PARKING restrictions imposed at a Wanneroo shopping centre have angered shoppers and staff.
Charter Hall, which operates Wanneroo Central, implemented a four-hour parking limit on April 1, managed by Secure Parking.
Wanneroo resident Vivien Vandepeer received an infringement several weeks ago after visiting the centre in the morning to do her grocery shopping then returning later to meet friends for lunch.
She said she was aware of the time limit but had not read the terms and conditions on the sign, which entitles drivers to “one free period per day” that ends when the vehicle leaves the car park.
“It’s just crazy you can’t come and go; once you’ve been down there once you can’t go back,” she said.
“It’s quite often that I’ll do two visits in one day.”
Mrs Vandepeer said the $66 infringement issued by Traffic Monitoring Services, which acts as an agent for Secure Parking, was dropped on appeal, but she was now hesitant to park at the centre.
“To put that restriction on you, I don’t think that’s right when it’s your local shops and services,” she said.
“I want to support local businesses and they’re making it a little bit harder to do.”
Anne, who did not want her surname used, works for one of the centre’s retailers and said many staff were unhappy with the change.
“It’s definitely impacted on our customers,” she said.
“We’re a smaller shopping centre, I doubt that we’ll benefit from it – people will be going to Joondalup.”
She said employees were directed to park in two locations outside of the signed areas, one near Windan Way and the other at the corner of Conlan Avenue and Wanneroo Road, but there was no cover or lighting and her car received a cracked windscreen and dents while parked there.
Staff could ask security to escort them to their cars, but she said this took them away from the centre and was not a priority.
“I don’t like my girls leaving when it’s dark and walking out alone,” she said.
“We’ve not been given many options.
“Customers are parking here too because they want to park here longer than four hours.”
City of Wanneroo councillor and Wanneroo Residents’ Association president Dot Newton said it was private land and she was aware of several people who had received infringements.
“The tenants of the shops are the ones that are going to suffer if people don’t go back,” she said.
Wanneroo Central centre manager Simone Fielder said the parking restriction was implemented after feedback from “an extensive number of customers regarding difficulty in obtaining parking bays”.
“The change is intended to reduce the number of commuters utilising shopper car bays for an extended period of time and we intend for the initiative to ease car park congestion and provide a more enjoyable experience,” she said.
“Any infringements incurred while a shopper has been at the centre can be shown to centre management.
“Where applicable, if it can be verified that a person has been shopping at the centre during the specified time, we will assist to have the infringement notice revoked.”
She said signage was being “reviewed” as shoppers were allowed to make multiple visits to the centre per day to a total of four hours, which would be monitored by Secure Parking.
“Shoppers can feel confident that they can make multiple visits if they total under four hours per day,” she said.
Ms Fielder said the areas made available to staff for parking were regularly monitored by security to ensure safety for them and their vehicles.