No cheers for Dunstable Asda’s new parking system


New parking charges introduced at Dunstable Asda carpark have been met with a dim response by some shoppers.

The new changes introduced this month allow users to park for free for the first hour, followed by a £2 charge in the second hour.

Those who spend £5 or more in the store receive a voucher allowing them to cover the cost of the parking fee.

However, it has been pointed out that there are no automatic concessions for disabled parking and the system may cause confusion.

One man complained: “Vouchers are only given out at manned tills. If you use the self service tills, you have to ask for a voucher from the assistant or customer services.

“The charge is 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No concessions for disabled parking.”

One Facebook user posted: “More reason not to come to Dunstable. Why make the parking payment so complicated?”

An Asda spokesman said: “We have recently made some changes to our car park to help make our customers’ shopping experience with Asda even better.

“All customers can now park with us for free for the first hour, and those who need a little more time and spend £5 in store will receive up to three hours free parking.

“Blue badge holders simply need to register their vehicle registration at customer services to be exempt.

“There will be parking marshals on hand for the first few weeks to help answer any questions customers may have about the changes.”

But one Blue Badge holder said: “The whole purpose of people having a badge is the fact they have walking difficulties, not going back and forth standing in the usual long queue for customer services.”

Central Bedfordshire Council have also received unwarranted criticism from some customers who mistakenly believed they were responsible for the car park. The council said that it intended to raise equality issues with Asda.

A spokesman said: “Central Bedfordshire Council owns the land but it is leased to Asda. The Council doesn’t have any authority over how Asda chooses to manage the car park. Despite some of the rumours circulating we have no involvement in the changes that Asda have made.

“In terms of disabled parking, Asda and Horizon are both covered by the Equality Act and so they should be thinking about being accessible to disabled people and making reasonable adjustments to improve accessibility.

“We will be raising these issues with Asda and encouraging them, and their staff, to be clear about who manages the car park and ensure parking arrangements are appropriate.”