Posted: Tue 17 Mar, 2015 1:57 pm
codek2 wrote:SloopJohnB is right - most of the times the traffic is fine, but sometimes (and effectively randomly, although indeed often caused by footballers) it does build up. Doesn't take long to clear though.
“although indeed often caused by footballers”??????????????? How many players do you think are in a football team? Plus, and from experience I know, many players share cars. Also, not all pitches are used constantly and matches last 90 minutes and 15 minutes half time.
Footballers and, indeed, tennis players plus users of the leisure centre, have been using the facilities for years and I cannot recall the chaos that occurred last weekend.
Sainsburys……………..229 car parking spaces.
In an ancient thread on this forum when the application for Sainsburys was being discussed I constantly raised the likelihood of traffic issues and some forum participants had strong alternative opinions.
I went to Sainsburys open sessions/exhibition which was held at the Corn Exchange (I think for about four days). It was their attempt to demonstrate that they had engaged with the public of Hertford. Cynically I consider this, and still do, a rather lame box ticking exercise in order to support their application, so they can say that they ‘engaged’ with the local community.
I recall they had a model of the proposed development and several people willing to talk to us good local folk.
However I did a bit of research prior to my visit and these people were not employed directly by Sainsburys but by a third party consultancy (Indigo Planning) who had been contracted by Sainsburys in order to advise and influence to get the application through. A quick check on the consultancy’s web site showed them up for who they were and what they do. One case study they had on the site lauded how they had ‘influenced’ a previous planning application for Sainsburys at another site. They even had profiles of their staff and one of which was someone whose expertise was influencing local councillors and planning departments. For a consultancy that was praising its PR expertise this was rather more than a massive shot in the foot but more like unloading the entire barrel of a Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum Revolver. At the Corn Exchange all of them wore Sainsburys badges giving the impression that they were Sainsburys employees there to be open and talk to us. They were never going to let on that they were a consultancy skilled in manipulating planning appilcations. Therefore my conversation began along the lines of,
Me: “You appear to be wearing Sainsburys badges but you don’t work for Sainsburys”.
“Errrr, no. We represent them”.
Me: “Okay, is there anyone here from Sainsburys I can talk to?”.
“No. We represent them”.
Me: "So why are you wearing Sainsburys badges? It makes it look like you work for Sainsburys when really you work for Indigo".
Stunned silence. Cue tumbleweed moment.
I took to conversation with their traffic expert. I expressed my concerns about the traffic issues and he spouted a stream of numbers Alan Turing would have been proud of followed by a scripted load of nonsense. I asked him directly, “Have you been to the site, the junctions involved?”. Now, if I was him I would have lied just to end the conversation. But he said, “No”.
So their traffic consultant had not even bothered to walk the few hundred meters to view the site and the junctions. He should have been there on week days and also on weekends when the road is heavily used for access to Hartham.
THAT is the scant disregard they gave to Hertford. THAT is how the supermarkets, in fact all large organisations, manipulate planning.
Having said all this I have to admit I use Sainsburys regularly and think it is a good addition to the town. AND……….the traffic debacle last weekend is the first I have ever seen there that bad. The junction at Cowbridge simply cannot cope with peak traffic volumes. I sincerely hope that if this is an indication that increasing use of Sainsburys causes continuing weekend traffic chaos something can be down about it.
Rant over. Soap box put away.