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Fines stopping shoppers popping to the High Street from Strood Retail Park are back

By Nicola Jordan

Controversial fines imposed on drivers who park at Strood retail park and then leave to walk into the town a few metres away are back.

A parking attendant has been employed at the car park off Commercial Road to catch motorists red-handed if they leave their vehicle unattended to wander into the town.

UK Parking Control is handing out £100 penalties which are reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days.

Cllr Jane Chitty

The rules, which were re-introduced at the end of last month, have already sparked reaction from shoppers on Facebook.

Cllr Jane Chitty, who is in charge of regeneration and economic growth, said: “It is sad that this has happened, especially as we are trying to encourage business into Strood. This can only harm the town’s reputation.

“With the exception of those taking liberties and parking there all day, I think it is unneighbourly for people who have shopped at the retail park and then nip into town.

“Strood has done really well with people working together to build up the community.”

Earlier this year it was announced that Marks & Spencer is to open a food hall on the site of the former B&Q DIY and garden store. A 24-hour gym is also due to start business shortly.

Strood Retail Park

About two years ago parking operators UKPC waived charges after complaints from customers who had shopped at the retail park and gone into the town to go to the bank or spend use the public toilets.

Terri Fraser posted ion the Rochester (Kent) Community Friends facebook page to warn others about the fines being re-introduced.

She said: “Just a warning regarding parking in Strood retail park.

“I received a parking ticket this morning, apparently it’s because I left the retail park to go to nearby shops. I also shopped in the retail park. I was totally unaware of this rule so just informing others.”

The post prompted several others to say they too had been caught out.

UK Parking Control were approached for a comment.

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