Meadowhall staff could face court action for using customer parking spaces

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Staff at Meadowhall who 'persistently' use customer parking spaces could face court action, they have been warned.

Employees have been banned from using the main car parks at the Sheffield shopping centre since 2014, when 1,400 dedicated parking spaces were provided for staff and contractors, to free up more space for shoppers and help manage congestion on surrounding roads.

But some workers have complained the staff car parks are too far from the entrance and can feel unsafe. There have also been claims of female employees being approached by men there and people tripping or falling due to inadequate lighting.

As a result, some staff continue to use the customer parking spaces - but bosses at the complex, and CP Plus, which operates its car parks, say they are cracking down.

A spokeswoman for Meadowhall said its staff car parks are less than 400 metres from the main building via a dedicated footbridge.

She said they are regularly maintained and feature 24-hour security, enhanced lighting, CCTV and landscaping - all of which has helped earn the shopping centre the Safer Parking Award accreditation.

She added that the staff parking area was less than 400 metres from the building via a dedicated footbridge. She said all employees were made aware of the parking policy, which had freed up more 'premium' spaces for shoppers and helped manage traffic on local roads at peak times.

"Unfortunately, despite regular and repeated reminders including ticketing by CP Plus, there have been a very small number of staff who continue to ignore the policy and park within the main Meadowhall car parks," she said.

"As a result, CPP has now written to the most persistent offenders who have multiple outstanding parking fines. These will be followed up and, as a last resort, county court summonses applied."

News of the crackdown comes after Jan Coombs wrote to The Star to complain about what she called the 'despicable treatment' of staff when it came to the car parking arrangements.

She described the staff car parks as 'waste land', which she said was too small to accommodate all staff and was a 15-minute walk away from their workplace for most employees.

"The area is often badly lit and there have been incidents of women being approached by men, vehicles getting damaged and injuries from trips and falls," she added.

Responding to Ms Coombs' complaints, a spokeswoman for the centre said: "Meadowhall is committed to providing safe and free car parking for all of its staff and contractors, whilst at the same time ensuring visitor car parks are managed and maintained for everyone's benefit so there is minimum knock-on effect for local traffic and road infrastructure."