London Midland to rethink Watford Junction revamp after drop-off zone complaints

Watford Observer: Rail bosses to rethink Watford Junction revamp after drop-off zone complaints Rail bosses to rethink Watford Junction revamp after drop-off zone complaints

London Midland has agreed to have a rethink over the newly revamped front of Watford Junction after the redesign has exacerbated traffic problems around the busy station.

Executives from the train operator recently met with elected mayor Dorothy Thornhill over issues around cars dropping off passengers dangerously in front of the station.

This comes as the bus terminal, which was expanded by moving the short stay drop off bays, remains largely vacant due to problems bus drivers have with the size of the new entrance.

This has also caused buses to stack up in the nearby Woodford Road rather than use the custom-built drop-off area.

Following the meeting last week, Mayor Thornhill said: "Everyone can see that the station forecourt looks so much better since the work was carried out, and is far safer for pedestrians - however it’s been clear to me for some time that the issues we’ve been experiencing are far more than just teething problems while people get used to the changes.

"Some six months on, with no sign of improvement, it was time for action."

She said in the meeting that London Midland agreed that the current situation is not satisfactory and to look at solutions.

The issues came after a £1.3 million revamp of the front of the station, which was completed last year.

The redesign saw the tax rank moved from the front of the station to make way for a new pedestrianised forecourt.

The taxi rank was then moved down the side of the station along the access road to the Watford Junction car park.

Meanwhile the bus terminal area was expanded by the removal short stay bays, which were accessible from the station road entrance. A new short stay car park was then created off Woodford Road.

However due to Woodford Road being one way, drivers have to take a longer route down Clarendon Road and St Johns Road to reach the short stay car park.

This has led to many drivers choosing to make dangerous drop offs in busy traffic outside the busy Station Road entrance.

Mayor Thornhill praised the train operator’s willingness to look at the problems the revamp had created.

She said: "Credit where credit is due - London Midland acknowledged the problems and were very amenable to finding a resolution.

"They recognised that the new layout encourages car drivers to take risks when dropping off their passengers, and that this isn’t acceptable.

"If every driver followed the rules then it would be far safer - but of course in reality people don’t. I am confident they will sort this out for us all."

Patrick Verwer, Managing Director of London Midland added: "Customer satisfaction is really important to us, as we strive to ensure that all our passengers have a positive journey experience.

"The station environment plays a key role in that and I’m delighted we have had the opportunity to talk to the mayor and gain her valuable feedback."

Comments (20)

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5:51pm Mon 27 Jan 14

D_Penn says...

If a competition for designing a station concourse was given to ten year olds, anyone missing the obvious need for a short term passenger drop off/pick up zone would have lost considerable marks.

Professional designers at London Midland should be embarrassed at making such a howler. Send 'em back to school.
If a competition for designing a station concourse was given to ten year olds, anyone missing the obvious need for a short term passenger drop off/pick up zone would have lost considerable marks. Professional designers at London Midland should be embarrassed at making such a howler. Send 'em back to school. D_Penn
  • Score: 29

6:15pm Mon 27 Jan 14

Graham27 says...

There was nothing wrong with the old system

There was a facility for short term pick ups and drop offs and you could get a taxi right outside the door with the queuing system for the taxis working well

What a total **** up its been
There was nothing wrong with the old system There was a facility for short term pick ups and drop offs and you could get a taxi right outside the door with the queuing system for the taxis working well What a total **** up its been Graham27
  • Score: 27

7:06pm Mon 27 Jan 14

topiary says...

Although I'm not registered disabled I find it very difficult with luggage to walk any distance--and therefore request taxi driver to drop me off as close to the station as possible .No wonder there is a problem now --provision should be be made for ease of passenger access .And Dorothy Thornhill should have listened to all the complaints months ago .The station frontage looking pretty is not a priority here !!!
Anne Mathews
Although I'm not registered disabled I find it very difficult with luggage to walk any distance--and therefore request taxi driver to drop me off as close to the station as possible .No wonder there is a problem now --provision should be be made for ease of passenger access .And Dorothy Thornhill should have listened to all the complaints months ago .The station frontage looking pretty is not a priority here !!! Anne Mathews topiary
  • Score: 13

7:46pm Mon 27 Jan 14

croxley46 says...

Why didn't LM listen to commuters/drivers/ta
xi drivers and the bus companies in the first place before bulldozing ahead with their useless plans?!
Taxis block the entrance to the Station car park off Station Rd and then have to go under the tunnel to turn round at the mini roundabout near the pay and display main car park entrance (where charges are exhorbitant by the way) before picking up their fares , who have to walk down this narrow pavement (often with luggage), whereas before they could get in a taxi immediately outside the station entrance.
You hardly ever see a bus in the immense bus station - it looks like a ghost town.
I'm afraid I'm guilty (not the only one!) of dropping off/picking up people outside on the bend just before the bus station entrance and I time my arrival just after the train's arrival, but have to arrange the passenger to phone me (at extra cost) when they're on the train to let me know their ETA at WJ, hoping that the train's not delayed when I get there.
To park in the free 20 mins.waiting area off Woodford Rd takes me an extra 10 mins going round the houses to get there, then it's quite a distance to walk to the concourse to meet someone at the ticket barrier (perhaps with heavy baggage), then back to the car, and if the train's late then the 20 mins allowed parking period is easily exceeded. I am a pensioner with arthritis and can't sprint like Usain Bolt!!
As someone mentioned above, schoolkids would have done a better job than the LM planners in the first place.
"If it aint broke, don't fix it" comes to mind
Why didn't LM listen to commuters/drivers/ta xi drivers and the bus companies in the first place before bulldozing ahead with their useless plans?! Taxis block the entrance to the Station car park off Station Rd and then have to go under the tunnel to turn round at the mini roundabout near the pay and display main car park entrance (where charges are exhorbitant by the way) before picking up their fares , who have to walk down this narrow pavement (often with luggage), whereas before they could get in a taxi immediately outside the station entrance. You hardly ever see a bus in the immense bus station - it looks like a ghost town. I'm afraid I'm guilty (not the only one!) of dropping off/picking up people outside on the bend just before the bus station entrance and I time my arrival just after the train's arrival, but have to arrange the passenger to phone me (at extra cost) when they're on the train to let me know their ETA at WJ, hoping that the train's not delayed when I get there. To park in the free 20 mins.waiting area off Woodford Rd takes me an extra 10 mins going round the houses to get there, then it's quite a distance to walk to the concourse to meet someone at the ticket barrier (perhaps with heavy baggage), then back to the car, and if the train's late then the 20 mins allowed parking period is easily exceeded. I am a pensioner with arthritis and can't sprint like Usain Bolt!! As someone mentioned above, schoolkids would have done a better job than the LM planners in the first place. "If it aint broke, don't fix it" comes to mind croxley46
  • Score: 15

7:50pm Mon 27 Jan 14

johnnybushey says...

All that empty space and we still have buses parked in Woodford Road. What's that all about. Glad I don't have to go near the station at peak times. I did once and couldn't believe the chaos. And agreed, it wasn't broken, it worked well. Did no one proof read the main article? Come on Watford Oby, it's full of mistakes!
All that empty space and we still have buses parked in Woodford Road. What's that all about. Glad I don't have to go near the station at peak times. I did once and couldn't believe the chaos. And agreed, it wasn't broken, it worked well. Did no one proof read the main article? Come on Watford Oby, it's full of mistakes! johnnybushey
  • Score: 13

8:30pm Mon 27 Jan 14

chrisrobech says...

Have to get dropped off and collected from outside the station because they are to bloody lazy to walk a short distance from the car park.
I go to Diss station in Norfolk to visit friends and have to cross over a bridge with a case to get to the car park with no complaint.
Have to get dropped off and collected from outside the station because they are to bloody lazy to walk a short distance from the car park. I go to Diss station in Norfolk to visit friends and have to cross over a bridge with a case to get to the car park with no complaint. chrisrobech
  • Score: -14

9:28pm Mon 27 Jan 14

Hornet58 says...

As a cyclist coming down to the station from St Albans Road it is a real challenge avoiding cars park half on/off pavement and people opening passenger doors of cars to jump out before and in front of station.... have hit such opening doors on at least 4 occassions. It is indeed a shambles and needs revisiting.
As a cyclist coming down to the station from St Albans Road it is a real challenge avoiding cars park half on/off pavement and people opening passenger doors of cars to jump out before and in front of station.... have hit such opening doors on at least 4 occassions. It is indeed a shambles and needs revisiting. Hornet58
  • Score: 4

9:45pm Mon 27 Jan 14

Cuetip says...

D_Penn wrote:
If a competition for designing a station concourse was given to ten year olds, anyone missing the obvious need for a short term passenger drop off/pick up zone would have lost considerable marks.

Professional designers at London Midland should be embarrassed at making such a howler. Send 'em back to school.
Imagine putting a price on the waste, the huge disruption, the frustration, and anger felt by so many.

They have book sense but no common sense which is mising in today's world. So much is disjointed and disconnected.
[quote][p][bold]D_Penn[/bold] wrote: If a competition for designing a station concourse was given to ten year olds, anyone missing the obvious need for a short term passenger drop off/pick up zone would have lost considerable marks. Professional designers at London Midland should be embarrassed at making such a howler. Send 'em back to school.[/p][/quote]Imagine putting a price on the waste, the huge disruption, the frustration, and anger felt by so many. They have book sense but no common sense which is mising in today's world. So much is disjointed and disconnected. Cuetip
  • Score: 7

9:55pm Mon 27 Jan 14

samwatford says...

Like Clapham Junction, Watford Junction needs new entrances from the North and the East to avoid congestion and make better use of the space available . If the entrance from St Albans Road is opened for everyone not just gate card holders as now , and another entrance from Imperial Park/Colonoial Way is opened , it can avoid all the congestion. The Taxi Rank can be built inside the parking space if the entrance from St Albans Road is opened for everyone. There will be no need for everyone to queue at the front entrance and long delays for traffic. The unsafe roundabout due to turning traffic and cars and taxis waiting to pick up will also get much better with the traffic easing due to new entrances.
Like Clapham Junction, Watford Junction needs new entrances from the North and the East to avoid congestion and make better use of the space available . If the entrance from St Albans Road is opened for everyone not just gate card holders as now , and another entrance from Imperial Park/Colonoial Way is opened , it can avoid all the congestion. The Taxi Rank can be built inside the parking space if the entrance from St Albans Road is opened for everyone. There will be no need for everyone to queue at the front entrance and long delays for traffic. The unsafe roundabout due to turning traffic and cars and taxis waiting to pick up will also get much better with the traffic easing due to new entrances. samwatford
  • Score: 11

10:05pm Mon 27 Jan 14

pr76uk says...

A lot of trouble could be saved by reversing Woodford Road, meaning the car park isn't a full 10 minute loop away. No reason for buses not to come up Clarendon Road which would be much closer to town that Woodford Road as well. Also then avoids the requirement for traffic out of Woodward Rd to have to cross 2-way traffic.

Or of course, build a small "instant drop off" area out front, ideal for the disabled, and reduce traffic mileage!
A lot of trouble could be saved by reversing Woodford Road, meaning the car park isn't a full 10 minute loop away. No reason for buses not to come up Clarendon Road which would be much closer to town that Woodford Road as well. Also then avoids the requirement for traffic out of Woodward Rd to have to cross 2-way traffic. Or of course, build a small "instant drop off" area out front, ideal for the disabled, and reduce traffic mileage! pr76uk
  • Score: 4

10:42pm Mon 27 Jan 14

TRT says...

""Everyone can see that the station forecourt looks so much better since the work was carried out, and is far safer for pedestrians"

Utter ****. There are now more vehicle/pedestrian interfaces than ever before.
""Everyone can see that the station forecourt looks so much better since the work was carried out, and is far safer for pedestrians" Utter ****. There are now more vehicle/pedestrian interfaces than ever before. TRT
  • Score: 6

10:44pm Mon 27 Jan 14

TRT says...

"Credit where credit is due - London Midland acknowledged the problems and were very amenable to finding a resolution. "

And credit where it's due for utter obstinacy as all these problems were pointed out to them during the "consultation" phase and in the comments section of this esteemed rag!
"Credit where credit is due - London Midland acknowledged the problems and were very amenable to finding a resolution. " And credit where it's due for utter obstinacy as all these problems were pointed out to them during the "consultation" phase and in the comments section of this esteemed rag! TRT
  • Score: 9

10:46pm Mon 27 Jan 14

TRT says...

"If every driver followed the rules then it would be far safer - but of course in reality people don’t."

1. The "rules" aren't clear.
2. The new "rules" are stupid and a backward step from the previous layout.
3. The "rules" shouldn't even be needed! All those restrictions just make people mad and reek of incompetence at management level.
"If every driver followed the rules then it would be far safer - but of course in reality people don’t." 1. The "rules" aren't clear. 2. The new "rules" are stupid and a backward step from the previous layout. 3. The "rules" shouldn't even be needed! All those restrictions just make people mad and reek of incompetence at management level. TRT
  • Score: 7

10:50pm Mon 27 Jan 14

TRT says...

chrisrobech wrote:
Have to get dropped off and collected from outside the station because they are to bloody lazy to walk a short distance from the car park.
I go to Diss station in Norfolk to visit friends and have to cross over a bridge with a case to get to the car park with no complaint.
2@. Try it as a lone female at 3am on a dark and stormy night where you're forced to walk past a pitch black delivery bay with lots of hidey holes.
[quote][p][bold]chrisrobech[/bold] wrote: Have to get dropped off and collected from outside the station because they are to bloody lazy to walk a short distance from the car park. I go to Diss station in Norfolk to visit friends and have to cross over a bridge with a case to get to the car park with no complaint.[/p][/quote]2@. Try it as a lone female at 3am on a dark and stormy night where you're forced to walk past a pitch black delivery bay with lots of hidey holes. TRT
  • Score: 9

11:26pm Mon 27 Jan 14

TRT says...

pr76uk wrote:
A lot of trouble could be saved by reversing Woodford Road, meaning the car park isn't a full 10 minute loop away. No reason for buses not to come up Clarendon Road which would be much closer to town that Woodford Road as well. Also then avoids the requirement for traffic out of Woodward Rd to have to cross 2-way traffic.

Or of course, build a small "instant drop off" area out front, ideal for the disabled, and reduce traffic mileage!
But if they did that wouldn't it mean reversing st johns road too which is the fastest most direct route between the police staton and the Radlett Road estate and Stephenson Way / M1?
[quote][p][bold]pr76uk[/bold] wrote: A lot of trouble could be saved by reversing Woodford Road, meaning the car park isn't a full 10 minute loop away. No reason for buses not to come up Clarendon Road which would be much closer to town that Woodford Road as well. Also then avoids the requirement for traffic out of Woodward Rd to have to cross 2-way traffic. Or of course, build a small "instant drop off" area out front, ideal for the disabled, and reduce traffic mileage![/p][/quote]But if they did that wouldn't it mean reversing st johns road too which is the fastest most direct route between the police staton and the Radlett Road estate and Stephenson Way / M1? TRT
  • Score: 2

9:23am Tue 28 Jan 14

TRT says...

What's happened to all the comments?
What's happened to all the comments? TRT
  • Score: 1

9:24am Tue 28 Jan 14

TRT says...

TRT wrote:
What's happened to all the comments?
Oh! Some kind of random failure. They're now all back.
[quote][p][bold]TRT[/bold] wrote: What's happened to all the comments?[/p][/quote]Oh! Some kind of random failure. They're now all back. TRT
  • Score: 1

11:42am Tue 28 Jan 14

G_Whiz says...

TRT wrote:
"If every driver followed the rules then it would be far safer - but of course in reality people don’t."

1. The "rules" aren't clear.
2. The new "rules" are stupid and a backward step from the previous layout.
3. The "rules" shouldn't even be needed! All those restrictions just make people mad and reek of incompetence at management level.
And the new rules have no consideration for the elderly and disabled.
[quote][p][bold]TRT[/bold] wrote: "If every driver followed the rules then it would be far safer - but of course in reality people don’t." 1. The "rules" aren't clear. 2. The new "rules" are stupid and a backward step from the previous layout. 3. The "rules" shouldn't even be needed! All those restrictions just make people mad and reek of incompetence at management level.[/p][/quote]And the new rules have no consideration for the elderly and disabled. G_Whiz
  • Score: 4

11:45am Tue 28 Jan 14

G_Whiz says...

TRT wrote:
chrisrobech wrote:
Have to get dropped off and collected from outside the station because they are to bloody lazy to walk a short distance from the car park.
I go to Diss station in Norfolk to visit friends and have to cross over a bridge with a case to get to the car park with no complaint.
2@. Try it as a lone female at 3am on a dark and stormy night where you're forced to walk past a pitch black delivery bay with lots of hidey holes.
Remember Dotties a Liberal - They have always been on the side of the poor criminals.
[quote][p][bold]TRT[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]chrisrobech[/bold] wrote: Have to get dropped off and collected from outside the station because they are to bloody lazy to walk a short distance from the car park. I go to Diss station in Norfolk to visit friends and have to cross over a bridge with a case to get to the car park with no complaint.[/p][/quote]2@. Try it as a lone female at 3am on a dark and stormy night where you're forced to walk past a pitch black delivery bay with lots of hidey holes.[/p][/quote]Remember Dotties a Liberal - They have always been on the side of the poor criminals. G_Whiz
  • Score: 1

11:08am Tue 25 Feb 14

TRT says...

I realised the other night that the helpful guide to where to catch your bus from is, in fact, unlit. The ambient light from the forecourt illumination is just about enough to read the board if you've not got failing eyesight. The colour scheme also helps it to blend into the background, so spotting the board in the first place is a trick.
I realised the other night that the helpful guide to where to catch your bus from is, in fact, unlit. The ambient light from the forecourt illumination is just about enough to read the board if you've not got failing eyesight. The colour scheme also helps it to blend into the background, so spotting the board in the first place is a trick. TRT
  • Score: 1

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