Drivers at boiling point in superstore car park gridlock

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[from Hornsey and Crouch End Journal]

Drivers at boiling point in superstore car park gridlock

nlnews@archant.co.uk
05 March 2008

A SHOPPER who spent two hours of Mothering Sunday stuck in a notorious Sainsbury’s car park off Green Lanes has described the experience as “anarchy”.

Steve Alexander, 59, a school bus driver, was incensed after falling victim to ongoing problems getting out of the Arena retail park near Harringay Green Lanes Station

He said: “I went on Sunday morning to get some flowers for mother’s day. I left and then realised I forgot some things so went back, to my regret. Never again will I venture into that store. I took two hours to get out of that car park. The situation is becoming a health and safety issue.

“People were so distressed. There were ladies there with young children absolutely distraught. To wait two hours is ridiculous.

“It was almost anarchy there. It’s the traffic lights where it comes out into Green Lanes. I’m sure in this day and age some engineering can be done to improve it.”

There are fears the problems exiting the car park, which includes big name stores such as Next, Homebase and Argos, could lead to violence.

Tensions regularly reach boiling point among drivers trying to leave via the only exit at Williamson Road, where lights are green for such a short time that the 1,000-plus capacity car parks quickly clog up.

Shoppers have previously abandoned their cars at weekends, returning later to collect them, as average queues exceed one hour and rose above three hours before Christmas. Other shoppers are avoiding it altogether.

A Haringey Council spokeswoman said: “The traffic lights are controlled by TFL (Transport for London). Those at the Endymion Road junction and at Williamson Road will be re-phased later this month and in May to provide a smoother flow of traffic into Green Lanes.

“The council is in discussion with Sainsbury’s and the retail park owners to see how we can further help them with this problem. Clearly, any solution must take account of the fact that Green Lanes is an already busy highway and is an arterial road into London.

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