Shoppers have been complaining about the free parking limit on one of East Lancashire's supermarket car parks after a number of people received fines for overstaying.

Residents in Darwen say the one hour limit on the uncovered outdoor car park next to Asda on School Street is not enough for them to carry out their shopping, especially as a trip to the supermarket can take longer than normal under the current coronavirus restrictions.

In January, Michelle Savage was hit with an £80 parking fine after shopping for a vulnerable friend, who had been shielding due to medical conditions making her extremely vulnerable to coronavirus.

And last week, another resident experienced the same issue, after she visited the store with her disabled mother in order to help with her groceries.

The shopper, who did not wish to be named, said: "The new hour limit in Darwen's Asda car park is not long enough to help vulnerable/disabled people do their shopping.

"I take my mother to assist with her shopping each Friday morning.

"She has an injured shoulder and is awaiting surgery and is unable to pack or carry her shopping.

"Using the undercover car parks is difficult as the entrances are difficult to manoeuvre a full shopping trolley into and the parking for larger vehicles can also be difficult.

"Last Friday it took one hour and 27 minutes to get her shopping and I have today received a £70 parking fine.

"Surely people are not expected to push full trolleys up the hill to the top car park ?

"I don't disagree with a time limit to stop people parking when they are not at the local shops but I feel this limit that has been put in place is targeting the wrong people."

Darwen: Woman hit with parking fine after Asda shop for vulnerable friend

Ms Savage, who was hit with a fine in January said the time shouldn't have been reduced, especially as people sometimes had to queue to get in, socially distance inside, and self check-out.

However, according to Parking Eye who manage the car park, and also Asda, the time limit has been in place for years, and only recently have people been complaining about it.

A spokesperson for Parking Eye said: "It has always been a one hour free parking at the site.

"The car park is owned by Asda and is exclusively for Asda customers.

"Visitors cannot use the car park for shopping at other stores."

Asda were contacted for a statement with bosses saying they were struggling to understand why people were complaining when the parking limits had been in place for years.

A spokesperson said: "The one hour parking limit has been in place at this store for at least the past five years, so we are struggling to understand how customers are claiming it has only recently being enforced."