Fury as Temple Fortune M&S hikes parking fees
RESIDENTS in Temple Fortune have accused Marks and Spencer of crude revenue raising tactics over a new parking tariff. The supermarket in Finchley Road dramatically raised its parking charges on Monday, leaving customers fuming. The previous rate meant pa
RESIDENTS in Temple Fortune have accused Marks and Spencer of crude revenue raising tactics over a new parking tariff.
The supermarket in Finchley Road dramatically raised its parking charges on Monday, leaving customers fuming.
The previous rate meant parking was free for the first hour and �2 per hour after that, but under the new charges the first hour costs �3 and it is �5 for up to 90 minutes - all of which is redeemable, but only if customers spend more than �15 in the shop.
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Renee Green, of Hampstead Way, said: "Temple Fortune is a nightmare. It's expensive enough to park there anyway - it's more expensive than somewhere like St John's Wood, for instance. This is just penalising regular customers.
"They say they wanted to stop people from parking there for hours on end but the current system seemed to be working fine. It's just a revenue thing. They say they are responding to customer demands but I don't believe it. They dropped it in last week during half term and now there is going to be mutiny.
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"M&S is like a corner shop to many people, albeit a very posh one. If you are going to do some proper shopping you really have a gun held to your head unless you are willing to spend �5 for an hour and a half."
A protest web page has been set up on the social networking site Facebook, which has already attracted almost 100 members.
An angry Caroline Freedman Gibber wrote: "Next they will charge us for the trolley."
And Saul Peleg added: "This is outrageous and unfair. Maybe we should stop shopping there too."
But some traders have come out in support of Marks and Spencer.
Michael Cohen, from the jewellers D & M Cohen, said: "I don't think the residents can complain really. If they shop there they can get their money back and if they don't then they should park somewhere else. M&S can't provide a free car park, it is too expensive around here.
"I am disappointed the rates are as high as that but I can see why they need to charge because people abuse it. They go shopping for two or three hours and get their hair done or whatever. There are some free spaces around here if they can find one."
A spokeswoman for Marks and Spencer said: "It's always our intention to ensure that we have parking spaces available for our customers, which is why we are trialling this approach.
"We appreciate that some customers have concerns about the trial. Their feedback is very important to us and we will take this on board when we review the trial."