A motorist has criticised a firm based in Luton – accusing its employees of swallowing all available parking spaces next to a park.
Michelle Nixon claims users of Wigmore Valley Park have been left shortchanged, with nearly all available spaces in the car park taken by employees of TUI.
She said: “I have spoken with endless amounts of people that use this park and the frustration is clearly building up.
“One person I spoke with stated they had called the council and they simply said it was a car park for everyone to use.”
Although it has its own car park nearby, TUI has leased 40 parking spaces from Luton Borough Council to use at Wigmore Valley Community Centre.
Ms Nixon added: “Should I ask TUI if they can allocate me one of their spare spaces in their car park, so that I can walk my dogs at the park?”
A TUI spokesman said: “We’re concerned to hear the reports from local residents regarding our staff car parking. TUI UK employees working in our Wigmore office have spaces allocated across four car parks, this includes a commercial agreement with Luton town council for the usage of 40 spaces at the Wigmore Valley Community Centre.
“We would like to assure all local residents that we actively encourage colleagues to behave responsibly when using staff and local car parks and hope that other local businesses are doing the same. We also employ a car park coordinator who monitors our car parking usage and reports any misuse.”
Luton Borough Council said the lease did not include Wigmore Valley Park.
But Ms Nixon added: “This is a problem that is not going to go away.
“We are tax payers and have a right to use our local parks and the facilities and especially now as the park is already under threat by developers. We should not have these rights taken from us because staff cannot be bothered to walk the extra journey to and from their own allocated car park.”
A Luton Borough Council spokesman said: “The Council has let the former Wigmore Place offices car park to TUI for 12 months. This is aimed at addressing some of the on-street parking issues which residents in the nearby area have been experiencing and have raised with us. As part of the agreement it is required that TUI employees will not park in the Wigmore Valley Park public car park, or on the service road or the grass verges. We are continuing to closely monitor the situation.
“The Council is also currently asking residents for their opinions on proposed parking controls in the Vauxhall Park and Wigmore areas intended to alleviate concerns raised.”
Residents wishing to give their views are requested to go to www.luton.gov.uk/currentconsultations by August 11.