Sunday, 14 July 2013

Placing Stone in Stone Place

With the beautification of Windsor Road now mostly complete, the people charged with spending Boris’s money improving Worcester Park will apparently next be turning their attention to Stone Place and the Waitrose car park entrance.

We should look forward to better pedestrian access and development in the style we are now becoming accustomed to in and around Central Road.

The blog understands that this is going to remain an entrance to Stone Place and Waitrose; however it shall cease to be an exit. The plan is for this to become a one way thoroughfare, putting an end to the stream of cars trying to turn into Central Road opposite Longfellow Road and holding up traffic at that point. Instead, cars will need to leave via Windsor Road where they can more easily turn into Central Road because there is space for two cars side by side there so one turning right won't hold up cars turning left.

The entrance via Yoga Way (off Windsor Road) is not however going to become one way so cars are still free to enter and exit this way.

Work is scheduled to begin tomorrow (Monday) morning so if you are planning to nip to Waitrose over the next week or so, you might want to plan to use Yoga Way off the newly refurbished Windsor Road.

Update (16th July)

The state of play as of last night (Monday evening)...

Update (17th July)

For Graham, Barry and Tony, thanks to your comments on Facebook, I am adding the below 'photographic evidence' of 'beautifican' requested. I would say that on balance it does look better than it did before. I do however reserve the right to place my tongue in my cheek from time to time...

34 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Richard said...

Its not the stream of cars exiting Waitrose at that point that causes the problems its the stream of cars waiting to turn INTO Stone place! that is the queue that holds everything up along with the illegal parking outside of the betting shop and greengrocer opposite the junction as lorries and buses can't get passed.

P Dantic said...

It's not Waitrose car park. It's a council car car park. Please either get this right, or I am going to move out of the area in protest. Your choice.

Andy said...

Absolutely, the people exiting from the car park either left or right onto Central Road don't really affect the traffic too much, although this will make it easier to get out of Longfellow turning right I would imagine.

I imagine it will reduce the blood pressure of people waiting in the queues in the morning who get riled up by other drivers using the car park as a short cut from Windsor Ave down to Iceland to beat the traffic - but I doubt it will reduce the actual level of traffic exiting Worcester Park past the station, and therefore the queuing times will remain the same.

As for coming the other way, towards the top of the hill, people entering the car park and sitting in the centre of the road for ages as the inconsiderate drivers pour down the hill at 5mph not letting them in, hold up the traffic all the way back past the station and no doubt add to the chaos of getting to Worcester Park from the A3 and beyond each and every evening.

guest said...

I agree, perhaps they should also ban right turns into Stone Place.

Dave said...

It's not clear, to me, why the Stone Place entrance needs to remain open to traffic at all. A fully-pedestrianized area, but allowing for access by the emergency services, would eliminate the traffic conflicts which are a significant cause of delays on Central Road.
Looks like another missed opportunity by LBS, unless I'm missing something.

Resident said...

The cars parked outside the betting shop and the grocers don't help , nor do the ones outside the post office or Ryan gate. You can get a ticket in stone place if your tyre touching the white line of a parking bay but you can obstruct traffic outside the post office all day long and get nothing. Is it to far for the wardens to walk .?

Dave said...

Bravo, another pedant!
I dislike its being called the 'Waitrose' car park because it gives the impression of altruism on on their part, or even ownership. I assume they pay for the advertising hoarding shown in the picture, and I believe they lease the site on which their building stands from LBS, but it's unlikely that they contribute anything towards the car park.

Dave said...

And G4S/Securicor seem able to park their vans fully on the pavement in Worcester Park, and anywhere else in LBS, with impunity. The only time I ever see a warden in the area is on Lynwood Drive, or in the Library, never on Central Road - there must be an explanation

KT4 shopper said...

"It's not clear, to me, why the Stone Place entrance needs to remain open to traffic at all."

How would Iceland delivery vehicles park up and offload their deliveries? Without access to Stone Place, their only remaining option would be to park in Central Road and ferry everything to the back of the store - it would have the same effect as a couple of broken down buses in the high street, outside Iceland - an utter nightmare!

guest said...

There would still be access via Windsor Road to Stone Place, they would just have a longer trip.

KT4 shopper said...

But the car park is a well placed and thought out facility, that meets residents needs - clearly created by people who knew and cared about what they were doing.
Doesn't sound like today's LBS to me.

KT4 shopper said...

And can you visualise how an Iceland articulated truck would manage turn around in the full car park, to exit via Windsor Road, from whence it entered?

Or would have to back up through all the parked and parking cars in the car park? Which would probably bring the entire car park to a halt, as the driver inched his way backwards through the car park and back out, still reversing through Windsor Road and back out into the Central Road...

Either way, it's not a goer is it?

Worcester Park Blogger said...

Please, at almost every juncture that
Waitrose was mentioned, Stone Place was also mentioned, (and Stone Place got an
extra mention in the Heading). That's three a piece if my mathematics serves
me. Yes, Mr (or Ms) P. Dantic,
you are of course correct, the area full of parked cars is indeed a Council car
park known as 'Stone Place Car Park' but this area (and I know this is a mere trifling point) now stands in front of a large
Waitrose supermarket with no other obvious retail outlets
visible. And I admit I do sometimes feel subconsciously obliged to use this
easy association to help readers perhaps less familiar with the local area to
also know what is going on. I accept I should be encouraging readers to use the
full and correct names for all of the area and not bow down to the pressure to
use the dumbed down names based on simple association over a short period of
time. Please don't leave - Worcester Park just wouldn't be the same without its
first-rate assortment of pedants. I will try to decrease the
frequency of references to links between this particular car park and the large
retail outlet that dominates it’s perimeter (more than any other single entity).
I hope you accept this in the spirit with which it is intended…

guest said...

The access to most supermarket delivery areas is tiny, that is why artic drivers are so skilled at turning in tight places. The Stone Place car park is huge in comparison with most places. They will have to exit through Windsor road anyway.

A said...

I don't see any reason why they wouldn't be able to reverse a lorry into the 'road' which seems to go round the back of Iceland, park there for the deliveries, and then exit back out of Stone Place without any issues. Plenty of space.

slou said...

I have greater concern regarding the temporary pedestrian footpaths that have been set up where work is being carried out. In places such as the corner of Pizza Express, the temporary footpath is set out on the road, but the barriers came to an abrupt end at the corner of Windsor Road leaving pedestrians walking literally alongside the traffic, right next to cars turning left left onto the high street. A potential danger zone for anyone who hasn't got their wits about them, especially for the elderly or those with youngsters! The layout of the barriers directing the pedestrians, surely can't confirm to the council's safety policies, else pedestrians would have been directed to the other side of the road altogether?? I also noted concerns down by the Iceland roadworks. Has anyone else experienced the temporary pedestrian redirections to be unsafe?......

Longfellow Bod said...

I agree! As someone who lives in Longfellow, it is a real problem when there are 2 or 3 cars waiting to turn right into Stone Place as it is already difficult to turn right into Central Road - I only ever manage it when the lights are red....

KT4 Shopper said...

I suspect A and guest have misunderstood the concept that if Stone Place was closed to traffic, no matter how skilled the driver or small the vehicle, they clearly won't be able to use a any road closed to traffic - plenty of space or otherwise.

There's no way an Iceland delivery truck will be able to drive down from Windsor Road, offload, then somehow turnaround in a full car park or otherwise somehow reverse back up to Windsor Road - the whole idea is barking!

guest said...

Simple, enter from Windsor Road, drive towards the old exit, reverse into Iceland's goods receipt area, exit via Windor Road. Iceland should be complying with the requirement to have their deliveries outside of normal usage hours anyway.

Whilst we are on the subject of pedestrianisation of the entrance, it could give rise to a great opportunity to revitalise WP as a shopping area. If the new pedestrianised area was allowed to have a small number of matket stalls, it would a) attract people out of their cars down towards the shops. b) as start up costs are so much lower give budding Alan Sugar's, Jack Cohen's (Tescos), Lord Seiff (M&S), John Sainsbury (who all started on market stalls) a chance.
c) attract shoppers back as it would make WP a bit different.

Dave said...

Iceland do have to be given some consideration, but continuing to provide for access by artics compared with the demonstrable benefits of closing the Stone Place entrance to all non-emergency vehicles goes beyond what is reasonable.
There must be many Iceland shops were there is no access for artics, so they use vehicles of size appropriate to the location.

Dave said...

The 16th July pictures show no access at all for vehicles via Stone Place. Iceland deliveries must have continued, so I see no reason why permanent closure to non-emergency vehicles would be a problem.

KT4 Shopper said...

At some point it will become apparent that a 40ft vehicle making a 180 degree turn doesn't fit in to 20ft and 45 degrees of turning room - what then? 'Simple', "they use vehicles of size appropriate to the location", so Iceland fly in their stock by helicopter?... Careful with those eggs!

That car park is one of the few things that works well for everyone, be they traders, shoppers, visitors, or residents with limited mobility or carrying something heavy back to the car.

Consider this: So far, by contrast, Boris' money has been chucked at Victoria House - which was left a decaying mess. And more recently, road resurfacing - already a decaying mess.
Meanwhile, whilst this notion of reopening closed shops was being sold around town, 3 more traders closed to each become a decaying mess for who knows how long? So for God's sake, since those spending Boris' money in Sutton are so obviously utterly incompetent, leave our car park alone!

guest said...

At some point it will become apparent that it only needs to turn 90 degrees, they do what they do at every other supermarket reverse in.

Take a look at ASDA in Roehampton Lane where they have to do the identical manouvere but on public roads.

guest said...

So how have the Iceland deliveries continued to take place while Stone Place has been completely closed to traffic, as it still was yesterday afternoon (26th)?

Guest said...

Drivers Beware
On entering Stone Place from Central Road take great caution, as you will more than likely be confronted by another vehicle entering the one way system wrongly from the car park.
This afternoon over the course of 10 minutes i saw 7 Drivers (cars) totally oblivious to the NO ENTRY signs as they left the car park . So BEWARE of IDIOTS who can't see road signs.and if you are a pedestrian on the pavement take great care as some of these drivers cannot tell the difference between road and pavement and totally ignore advice offered!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jen Jen said...

Driving up worcester park high street this afternoon there was a hold up by the pizza place it was just stupid drivers unable to position there cars to turn right even though there is a sign and box on the road just move over and keep the flow of traffic going up the high street

guest said...

All the more reason to close that entrance completely - other than for emergency vehicles.
Iceland have clearly been able to continue their deliveries while the road was temporarily closed.

Baldrick said...

What a cunning plan! I wish I had your powers of analysis!
Let's turn the car park and the length of (newly narrowed) Windsor Road into one great big traffic jam! Then we can have all the traffic from Central Road backed up and unable to turn into Windsor Road.
The tail back should continue for miles! An Iceland lorry meeting a Waitrose lorry coming the other way ought to set this off nicely!
Whilst you're here, why not put forward the doubly brilliant suggestion of stopping vehicular access at entrances to the car park?!!!

Paul said...

I bet North Cheam won't get half the money spent on it that Worcester Park got

We should have been done first, our high street is dying,

guest said...

What a facile response.
Iceland vehicles have had to arrive and depart via Windsor Road the whole time that the Stone Place entrance has been closed, therefore they could continue to do so.
I can't imagine that an HGV driver would enter any road until he could see his/her exit clear - in this case a very short distance from the Waitrose access road up to Windsor Road.
As to your utterly daft last sentence - what do three shrieks tell us that one wouldn't?
I am not as critical of the LBS Planning Department as some but, assuming that 'most' people would like to see traffic delays reduced along Central Road, they seem to have missed a trick in not closing Stone Place and not banning right-hand turns into, and out of, some of the side roads, particularly Longfellow Road.

Baldrick said...

A deservedly facile response to a patently ridiculous 'cunning plan'.

To even contemplate channelling all vehicles entering and exiting the car park into one access route, and that route being the NEWLY NARROWED Windsor Road shows a vivid lack of thought and logic.
Consider the gridlocked traffic trying to turn right into NEWLY NARROWED Windsor Road: How far do you expect the resulting tailback along Central Road to reach? To the A3?

And how exactly does even an expert HGV driver turning right into Windsor Road have a clear line of sight, to see another HGV vehicle driving up the hill and out of the car park?
Answer: They can't! Unless they are expert enough to see through Pizza Express, the library and the new block of flats! By the time they see each other, it's too late - neither can turn round!

And so, how do these two expert HGV drivers pass each other along NEWLY NARROWED Windsor Road?
Answer: They can't! [There's a reason why I've written NEWLY NARROWED in capital letters]. Meanwhile, behind the (unable to pass) HGVs, traffic builds up behind them both...

The only way Iceland can get its deliveries is by having them hours before the shops open and the car park fills. It means drivers, shop staff and the company as a whole is incurring inconvenience and extra costs to manoeuvre around this LBS 'experiment'. I wonder how they would cope with having to get out of bed 2 hours earlier, every day?

And before you suggest shoppers similarly avoid congestion at the car park, by following Iceland's lead and going shopping long before the shops open, try, for once, actually thinking through that suggestion!

Windsor Road said...

Spare more than a thought for Windsor Road residents who now experience living on the high street - constant steam of cars and delivery lorries at all hours of the day and night. An unacceptable change for the immediate local residents, who are not visiting but have had their quality of home life dramatically changed in a negative way

Windsor Road resident said...

I totally agree.
Living in Windsor Road is now like living next to a distribution centre, with large delivery vehicles arriving throughout the night.
Windsor Road is as congested as the High Street, yet this is where people live.
To top if off as all cars are now leaving through Windsor Road, this mean a contanst stream of vehicles from the early hours of the morning, right though to late in to the night, weekends etc etc.
Quality of life has totally changed...for the worse.

Inconvenience Stores said...

And don't forget that Iceland delivery vehicles are now having to delivery EXCLUSIVELY OUT OF HOURS because the newly reduced and restricted area around Iceland now prevents it at any other time. I asked at Iceland how they are managing to get around the situation. The response was along the lines of "completely impractical, but it's a case of having to make it work - or close down!"

To be fair, this was followed by an expression of empathy for residents living nearby, whose been adversely affected by the changes forced upon all the local residents and businesses, which was a very nice gesture. [To anyone fortunate enough to be out of earshot, the sound of a loaded HGV hitting the speed ramps in Stone Place, in the early hours of the morning, sounds like the vehicles are exploding landmines].

But (without wishing to be disrespectful) this is so obviously a failure from both from a residential and a commercial perspective, even to the average store worker! What of the project manager(s) at Sutton Council? Will they just ignore this, another failed project, and carry on conjuring up more harebrained schemes and relentlessly spending out more Outer London Fund money? Does this thoughtlessly spent cash ever get audited?

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