Vicarage Field shopping centre announces part closure alongside free parking for key workers
PUBLISHED: 15:45 24 March 2020 | UPDATED: 15:46 24 March 2020
The Vicarage Field shopping centre in Barking has announced two major changes as the UK enters into a three-week lockdown.
A partial closure of the complex comes after prime minister Boris Johnson declared a nationwide lockdown with minimal exceptions.
From today, Tuesday, March 24, only four stores remain open at the shopping centre – B&M stores, the post office, Holland and Barrett and opticians Spectacle World.
B&M will be open between 9am - 5pm from Monday to Saturday and between 11am - 4pm on Sunday, with Holland and Barrett open between 9am - 6pm.
Both the post office and Spectacle World will be open between 9.30am - 4.30pm from Monday to Saturday only.
Commenting on these new measures, centre director Simon Green said: “These are difficult times and we’ve been working hard to come up with a solution to make sure these vital stores can remain open, while protecting our valued team members and visitors.
“Unfortunately, trading hours are restricted, and we can’t offer public toilet facilities or interchange between levels.”
He added that there is a helpline listed on posters in the centre for those with mobility and health issues.
The second major change — free car parking — is designed to reward key workers as they work tirelessly to battle the pandemic.
Parking on the upper level car park will be free for such workers to use 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
This offer is available until June 30; to take advantage key workers are asked to send clear pictures of their registration number and staff ID to email@example.com.
The registration number must be included in the subject line, with workers reminded that the offer applies to the upper level car park only.
Vicarage Field have acted quickly to clarify how the centre will continue to operate, as the landscape changed entirely with the confirmation of an official lockdown.
In making his address to the nation, Johnson confirmed that people must remain at home save for the following reasons:
- Shopping for basic necessities
- One form of exercise a day
- Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
- Travelling to and from work, but only when absolutely necessary and impossible to do from home.