A SUPERMARKET'S plea to staff to consider parking away from the store during the busy Christmas period has got a mixed reaction from shoppers.
The request by managers means workers face having to fight for spaces at a neighbouring housing estate or at the Homebase store, a five-minute walk away on Launceston Road.
Some customers have expressed outrage at the decision and claim staff are being unfairly treated.
Deborah Hunt, from Newquay, wrote on the Cornish Guardian's Facebook page: "Next thing they will be asking staff to work extra hours for free, my opinion of Asda is declining rapidly.
"I bet the store managers use the car park, if they do that at the Newquay store to the staff, I am going to tell all the locals and I will never shop there again."
Others are concerned staff face walking to and from work in the darkness.
Susan Day commented: "I don't like the idea that staff have to walk to their cars alone in [the] dark, someone is always going to be alone, even security."
One former worker said the decision is nothing new and Asda asks staff to find alternative arrangements every year.
"It happens every year, I worked there last Christmas, I finished my shift in the dark and had to walk to collect my car," Lynne Clemo said.
"I was lucky enough that the nice people at the Callywith let me use their car park but it's ridiculous as Asda in Bodmin is so out of the way that there's nowhere else to go."
Other customers were in support of Asda, claiming employers have no obligation to provide parking.
Michelle Lucas of Bodmin agreed with Asda. "Most people working in Bodmin have to pay for parking and this time of year walk to their car in the dark," she said.
"It's a customer car park not a staff one so Asda are only asking for that to be done at the busiest time of the retail year which is fair if they get free parking the other 11 months."
An Asda spokesman said: "This isn't a strict ban we are enforcing, we are simply asking colleagues to consider alternatives over the busy Christmas period; just seven days.
"We have also made adequate provision near to the store in the Homebase car park to ensure colleagues don't have far to walk and this also prevents colleagues having to park in nearby residential areas.
"Safety of our colleagues comes first and we wouldn't ask night staff to park elsewhere. The peak times over Christmas are 9am to 6pm and all have been fully briefed on this."