Anger as North End Tesco store warns Portsmouth drivers cars could be ‘destroyed’

PARKING PROBLEMS Tesco Express in London Road, Portsmouth
PARKING PROBLEMS Tesco Express in London Road, Portsmouth
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  • Tesco Express store left notices warning drivers they couldn’t park overnight
  • Portsmouth resident says he was threatened with police action
  • City leaders call on retail giant to free up parking spaces for community
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A ROW has broken out over a shop’s car park after drivers were warned their cars could be destroyed if they leave them parked up over night.

Staff at the Tesco Express store in North End left notes on motorists’ cars reminding them their spaces are only to be used by customers.

If Tesco has such a community spirit, why would it not want to help members of the public with parking in highly congested areas of the community?

North End resident Michael James

It comes as the stores parking signs – which warn of restrictions and fines – have been taken down while new ones are made.

So action was taken against people who parked there without using the store.

But now Tesco bosses say people are taking advantage.

Tesco said the new signs are on their way and is urging people to show restraint and only park if they are using the store, on the corner of London Road and Ophir Road, Portsmouth.

Residents say the tone of the notices are threatening.

The notices say vehicles would be ‘removed’ or ‘destroyed’ if they are not picked up within 14 days.

Tesco says it is part of its abandoned vehicle policy that such action would have to be taken, and insists the messages left were polite.

But North End resident Michael James told The News he sent a copy of the notice left on his car to Tesco’s customer services team – and was threatened with police action when an employee called him back.

Mr James said: ‘If Tesco has such a community spirit, why would it not want to help members of the public with parking in highly-congested areas of the community?’

Mr James disputed Tesco’s claim vehicles block deliveries and believes the firm should be helping to improve parking problems.

He is also concerned the company has kept a record of his car’s registration number.

City leaders agree Tesco should be helping.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt said: ‘We need to get a bit more flexible about spaces we have for parking in the city.

‘We need to look at spaces we have and try to make the best use of them.’

Councillor Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘While I understand that Tesco has the lease on the land, and therefore able to control the use and restrict parking to customers only, I would urge them to take a pragmatic approach, especially as that car park is never full and it is reliant on the local community for the viability of that store.

A Tesco spokeswoman said: ‘Our car park is for our customers to use while popping in to shop in our store.

‘We will soon be taking delivery of a sign that will be put up in the car park to make this clear.’