A prime shopping spot is being blighted by “horrendous” parking, deterring hordes of visitors from town during the busiest shopping days of the year.
Would-be Christmas spenders have turned their backs on Chesterfield’s revamped Ravenside Retail Park, blaming the poorly designed car parks and lack of spaces for the “nightmare” congestion.
Wendy Barnett, said: “It’s stressful. Not enough spaces, spaces too small, only one lane way in and way out. It creates problems.
“I’d rather not go shopping there until a solution is found.”
Another shopper, Glenys Hancock, said: “Would only venture on there early morning. Absolutely no hope on a Saturday - and I don’t mean Saturdays near Christmas either!
“Took me 40 minutes to get out of that car park once - never again on a Saturday.”
But the site-owners, Land Securities, have vowed to look at ways to improve the parking at the Markham Road spot. A spokesperson said: “We are looking into ways of managing the car park to ensure that it is only used by visitors to the retail park.”Ravenside – which has just welcomed Hobbycraft and Asda Living to its selection of ten big-name traders – offers visitors two hours free parking.
James Fell, manager of B&M Bargains on the site, said:
“Maybe there aren’t enough spaces for the footfall we get here, because the two hours parking is bringing more people down and maybe they are taking advantage of it, but I don’t know what can be done about that.”
Other users echoed his warning that shoppers are parking on site and walking in to town.
Sandra Atkins, said: “Everyone prefers to park on Ravenside which shows just how popular free parking is. It’s clearly a victim of its own success.
“Perhaps if free parking was extended throughout other car parks it would ease some conjestion and encourage many more to shop in town.”
John Siddall added: “Free parking would revolutionise Chesterfield town centre shops and attract massive footfall.
“I fear that if parking in Chesterfield is not made easier and cheaper it will lead to further shop closures leaving just charity shops and money lenders in the town centre.”
Councillor Chris Ludlow, Chesterfield Borough Council’s executive member for environment said: “Chesterfield has a wide variety of shops in and around the town centre from the large high street stores to smaller independent shops.
“We introduced free parking for residents in certain council car parks before 10am and after 3pm on weekdays as well as Sundays and Bank Holidays earlier this year and we hope to welcome them shopping in the town this Christmas.”
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