Sainsbury's

Your views on traffic and parking in the town
Ewoowar
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Re: Sainsbury's

Postby Ewoowar » 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.
Last edited by Steve on Wed 18 Mar, 2015 3:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Edited by Admin to fix formatting

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Darcy Sarto
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Re: Sainsbury's

Postby Darcy Sarto » Tue 17 Mar, 2015 5:13 pm

Of course if you can cope with a couple of hundred yards walk to the pool (sorry - "leisure centre") you can park in the car park opposite Sainsbury which is accessed from Port Hill and avoid some of the shenanigans!

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Steve
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Re: Sainsbury's

Postby Steve » Tue 17 Mar, 2015 9:05 pm

The original 23 page discussion on the old forum is available at
http://hertfordforum.net.769soon2b.co.u ... IC_ID=3369

Edited to add:

I've just found this discussion from 2009 about the anticipated traffic issues thrown up by Sainsbury's

http://hertfordforum.net.769soon2b.co.u ... IC_ID=4179

A bit more manageable at 5 pages :-)

Ironically the final comment has pertinence given the front story page in this week's Mercury ("We're cross about crossing").

Joby
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Joined: Tue 03 Dec, 2013 12:09 pm

Re: Sainsbury's

Postby Joby » Wed 18 Mar, 2015 10:36 am

Steve wrote:Ironically the final comment has pertinence given the front story page in this week's Mercury ("We're cross about crossing").


Indeed. I really hope common sense prevails with respect to the crossing and that the opinions of a tiny, selfish* minority are not allowed to unduly influence the decision to provide a much-needed crossing at this treacherous spot. The benefits are huge, opening up as it does a safe pathway onto Hartham from the west of town.

*I'm afraid the guy quoted in the story didn't elicit much sympathy from me..."investment property", "house prices", "loss of pavement to park on", "want to cook breakfast with my knob out". Actually that last bit was pretty good, although entirely irrelevant; if you flash your bits through the window surely you could "get done for indecent exposure" regardless of whether or not there was a crossing outside your house.

highwood38
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Re: Sainsbury's

Postby highwood38 » Thu 02 Apr, 2015 10:21 pm

Re the queues on Saturdays and Sundays, can they not allow cars to exit (but not enter) through the car park onto port Hill? Then any traffic that would otherwise be turning right onto Cowbridge would be able to exit that way and reduce the cars using hartham lane.

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Darcy Sarto
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Re: Sainsbury's

Postby Darcy Sarto » Thu 02 Apr, 2015 11:11 pm

A good idea which could be easily implemented and controlled. I will commence holding my breath.......

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Steve
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Re: Sainsbury's

Postby Steve » Fri 03 Apr, 2015 12:29 am

Darcy Sarto wrote:A good idea which could be easily implemented and controlled. I will commence holding my breath.......

Converting a car park to a thoroughfare is not as straightforward as you might think.

highwood38
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Re: Sainsbury's

Postby highwood38 » Fri 03 Apr, 2015 7:36 am

Though at least the difficulties would be largely administrative rather than require many changes to the site.

If they were being ambitious (which maybe they are for this town centre vision project) then I think this kind of thing would be good for the junction at old cross: http://www.sustrans.org.uk/our-services ... on-poynton

The description of Poynton makes it sound like it has a similar issue to Hertford so it sounds like it would work in theory, though I'm not sure if they could find the required budget. Also it may be that going into town it just moves the queues from St Andrew Street and old cross to further down at the A414 roundabout...

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Darcy Sarto
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Re: Sainsbury's

Postby Darcy Sarto » Fri 03 Apr, 2015 9:42 am

Steve wrote:
Darcy Sarto wrote:A good idea which could be easily implemented and controlled. I will commence holding my breath.......

Converting a car park to a thoroughfare is not as straightforward as you might think.


Oh - I will not hold my breath then. Why am I not surprised?

Ewoowar
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Re: Sainsbury's

Postby Ewoowar » Sun 05 Apr, 2015 1:07 pm

I'd be very surprised if opening that car park as a public thoroughfare would be permitted.


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