Bosses at The Avenue are adamant there will be no change to a parking charge said to have fuelled traffic and parking problems in local streets.
But from correspondence passed to The Extra it appears retail managers are now taking a close look at how their staff are coping.
Workers are having to choose between forking out £7.50 per week - the typical cost of parking “longstay” five days a week – or “wild parking” in a nearby street.
Mall workers weren’t the intended target of the levy, which aimed to stop people who weren’t using the mall from simply using The Avenue as a permanent all-day free car park – but they are the drivers who are most affected by it.
A spokeswoman for The Avenue said: “The flow of traffic to The Avenue’s car park, both short and long stay, has been monitored very carefully since our purchase almost three years ago.
“The recent refurbishment works including resurfacing, walkways and new signage and lighting, totalling £370,000, was delivered with the sole objective of ensuring our shoppers could park easily at their local shopping centre rather than having to travel further afield.
“Our studies of the car park clearly showed that, prior to the implementation of the improvement works and management system, the car park was being abused by drivers who were not using the shopping centre, thus preventing our customers from parking at the centre.
“As part of the car park refurbishment investment strategy, fully supported by the vast majority of our retailers, the £1.50 charge for long stay was introduced to deter and diminish misuse.
“This is in line with other local, community shopping centre’s nationally with a finite parking provision. The short stay parking remains free.
“Respectfully there will be no changes to the new parking policy.
“Management will be pleased to engage with the council and police to help them in ensuring a safe environment for local residents.”
However residents who have contacted The Extra argue that The Avenue is simply ignoring a problem they say it has unwittingly created.