Update: This Blog is no longer attended to

October 15, 2013

This blog is no longer being updated. If you would like to participate in discussions about Parking Eye or other car park management company then we suggest that you visit MoneySavingExpert.com – see this thread.

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October Update

October 21, 2009

Over the summer both the Reigate Business Guild and the Council wrote to Morrisons requesting that they amend the operating hours of their car parking system to lift all restrictions from 6 p.m.

Here are the letters exchanged:

Reigate Business Guild letter to Morrisons and the Reply from Morrisons

Reigate and Banstead Borough Council letter to Morrisons and the Reply from Morrisons

We’ll leave you to make your own evaluation, but we just have one question: Can’t Morrisons find anyone willing to do the decent thing and put a name/signature to their letters?

MorrisonsSignOff

Meanwhile, if you’re not happy with Morrisons’ response, check out our What Else Can You Do section.

And, if like many residents, you’re discovering the are No More Reasons to Shop at Morrisons you might want to add your favourite ‘Morrisons-Free’ shopping tips.

What’s happening?

July 7, 2009

You may think things have gone quiet, but it’s just because discussions are going on behind the scenes. So, a quick update:

On 24th June we went to talk to the Reigate Business Guild which represents local (mostly independent) traders. Obviously in these tough economic times they are very concerned about anything which threatens customer traffic to the town. They were highly supportive of the campaign to try to change the early evening parking restrictions.
(Isn’t it somewhat ironic that the picture featured on the Guild’s ‘about us’ page is of the Morrisons Car park?)
The Guild members are a wonderful bunch of people who should be applauded for making the town centre the welcoming place it is today – organising events, Christmas decorations, floral displays etc. If ever you have a chance to lend them your support please do. It’s just a shame that more of the national chains represented in the  town don’t get more involved too.

On 25th June we went to the Council Meeting to hear the Leader of the Council, Cllr Joan Spiers, make a statement regarding the issue. She acknowledged the local resident concern, as demonstrated through the petition, and gave the Council’s full commitment to further investigating what might be done.

On 2nd July the issue was also raised at the Executive Council meeting. More about this soon.

You’ve probably also seen continuing coverage in the Surrey Mirror, such as this heart-wrenching story: An 80-year-old was landed with a parking fine for leaving her car in a Morrisons disabled bay, despite having a blue disabled badge in her car.

People are also continuing to sign the petition, as more and more residents find themselves victims of this badly-designed system. We’re hearing reports that many people were confused by the ‘Free Parking in Reigate’ message for the recent Community Festival, and didn’t realise that Morrisons weren’t taking part in that.
If you’ve had a ticket as a result of parking during the festival do let us know, or just tell us about your other ticket nightmares!

Response from Morrisons

July 7, 2009

We sent Morrisons the petition on 15th June. On 17th June we received the following response:

Thanks very much for your email and I would like to take the opportunity to respond.
I would confirm that the current arrangements will provide for a short stay shoppers car park free of charge and will also make the car park available to members of the public at no charge outside store operating hours. It is agreed with our new patrol company that the camera’s will be switched off at 9pm and, bearing in mind customers are allowed two hours free of charge, in effect this means parking in excess of two hours will be available free of charge from 7pm.
Furthermore, it was never our intention to introduce any new control on overnight car parking and this has been reinforced with our discussions with our new patrol company. Where a Parking Charge Notice has already been issued relating to the use of the car park outside store opening hours, they will be cancelled / refunded at the earliest opportunity by our patrol company.
Can I stress the store have received a considerable amount of positive feedback regarding the control of the car park.
Kind Regards
Rob Darrington
Regional Estates Surveyor
Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC

So this confirms what was previously stated by the store manager.  It’s still highly confusing though, and doesn’t address the main concerns about parking in the post 6 p.m. period. The new signs in the car park don’t make it clear that the cameras are still on until 9 p.m. so people are still getting unexpected fines under the ‘no return within 3 hours’ rule.

NewSign1

LOL at “Can I stress the store have received a considerable amount of positive feedback regarding the control of the car park.”  Actually there’s some positive feedback for the daytime restrictions on our own petition, but we’ve yet to meet anyone who supports the early evening restrictions when the car park is empty.

Petition reaches 2000 signatures

June 17, 2009

Another milestone has been achieved. This morning the petition received it’s 2000th signature.

2000 local residents are saying NO to Morrisons new parking arrangements after 6 p.m.*

2000 Reigate shoppers….

That’s a hell of a lot.

Morrisons – are you listening?

 

*To find out why unrestricted parking post 6 p.m. is so important to Reigate check out  Morrisons Hollow Promise

Why Morrisons’ response is a Hollow Promise

June 17, 2009

As reported in the Surrey Mirror last week, Morrisons have allegedly said they “have decided to change the parking time limit to allow vehicles to park when the store is closed to customers, restricted to the hours after 9 pm and before 8 am. All vehicles must be removed from site before 8 am.”

However in the Surrey Mirror this week you’ll see that we’re still campaigning for cameras to be switched off, and restrictions to end at 6 p.m. which has always been our clear objective within the petition.

This comment perfectly sums up all the e-mails and comments we’ve been receiving:

“The relaxation of restrictions by Morrisons is disingenuous. Their apparent ‘U-turn’ is nothing more than an empty gesture aimed at limiting the bad publicity. We mustn’t allow them to get away with it.”

Check out Morrisons’ Hollow Promise to find out more.

Who IS ‘CarParkReigate’?

June 15, 2009

A few people have e-mailed us saying, “Who are you?  Who are the masked crusaders behind the campaign?”
Given that the Surrey Mirror will probably expose us later this week, we thought we’d ‘come clean’

There’s a little bit of background in the About section.

In reality there’s a virtual team busy behind the scenes:
Di – sending e-mails out, updating the blog, managing the petition, designing posters, calling Morrisons
Dave – the techie behind all the websites, blogs and emails
Helen – lobbying councillors, MPs and anyone else who’ll listen
Mel –  using her contacts to get the message out all over Reigate

and also
Local councillors who are listening to what people are saying and fighting our corner
The Surrey Mirror, who are raising the profile of the issue

AND lots of other people (only you know who you are!) who have been forwarding e-mails, tweeting, telling friends, downloading and displaying posters and attending photo calls

THANK YOU for your continued support.

(And no, Andy, we DON’T wear balaclavas…)

1900 signatures & Petition is with Morrisons

June 15, 2009

We clocked up 1900 signatures at 15.59 today – FANTASTIC!

A copy of the petition formally went to Morrisons today.
I also had a conversation with their representative at Head Office too, and to be fair, he listened to all our concerns, and admitted that perhaps they ‘hadn’t fully appreciated all the issues’.

The ball is now in their court – let’s hope they do the decent thing…

(C’mon, Robert – please don’t let us down….)

2nd Surrey Mirror Photo call: Monday June 15th 6pm

June 14, 2009

The Surrey Mirror have told us  that they are running a follow-up article this week (to be published Thursday 18th June). They are keen to hear more views on the post-6pm parking restrictions now in place. They are are also keen to hear from people who have received parking charge notices (PCNs) via Parking Eye for parking post-6pm in the car park.

We really hope as many people can attend the photo shoot as this will help demonstate the town’s great unhappiness with what Morrisons has done.

Please meet at 6pm today (Monday, 15th June), outside the entrance to Morrisons’ car park on Bell Street (by public toilets).

Thanks for your support.

New coverage for our campaign

June 14, 2009

Many thanks to the folks at the UK Parents Lounge website who have highlighted this issue in their article Reasons not to stop at Morrisons. Too bad that they also got the impression from the press articles that the issue is resolved (it’s not – we’re still campaigning for no parking restrictions after 6 p.m.)

Thanks too to whoever posted the information at parenting forum Mumsnet  too – this issue is getting widespread coverage beyond Reigate now!

If you haven’t done so already, please download a poster for your car window. I saw half a dozen in the car park this afternoon – excellent…

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