Lidl to begin car charge stations

Lidl to begin car charge stations

29 November 2023

LIDL is to introduce parking payment stations at its Market Street store in Downpatrick.

The moves comes after the closure of the nearby Asda store at the Ballydugan Road retail park which sustained significant damage during the recent devastating flood which also had a major impact on a number of town centre businesses.

Confirmation of the installation of the new payment station came during a recent meeting with Lidl representatives and South Down MLA Patrick Brown and councillor Cadogan Enright.

The meeting focused on ongoing issues with car parking at the Downpatrick store, with the Alliance representatives explaining many issues have been raised with them over recent weeksover the ticketing system which allows free one-hour parking.

Mr Brown said this period is less than many other similar shops based in town centre locations across Northern Ireland and revealed he asked for the free parking period to be extended to two hours.

“Lidl said it has carried out parking surveys and discovered that anything longer than one hour free parking caused the car park to be used inefficiently and adversely affected customers,” he continued.

“I raised concerns that with the Asda store now closed, people have limited shopping options and may take well over an hour to complete their shopping.”

Mr Brown argued this is especially true for those with mobility needs. 

“I received assurances that issues like this can be dealt with on a case-by-case basis to ensure that all customers remain supported through their shopping experience,” he continued.

“It is also possible for people to pay for top-up parking after one hour and I am pleased that Lidl accepted that the QR code system currently in place is not clear or adequate, confirming it will be installing cash payment stations.”

Mr Brown said this will make it easier for people to extend their top-up payments beyond the initial one-hour limit.

“Lidl has advised that anyone who gets a ticket unfairly should raise this with the contractor Parkmaven, while my office can also help process queries,” he explained. “Lidl will deal with these on a case-by-case basis.”