North-east shoppers have expressed disappointment after discovering a three-month improvement project will fail to address a “safety hazard”.
Asda chiefs announced in July they would be revamping the car park of the Portlethen supermarket and that the new and improved car park would be in place at the start of November.
A long-running gripe for Asda customers is that some of the parking bays are too short for longer cars, and, as a result, the vehicles stick out into the road used by cars to enter and exit the car park.
Customer Paul Love said he went to the store at the weekend and found that, far from solving the problem, the new work had arguably made it worse.
“I’m disappointed by what they have done,” said Mr Love, 49, of Laurencekirk.
He said: “You can see where they have tarred over the entry and exit road within the car park – and that makes it clear to drivers that is the area where they can come in and out, but it goes over the space occupied by longer cars parked in the bays.”
Mr Love said many people who park in the bays choose to go in front first as reverse parking runs the risk of crashing into bollards.
He said: “If you then come back to your car and try to load your shopping into your boot, you would be right in the path of oncoming traffic. It’s a big safety hazard.
“This has always been a problem at the supermarket, but there was an opportunity with these works to put it right and they have missed it.
“When the work is finished, there will be 80 parking spaces taken out.
“So there will be even more competition for the parking bays that aren’t too short.”
Another shopper, who asked not to be named, said: “I try to park my van in these bays and it simply doesn’t fit.
“You’re left in a situation where you’re putting your shopping away while cars are coming in and beeping at you. They really should be sorting this out, but they have somehow made it even worse by tarring the road and putting down new arrow signs.”
An Asda spokesman said the store understood why drivers had raised the issue, which applies to “a small number” of bays on the car park.
He encouraged people driving longer vehicles to choose other parking spaces and keep safety in mind.
The spokesman added the car park has a number of bays for parents and for blue badge holders.
The Evening Express revealed in May that fast food giant McDonald’s will occupy land on the site.
Asda had submitted a planning application to Aberdeenshire Council for permission to demolish the existing five-pump petrol station and build a new one in its place in March.
The petrol station is closed during the work and will be replaced with a new fuelling facility.
Meanwhile, click-and-collect lockers will be introduced, for people who buy shopping online to pick up their purchases.
Included in the proposals that were given the go-ahead was a two-storey drive-through restaurant.
A McDonald’s spokeswoman had previously said the venue would create 65 full and part-time jobs.