Rail bosses to rethink Watford Junction revamp after drop-off zone complaints (From Watford Observer)
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London Midland to rethink Watford Junction revamp after drop-off zone complaints
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."
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