Shoppers stuck for hours on the long Good Friday


[from Tottenham, Wood Green and Edmonton Gazette]

Shoppers stuck for hours on the long Good Friday
Wednesday, April 02, 2008

GOOD Friday turned into a nightmare for shoppers at the Arena Retail Park in Green Lanes, eyewitnesses have reported.

Frustrated drivers are said to have waited hours to get out of the centre car park near Harringay Green Lanes station

Jim Cassins, chairman of Hermitage Road, Oakdale Road, Beechfield Road and Ashfield Residents’ Association, witnessed the chaos.

He said: “It was horrendous. We’re getting increasingly concerned there’s going to be murder there. The cars were six or seven deep in the car park.

“People were there for over three hours. People were screaming and shouting and running out of petrol because they were there so long.

“Loads of people left cars and went to Green Lanes to get taxis.”

A store security guard was reportedly punched in the face by an irate shopper.

“Sainsbury’s has taken the brunt of this but Sainsbury’s have been there 25 years and they’ve built another 14 stores there,” said Mr Cassins.

“They are trying to get three, four times the amount of traffic onto narrow Williamson Road. Whoever allowed the planning has an awful lot to answer for. You need two exits.”

The retail park includes big name stores such as Next, Homebase and Argos.

The only exit into Green Lanes is at Williamson Road, where lights are green for such a short time that the 1,000-plus capacity car parks quickly clog up.

A Haringey Council spokesman said: “We are looking at the options available to us to reduce the traffic congestion. The traffic lights at the Endymion Road junction have been upgraded and those at Williamson Road are being rephased by Transport for London (TfL) to provide a smoother flow of traffic into Green Lanes.

“We will be meeting with representatives from Wildmoor Properties [the landlords and developers of Arena Retail Park] and other interested parties on March 31 to discuss further options for easing congestion.

“We have also asked the owners to look at whether they could improve the movement of traffic within the development itself.”

Richard Jones, development director for Wildmoor Properties, said: “We’re fully aware of the situation and positively taking steps to improve and monitor it.”

A Transport for London spokeswoman said the new traffic light phasings would be working in June and will allow “the lights to synchronise more effectively with other junctions”.


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