New changes to Westfield Penrith parking will limit shoppers to two hours free parking and remove free parking after 6pm, unless shoppers download the centre’s new app.
Westfield’s paid parking has resumed after being offered free to shoppers during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, the traditional free three hours has been reduced to two, unless shoppers download the free Westfield Plus app.
When downloaded, shoppers will need to enter their vehicle registration to receive four hours of free parking.
Free parking after 6pm will also now only apply to app holders.
But with not everyone having access to a smartphone, locals are concerned two hours won’t be enough time, especially for the elderly.
Emu Plains resident Caitlin Wilson was outraged at the news.
“I think they need to keep it at three hours free parking,” the local shopper said.
“By all means, give an extra hour or two to people with the app but two hours is not enough time to do your shopping, especially if you are disabled or elderly.
“I cannot see my grandparents downloading the app, they don’t even have mobile phones.
“The grandparent that does, sure doesn’t have a phone with the capability of apps.”
Westfield Penrith Centre Manager Katie Smith encouraged shoppers to download the app to experience the benefits.
“So that our customers can access parking as quickly and easily as possible when they visit us, we will reinstate controlled parking from July 22 along with the launch of our brand new membership program, Westfield Plus, offering exclusive member benefits including extended free parking,” she said.
“By signing up to the Westfield Plus app customers will receive four hours free parking, while non-Westfield Plus customers will receive two hours free parking.
“Other member benefits available through the Westfield Plus app include free parking when you enter after 6pm, the ability to check your parking time and set a reminder, book tables at some of your favourite restaurants and explore your local centre map and store directories.”
A graduate of Western Sydney University, Nicola Barton is a news journalist with the Western Weekender, primarily covering crime and politics.