Bid to ease car park ‘anarchy’ has stalled
25 February 2009
PLANS to break the traffic gridlock at a retail park have stalled – despite being given the green light three months ago.
Some landowners in the Arena Retail Park in Green Lanes, Harringay, have failed to sign up to a scheme proposed by Sainsbury’s to overhaul access, it is claimed.
A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said: “Sainsbury’s is keen that the measures approved in November are implemented as soon as possible to prevent congestion.”
She confirmed the supermarket had “put pressure on the council to push other landowners to agree to implement the improvements”.
Tensions have regularly reached boiling point in the last year as customers complained of queuing for up to two hours to leave, describing the experience as “anarchy”.
Traffic lights by the only exit at Williamson Road are green for such a short time that the 1,000-plus capacity car parks quickly clog up, drivers complain.
Jim Cassins, chairman of neighbouring Hermitage Road, Oakdale Road, Beechfield Road and Ashfield Residents’ Association, who has witnessed the scale of the traffic problems on the site, criticised the delay.
He said: “People I meet coming out of the car park say they will never go back. It’s gone on for too long. Everybody is suffering.”
Sainsbury’s property chief met with the council’s director of urban environment recently to discuss getting the scheme moving forward.
The planned changes include closing the exit and entry in Williamson Road, closest to the traffic lights.
Instead a longer two-lane approach to traffic lights in Green Lanes will be created, as well as a right-hand turn into Williamson Road at the eastern entrance of the retail park.
The Arena Retail Park is owned by Wildmoor Properties and is home to retailers such as Next, Homebase and Argos.
A council spokeswoman said: “This is a private matter between Wildmoor Properties and Sainsbury’s PLC, which requires private agreement. The council will continue to use everything in its statutory powers to work to resolve this situation. The use of the council’s exceptional powers of compulsory acquisition has not been ruled out.