It’s scandalous! Shop owner warns new parking rules ‘biggest threat’ to traders at Earlham House Shopping Centre
- Credit: SIMON FINLAY
Controversial parking rules have left a shop owner so fearful for the future of his business that he has pledged to reimburse customers' tickets.
Paul Mundy, owner of Mundy's Beds, is one of several traders concerned about the proposed new parking regulations being imposed at Earlham House Shopping Centre in Norwich.
He described the rules, which will require people to pay for parking from June 1, as the 'biggest threat' to traders at the complex since it opened.
And in a bid to keep customers, Mr Mundy has pledged to pay for their parking tickets when they make an order.
He said: 'The only thing I can do is to reimburse their parking fee. It means the customers don't have to pay and we don't lose out.
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'I'd rather give them £2 back than lose a £500 order. It is scandalous.'
It is the latest in a series of controversies surrounding parking at the shopping centre, off Earlham Road.
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Last year, traders claimed customers were being fined if their tyres touched the white lines of parking spaces or if they stopped briefly to drop off items.
It led to a petition calling for National Parking Enforcement, which monitors the site, to remove its CCTV cameras.
Shoppers are currently allowed to park for two hours free of charge, but must not return within 24 hours.
But notices erected around the complex on Thursday state it will become a 'pay on foot' car park in June. There will also be 10 minutes of free parking for deliveries and collections.
It comes just weeks after business owners hoped parking rules would be relaxed after it emerged the complex had been sold to new owners.
But it was later revealed that Bellgold Properties Ltd had kept ownership of the car park.
The company has once again not responded to calls for comment.
Luke Coathup, owner of The Green Grocers, said: 'By applying a charge for people to park here, it is going to be more convenient and cheaper for them to go to a local supermarket, as supposed to supporting the small local businesses here.
'I think there needs to be a more intelligent approach on how to deal with the parking. Prior to that we need to identity what is the issue, apart from making money.'