London Midland was warned about problems before station revamp, says mayor

Watford Observer: London Midland was warned about problems before station revamp, says mayor London Midland was warned about problems before station revamp, says mayor

Politicians warned London Midland about the potential problems at Watford Junction before the redevelopment took place, according to the town’s elected mayor.

Dorothy Thornhill’s comments come after it was announced that the train operating company would be carrying out a traffic study survey following concerns that the station’s redesign has caused problems.

London Midland has been criticised since it finished the £1.3 million redesign of the station last year.

The revamp saw the station’s drop-off bays being removed from the Station Road entrance and a new short stay car park created off Woodford Road.

However, the new arrangement has seen drivers dumping passengers off in front of the station in moving traffic rather than using the new car park.

The redesign also saw the taxi rank removed from the front of the station so it could be pedestrianised and repositioned along the access road to the station’s car park.

Mayor Thornhill said London Midland had been warned about the potential problems before it redeveloped Watford Junction.

She said councillors had had reservations about the lack of a drop-off point at the front of the station and those fears had been vindicated by the current problems.

"When we were consulted councillors, such as (Watford central and Oxhey county councillor) Stephen Giles-Medhurst, were very vocal about saying it would not work without a proper designated drop-off.

"And so it has proved to be. You can’t have one of the busiest stations in the country with no proper taxi rank and no proper drop-off."

The video study of traffic movements around the station is due to start next week.

Comments (9)

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12:46pm Fri 28 Feb 14

TRT says...

**** those developers that just come along and do what they want regardless of the opinion of the locals, with their sham public consultation exercises and blinkered attitudes, their lack of understanding about people's driving habits, traffic flows etc.

You'd never, ever fall into the trap of backing some >>£1m project without listening to what people are saying, and then having to commit additional funds to put right what could have been seen from the outset would you, Dotty?
**** those developers that just come along and do what they want regardless of the opinion of the locals, with their sham public consultation exercises and blinkered attitudes, their lack of understanding about people's driving habits, traffic flows etc. You'd never, ever fall into the trap of backing some >>£1m project without listening to what people are saying, and then having to commit additional funds to put right what could have been seen from the outset would you, Dotty? TRT

2:26pm Fri 28 Feb 14

johnhornet says...

Politicians.........
. - Whether is Dotty claiming this or Richard Harrington announcing it, the fact is that the mess at Watford Junction happened despite the fact that almost every resident and user of the station thought it was stupid. London Midland must have paid lots of money to consultants, designers and its all wasted. Ultimately dear tax payer, that's down to you.

The bigger picture is that the planning system should not have allowed London Midland to do something as stupid as they have and that all the politicians need to get a grip of the real issues. Lest not build loads more house and then be surprised we have no school places. Let central government look properly at house building, not by ruining the towns and cities that exist, but by building new ones. Maybe we need houses - should we ruin it for everyone in Watford, Bushey and the surrounding area to achieve that.

Trouble is though, there are no votes in that, and certainly no more Dotty photo opportunities.

This is not a political rant but for the sake of Watford and new ideas please no more Dorothy after the election.
Politicians......... . - Whether is Dotty claiming this or Richard Harrington announcing it, the fact is that the mess at Watford Junction happened despite the fact that almost every resident and user of the station thought it was stupid. London Midland must have paid lots of money to consultants, designers and its all wasted. Ultimately dear tax payer, that's down to you. The bigger picture is that the planning system should not have allowed London Midland to do something as stupid as they have and that all the politicians need to get a grip of the real issues. Lest not build loads more house and then be surprised we have no school places. Let central government look properly at house building, not by ruining the towns and cities that exist, but by building new ones. Maybe we need houses - should we ruin it for everyone in Watford, Bushey and the surrounding area to achieve that. Trouble is though, there are no votes in that, and certainly no more Dotty photo opportunities. This is not a political rant but for the sake of Watford and new ideas please no more Dorothy after the election. johnhornet

3:28pm Fri 28 Feb 14

Arthur says...

If "politicians" warned London Midland of pitfalls in their plans doubtless they did it in writing, can we see evidence of this?
Otherwise these allegations of "warnings" are just that - "allegations" - yet more political posturing from the queen of political posturing or would that be the rich uncle of political posturing.

At least Claire Ward took London Midland on and demanded, successfully that they honour Oyster card payments. What did Rich Harrington ever achieve for Watford? But then he travels to Parliament from his home in Swiss Cottage and doubtless rarely sets foot inside Watford Junction Station, except for photo opportunities
If "politicians" warned London Midland of pitfalls in their plans doubtless they did it in writing, can we see evidence of this? Otherwise these allegations of "warnings" are just that - "allegations" - yet more political posturing from the queen of political posturing or would that be the rich uncle of political posturing. At least Claire Ward took London Midland on and demanded, successfully that they honour Oyster card payments. What did Rich Harrington ever achieve for Watford? But then he travels to Parliament from his home in Swiss Cottage and doubtless rarely sets foot inside Watford Junction Station, except for photo opportunities Arthur

5:34pm Fri 28 Feb 14

Cuetip says...

Planning continues to puncture more holes whilst trying to patch the hemorrhaging of tax payers hard earned cash as shown by the state of the roads.
Planning continues to puncture more holes whilst trying to patch the hemorrhaging of tax payers hard earned cash as shown by the state of the roads. Cuetip

11:35pm Fri 28 Feb 14

Andrew1963 says...

As the county council own part of the bus station land at Watford Junction, you would think the county councillor would have been more effective in getting his fears across. Not sure that the scheme was subject to a planning application. But you can easily remedy the situation by putting the taxi rank and set down area in the bus station, and stop buses parking in the area. For example the 142 and 258 services already use Woodford road and most other routes are simply turning in and out on their way toward the town centre
As the county council own part of the bus station land at Watford Junction, you would think the county councillor would have been more effective in getting his fears across. Not sure that the scheme was subject to a planning application. But you can easily remedy the situation by putting the taxi rank and set down area in the bus station, and stop buses parking in the area. For example the 142 and 258 services already use Woodford road and most other routes are simply turning in and out on their way toward the town centre Andrew1963

10:18am Sun 2 Mar 14

King Joke says...

If motorists are refusing to use the short stay car park which has been built nor them, how is that LM's fault? If we want to keep traffic moving then a red route in front of the station would solve that problem.
If motorists are refusing to use the short stay car park which has been built nor them, how is that LM's fault? If we want to keep traffic moving then a red route in front of the station would solve that problem. King Joke

10:42am Sun 2 Mar 14

TRT says...

King Joke wrote:
If motorists are refusing to use the short stay car park which has been built nor them, how is that LM's fault? If we want to keep traffic moving then a red route in front of the station would solve that problem.
That's only a small part of the problem. The buses also have difficulty in the bus station where they are forced to spin round like ballerinas to use the three new stands on Woodford Road. They also couldn't clear the turn if the disabled bay was in use. Taxis are turning any old place on the narrow access road and blocking it. The traffic jams on St Johns and Woodford Road are worse than ever due to the short stay car park. You can't turn in to the SSCP if someone is turning out. There are fewer spaces than previous. The bus station guide is not illuminated at night. The bus stands on Woodford Road itself remain causing traffic blockages. There is insufficient line of sight for vehicles exiting the SSCP due to the parking bays on Woodford Road. There are now more passenger vehicle interfaces for pedestrians going from the station down towards Queens Road. There are fewer bicycle stands than before. Use of the short stay car park as a pick up drop off area means luggage must be dragged through the impossibly narrow bus station pathways. Lone females are put at risk by the increased distance to walk.
In short, the only way it could have been worse was if it had been turned into a lake.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: If motorists are refusing to use the short stay car park which has been built nor them, how is that LM's fault? If we want to keep traffic moving then a red route in front of the station would solve that problem.[/p][/quote]That's only a small part of the problem. The buses also have difficulty in the bus station where they are forced to spin round like ballerinas to use the three new stands on Woodford Road. They also couldn't clear the turn if the disabled bay was in use. Taxis are turning any old place on the narrow access road and blocking it. The traffic jams on St Johns and Woodford Road are worse than ever due to the short stay car park. You can't turn in to the SSCP if someone is turning out. There are fewer spaces than previous. The bus station guide is not illuminated at night. The bus stands on Woodford Road itself remain causing traffic blockages. There is insufficient line of sight for vehicles exiting the SSCP due to the parking bays on Woodford Road. There are now more passenger vehicle interfaces for pedestrians going from the station down towards Queens Road. There are fewer bicycle stands than before. Use of the short stay car park as a pick up drop off area means luggage must be dragged through the impossibly narrow bus station pathways. Lone females are put at risk by the increased distance to walk. In short, the only way it could have been worse was if it had been turned into a lake. TRT

6:27pm Sun 2 Mar 14

TooFar says...

Please help us. The access road in and out of Watford Junction station car park is a disaster. It can take 45 minutes to leave the car park in the evening. The pollution from the burning of wasted fuel is disgusting. The access road is now used for taxis normal waiting & pickup, commuter's spouses pickup & turning and car park user's exit. There have been tempers lost as cars try to turn or squeeze in out of turn.
In addition to the recent re-design, the decision of a few years ago to stop the exiting cars from turning right onto station road is part of the problem. There is near grid-lock every evening as all the cars are pointed towards the town centre.
Please help us. We are paying a large amount of our salaries to use the car park and it is horrible to have this torture whilst just trying to get home.
Please help us. The access road in and out of Watford Junction station car park is a disaster. It can take 45 minutes to leave the car park in the evening. The pollution from the burning of wasted fuel is disgusting. The access road is now used for taxis normal waiting & pickup, commuter's spouses pickup & turning and car park user's exit. There have been tempers lost as cars try to turn or squeeze in out of turn. In addition to the recent re-design, the decision of a few years ago to stop the exiting cars from turning right onto station road is part of the problem. There is near grid-lock every evening as all the cars are pointed towards the town centre. Please help us. We are paying a large amount of our salaries to use the car park and it is horrible to have this torture whilst just trying to get home. TooFar

8:59am Mon 3 Mar 14

garston tony says...

I seem to recall LM didnt have to get planning permission from the council for what they did at the Junction due to some dispensation they have so it could well be that WBC et al did warn them but had no power to make them do anything there.

However stuff such as road layout changes etc seem to have happened beyond the Junction boundaries and maybe County Council should have known better than to agree the road layout changes etc
I seem to recall LM didnt have to get planning permission from the council for what they did at the Junction due to some dispensation they have so it could well be that WBC et al did warn them but had no power to make them do anything there. However stuff such as road layout changes etc seem to have happened beyond the Junction boundaries and maybe County Council should have known better than to agree the road layout changes etc garston tony

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