Preston Capitol Centre parking limit changes scrapped after complaints from Vue Cinema, Nuffield Health, Waitrose and McDonald's customers

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Visitors to Preston’s Capitol Centre were alarmed to discover it had reduced its parking limits to three hours this week.

Shoppers, cinema goers and gym members were shocked to find new signs around its car park warning that anyone staying longer than three hours faced a hefty fine.

Previously, visitors to the retail park in Walton-le-Dale were allowed to park for free for up to five hours – giving them plenty of time to shop, watch a film at Vue Cinema, hit the gym or enjoy a bite to eat at its restaurants and cafes.

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But this week the Capitol Centre’s management company fitted dozens of new signs around its spacious car park off London Way to enforce the new three hour time limit.

The reduced time limit was also a concern for those businesses on the park, which includes McDonald’s, Waitrose, Starbucks, Boots, HomeSense, TK Maxx and Home Bargains.

The new restrictions made it nearly impossible to watch a film at Vue Cinema without the risk of being fined, or combine a visit to the gym with a spot of shopping or bite to eat.

One local mum and regular visitor to the shopping park described the new parking restrictions as ‘ridiculous’.

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She said: “There are plenty of people who use the gym then have lunch or coffee, take the kids for swim lessons and then use the shops.

The Capitol Centre fitted dozens of new signs around its car park off London Way enforcing a new three hour time parking limit. But the new restrictions have been scapped and the previous five hour limit has been restoredThe Capitol Centre fitted dozens of new signs around its car park off London Way enforcing a new three hour time parking limit. But the new restrictions have been scapped and the previous five hour limit has been restored
The Capitol Centre fitted dozens of new signs around its car park off London Way enforcing a new three hour time parking limit. But the new restrictions have been scapped and the previous five hour limit has been restored

"And let's not forget the current trend for films over 3 hours – so going to the cinema is now out of the question. It’s ridiculous.

"People should be able to park without a fine for as long as they are using the facilities - surely that's common sense?”

Capitol Centre reverses decision – restores 5 hour limit

Shoppers will be relieved to learn that the Capitol Centre has now reversed its decision and has restored its five hour parking limit.

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The management company said the signs were put up in error and will soon be taken down.

Nuffield Health, which has its Preston branch on the shopping park, issued an update to its members after being flooded with complaints.

Posting on its Facebook page, the gym said: “Car Parking restrictions update – Capitol Centre.

“We are aware that recently new “3 hour” parking restrictions signage have been installed.

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“We have today been informed by the Capitol Centre Management team that an error has been made where the incorrect signage has been displayed.

“As such this signage will shortly be amended.

“In summary the car parking restrictions have not changed from the previous 5 hour time limit.

“On behalf of the Capitol Centre Management company we apologise for any inconvenience this issue may have caused.”