Morrisons worker JONTY BEARD says in this guest post for A Little Bit of Stone that staff often can’t get off the car park for an hour after finishing their evening shifts – and that the supermarket (and business in Stone in general) is suffering because of the changes that have been made to the ring road
Being a Morrisons employee I have the opportunity to see the traffic problems at both their worst and their best and also to see the problems it cause for shoppers getting out of our store.
One look at the car park here on Friday evenings alone demonstrates this, with cars backed up around the entire car park and waiting times upwards of an hour or more (on particularly bad occasions) just for people to get out. This fact is frequently highlighted when we have some staff still waiting for the traffic to die down before even attempting to leave, despite their shifts finishing an hour or more earlier. Even later on during some evenings the issues remain. I distinctly remember one colleague getting off the car park at 7.55pm when their shift finished at 7pm. It is apparent that the changes have not worked and I do remember that things never quite got this bad before any changes were made.
Of course this may be seen as a very narrow scope to view the problem from but I feel that it is a valid one as Morrisons is not the only business in the town to feel the effects of this problem. How many people are no longer coming into the town due to the knowledge that it may well take them over an hour or more to accomplish what should realistically take no more than 15 minutes? I would wager that it is more than you might think. Add to this the taking away of one of Stone’s big draws (the free parking which went long ago) and it all contributes to the downturn a lot of business feels.
Then of course we have the alterations themselves which, frankly, are atrocious. Take the new siting of the crossings. The new zebra crossing linking the new location for the pelican crossing and Morrisons itself is ridiculous being, as it is, roughly 10 feet from the turning and completely blind for drivers. I hate to be overly pessimistic but I doubt it will be six months before someone receives a major injury there or is even killed. It is too close to the turn and puts pedestrians at unnecessary risk.
By simply involving the public in the planning and research about these things, a lot of money, time and effort could be saved with better results in the end. I, for one, will continue to walk into town (and to work) and avoid the roads as much as possible until the current layout is improved because it is simply too dangerous and too unpleasant to walk there as it stands.
Something had to be done about the road layout on Christchurch Way to address some of the problems that did exist. That much was clear. What wasn’t clear, however, was how to go about this and, sadly, it seems that the net result of this is excessive spending and, ultimately, a spectacular failure to rectify the issues.