Introduction of parking charges at Banbury arcade angers some shoppers
The introduction of car parking charges at the Ruscote Arcade shops in Banbury has angered some but delighted others.
The parking charges range from £1 - £4 and apply to anyone staying longer than 45 minutes in a space at the shops that serve the Ruscote Estate. Drivers have only one option to pay - by card via a phone.
The businesses operating in the arcade are a Co-op store, a fish and chip shop, a Chinese takeaway, a betting shop, a hairdresser and the Ruscote Community Hall.
Angry locals on social media called for a boycott of the arcade while some shops said it was a good thing.
It is understood the owners of the arcade, LCP Properties, have made the move in an attempt to prevent residents of neighbouring homes from using the car park as a place to leave their vehicles - sometimes for days at a time.
A member of Co-op staff said: "The cameras were installed last Wednesday. Staff of the shops don't have to pay if they give their registration plates to the company looking after the parking.
"People have to pay if they spend longer than 45 minutes in a parking space. It's all to do with local residents parking there for days and taking spaces. Our customers have mixed opinions about it."
Dennis Michael Hairdressing has organised a system with the parking company, Euro Car Parks, where customers enter their registration number on a screen and incur no charges while having their hair done.
A staff member said: "It's great for our customers as it means they have somewhere to park. In the past it has been difficult for some to find a space."
However the Coral betting shop, where some customers stay for hours at a time, do not have a system installed. Staff were not able to comment.
On social media many people were confused about who would need to pay for parking and when. One called for a total boycott of the arcade. Another said: "I won’t be parking there. I frequently go there a couple of times a day and if they're using cameras they will claim you’ve been there all day."
Another reader said the added cost would make them think twice about attending classes at the community hall.
The Banbury Guardian tried to contact the Ruscote Community Hall to find out if it would be making arrangements for free parking for its users but has not received a reply at the time of publication.
Parking fee information says no car may park in the spaces for longer than ten minutes after 11pm but it does advertise 24 hour parking for £4.