New signs may suggest otherwise, but a two-hour limit on free parking at Morrisons in Reigate continues to apply only during store trading hours, the supermarket chain has said.
Previous versions of the signs expressly stated that the two-hour time limit only applied when the store was open, but this is missing from the new signs.
Clarifying when the time limit applies, a Morrisons spokesperson said on Wednesday: “Our customers have been telling us that they were finding it difficult to find a parking space – especially at busy times.
“So, our car park will be free for customers for two hours Monday to Saturday 07.00-19.00 and Sunday 10.00-16.00. However outside of these hours, the local community is welcome to park for free for any length of time.
“Our car park signage will be updated shortly to reflect this.”
Morrisons also said on Twitter in February: “The car park has changed from Parking Eye to Euro Car Parks at this moment in time nothing has changed in relation to parking restrictions. Any changes in the future will be clearly displayed by Euro Parks on their signage.”
The new signs do however say “no return within 2 hours”, while the previous ones said “no return within 3 hours”.
Morrisons is required to provide free parking outside its usual opening hours under a legal agreement with Reigate & Banstead Borough Council. The agreement was signed as part of the 1992 planning approval for the Bell Street store.
There was also a 2009 campaign, supported by Reigate Business Guild and the council, to lift all parking restrictions at the site from 6pm, but Morrisons said the car park was still busy then and needed by customers.
There are other free evening car parks in Reigate town centre: those run by the borough council have chargeable hours of 8am to 6pm.