Sainsbury’s in Dalston’s Kingsland Shopping Centre withdraws free parking for customers

A sign in Dalson Kingsland Shopping Centre Sainsbury's telling customers free parking has been resci

A sign in Dalson Kingsland Shopping Centre Sainsbury's telling customers free parking has been rescinded. Picture: Lucas Cumiskey - Credit: Archant

Sainsbury’s in Dalston is under fire for ditching its free parking for customers.

Shoppers must now pay £6 an hour, like everyone else using the Kingsland Shopping Centre car park. Until recently, the supermarket would give customers a free pass so long as they spent a tenner.

When the Gazette visited this week, a sign affixed to the parking meter read: “Sainsbury’s have chosen to withdraw free parking if you spend over £10 in their store. All parking must be paid for on exit without exception… All queries should be directed to Sainsbury’s.”

Unsurprisingly, the decision hasn’t been popular.

Juliette Middleton, 81, told the Gazette: “I feel very disappointed that Sainsbury’s have adopted this policy because people here, on the whole, don’t have a lot of money to spare, yet their shop is very well supported. So I feel it’s a very unreasonable decision.”

Her fellow shopper, Marcel Reyes, 48, said he was “incredibly disappointed”.

“I’ve been in Hackney for the last 30 years,” he said, “and since Sainsbury’s established themselves there has always been free parking, which was one of the advantages of coming to shop here.”

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It’s not just customers who are being affected - staff have also been made to start paying.

Zino Djellav, 28, told the Gazette: “I’m really mad and disappointed. I work in Sainsbury’s and I can’t even park there myself. They took our rights to park there as well.

“Also, as a disabled driver, there’s no rights for disabled parking, so now I have to park elsewhere and walk all the way to work.”

Cathy Moore, 63, said: “People come here for their weekly shopping and count every penny. If I took a trolley into the car park that had a pound coin in it and there was nowhere to release it, someone would be really grateful to get that pound coin.”

Barbra Eze, 27, added: “They’re going to lose customers. It just came all of a sudden. I’m going to go to Green Lanes from now on because it’s free parking.”

Christine, a support worker, was angry. “They’re taking money from people in the community,” she said.

“Wages ain’t going up, we’re struggling, nobody’s listening. Even to get through to these people online and on the phone - it doesn’t work. There’s nothing for the people except for low wages and negative things.”

A Sainsbury’s spokesman blamed “changes to the shopping centre’s parking tariffs” for the decision, and added: “We apologise to customers for any inconvenience this may cause.”

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