hour. They are driving people away then more shops will close.”

Katrina Kerrigan said: “A 20% increase is scandalous - most people nip in and out within 30 minutes so I think it is over priced.”

Claire Hutchinson added: “It’s ridiculous. I popped in for 10 minutes last week after 5pm to buy a card, paid the £1.20 (thinking it would be free) and when I got to the barrier it was up anyway so could’ve left without paying! Definitely won’t be calling in for quick visits anymore.”

Romaine Titford said: “Ridiculous! They wonder why people don’t use the high street, shops like Wilsons etc will suffer. Rob us in the parking charges if you must but re-introduce 30 mins free - you’ll find people are a lot more accepting of the charges.”

Rob Bonner said: “I’ve been this morning and think it’s an absolute disgrace £1.20 for a few mins to go pay a cheque the centres empty no variety of shops 3&4 of same shop the custom will drop massively and all shops will become empty. Tesco Colton and Garforth main street up road all free parking. A 20% raise on parking is a disgrace.”

Centre manager Kevin Gwilliam said: “We pride ourselves on offering a first class service and shopping experience, and we will continue to offer parking that the majority of our customers feel is value for money. Furthermore, we have listened to our tenants and shoppers and with the increase in number of customers visiting on a Sunday and Bank Holidays we have reduced parking costs to 50p per hour.”

He said that Crossgates Shopping Centre had reluctantly raised its car park charges due to increased maintenance costs over the last number of years.

“Previously the Centre had absorbed any increases it needs to sustain an effective service but unfortunately with increased costs of maintaining the car park and its equipment it is with reluctance that it is necessary to now pass on some of these costs.

“To help reduce the impact to our customers we phased the increase over 2 years with a small increase in April 2013 and a further increase of 10p per hour (based on the average stay of two hours) in October 2014,” he said.

He said that rossgates parking charges were lower than average for the area with the Merrion Centre charging £2.20 for 1 hour, the Centre still offers good value at £1.20 for two hours.

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