Shoppers were delighted to welcome new brands to the town but it seems the lack of parking has taken the edge off the new-look Elliott’s Field.
The retail park in Rugby was officially opened on Saturday, although the majority of stores have been trading for several months.
But despite bringing big names such as Debenhams, Fat Face and H&M to the town, some shoppers are disappointed by the retail park’s ‘restricted’ 650-space free car park.
The Advertiser has been contacted by a number of readers who feel the parking is inadequate for the number of people visiting the Leicester Road site.
Rugby resident Jackie Saxby said she struggled to get a disabled space at the retail park.
“It is very disappointing but it was obvious right from when Debenhams opened that there weren’t enough parking spaces at Elliott’s Field,” she said.
“I’ve been twice since M&S and Nando’s opened and I haven’t been able to find a space to park and I’ve had to wait until someone pulled out.
“I am disabled and have a blue badge but there are so few that it is impossible to get a disabled space. It seems such a shame to have a great new retail park but not enough car park spaces.”
Jason Dowzell said the parking issues had caused queues on Leicester Road.
“There are not enough spaces even mid week, what spaces there are are very narrow and there are very few parent/child spaces,” he said.
“The bigger issue is that no thought has been given to getting traffic on to the site from Leicester Road, which is causing chaos on all surrounding roads. I had originally thought that the area between Nando’s and Halfords was going to be a slip road for quicker access off Leicester Road but it turned out just to be a bus stop.”
But not everyone has had the same experience. Holly Robinson braved the shops on Black Friday last week and had no problem with parking.
She said: “I went on Black Friday and found a space easily. I’ve never had a problem with parking.”
Michelle Lee Wragg said it was important to give the new retail park a chance to find its feet.
“The retail park will never win. It’s either people will moan that they are taking business away from town or not able to park,” she said.
“Either way I am sure they are monitoring the situation and will make adjustments in accordance with demand.
“Give it a chance, it’s only just opened. If you went to Fosse Park or the likes you would find the parking just as bad and the site there is huge.”
Nina Cadman, property PR manager at Hammerson Plc, the company which own Elliott’s Field, said the firm would continue to monitor customer footfall.
“Elliott’s Field has welcomed a record number of shoppers over recent weeks and we anticipate that this positive trend will continue having celebrated the official opening at the weekend,” she said.
“The new shopping park includes a free car park with 650 spaces and benefits from excellent public transport links, with frequent bus services direct from the town centre and Brownsover, as well as Bilton and Cawston Grange.
“We will continue to monitor customer footfall as trading normalises.
“Customers can find more information on parking facilities and transport links on our website www.elliottsfield.co.uk.”