So Transport for London listened – well, sort of listened – to the clamour in the town over the Vicarage Road station name.
The upshot is we have now been left with “Watford Vicarage Road” for the new Met Line station.
This contrivance is an unwieldy hybrid of the authority’s preferred “West Watford” choice and the “Vicarage Road” option, which attracted more than 2,000 signatures of support from people in the town.
The transport authority’s reason for resisting the latter option is it apparently does not like to name stations after road names anymore.
Presumably as it wants station names that are more recognisable to passengers across the tube network.
Although, personally, I am still at a loss to understand the logic behind its current fudge as TfL seem less concerned about applying this reasoning to the other new Croxley Rail Link station, which looks set to be christened “Cassiobridge”.
This name was suggested as by local historians as it harks back to the name of a farm that was originally in the area.
It is a nice touch that links the new station with the town’s past.
However it is hard to get away from the fact that the new name is hardly instantly recognisable as a place within Watford.
It is sort of half recognisable to people au fait with the town due to the “Cassio” part of the name and its proximity to Cassiobury Park.
But it will not be recognisable as a place in Watford to the vast majority of tube users outside the town – unlike Vicarage Road.
Still, TfL does apparently not feel the need to call it “Watford Cassiobridge”.
The whole affair looks suspiciously like a case of applying policy by numbers.
Watford the beachhead for alien hypermarket invasion?
A few months back I bemoaned what appeared at the time to be another arbitrary rejig at Tesco Extra, which left me as well as other customers struggling to locate basic groceries.
I have to admit I may have been a bit hasty to judge, as at it has now emerged that it was actually the beginning of a radical transformation.
Over the last month the capacious outlet has morphed from a lowly supermarket in a brand new hypermarket.
The retail giant has chosen Watford as its first store to be transformed into a more Asian-style “entertainment” based outlet as part of £1 billion efforts to halt falling customer numbers in the UK.
The result is the supermarket now has a high-end coffee shop, Giraffe restaurant, an artisan bakery, expanded clothes section, pharmacy and room for yoga crammed into it.
The idea is to turn it into more of attractive destination for families as opposed to just rows of aisles.
Such a huge investment and the new jobs it brings can only be positive development for the town.
Sadly, as someone who only goes to supermarkets out of the need to buy the sustenance to remain alive, much of this new experience was lost on me.
But the Tesco has certainly been much busier since its transformation.
It will be interesting to see if Watford is the beachhead for a successful invasion of this alien species of supermarket.