I have got to say that I’m not surprised that Argos is running for the hills, and I don’t think it will be the last to go from around the Priory Shopping Centre either.
It’s no good the likes of Argos giving good value or special offers etc if the cost of collecting your item makes it more expensive due to parking costs.
In some cases, once you have paid to make your collection it can push your total price higher than having your item delivered.
Let’s face it, the Priory Shopping Centre and surrounding area has not been the same since the automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras and ridiculously high parking charges and fines were introduced.
At one time, you could pull up at the back door of Argos, ring the bell and collect your item with ease, but not anymore, these days you have no choice but to enter the ANPR camera ‘killing zone’.
Once you enter killing zone you have few options at this point, you can either pay through the nose to park on the very land Argos owns, in front of their own backdoor, or you could risk a heftier fine as you try to collect you item and get through the carpark as quickly as you can.
This is because we all know that we only have a short time once we pass camera A, to get to camera B, before you receive a ticket.
It’s as if you’re on the film set of Fast & Furious. However, this last idea is flawed because if the staff in Argos are busy and cannot get to the door quickly, you will run out of time and your bank account will be exterminated by the ANPR dalek as you exit the car park.
Isn’t it about time the council tore down these cameras before they kill the Priory Shopping Centre and surrounding area stone dead, or an even better idea would be for the council to make a compulsory purchase order for the land to drive the parking cowboys out of town and get people coming back in to spend money in the town?
There is another parking option, but only if you are eligible for a blue badge, you could park in the disabled bays in front of Argos, but beware, the disabled bays turn into poorly signed loading bays with faded, scarcely visible painted road markings. The irony here is that the loading bays are in front of derelict shops at the side of Argos that have no use for them. Parking here will also get you a large fine, even with a blue badge.