Tesco Willow Brook Centre has major designed-in parking problems, resulting in discord between Tesco and its customers as detailed in previous posts and countless pub, office and back fence whinging sessions.
1. The general car park design is terrible (there is never a trolley shed anywhere near your car and there is a garden right across where you need to push the trolley to your car and the rows are all diagonal so you either have to make a long deviation or go between the cars, risking scratching them). I imagine the excessive number of spaces for disabled people that are never used is forced on them by some guideline or rule but that does not absolve them of the need to fight this nationally – having 4 times more spaces than they need does disabled people no good at all but builds resentment (against the store and rule makers, not the disabled themselves I hope!) among those who are denied access to them for no good reason.
2. The fuel station is far too small and has insufficient parking space for people just wanting to visit the shop, plus it is has too easy access to the main store leading people to try to use it as a car park for them. This was done to death in a previous set of posts which went over every possible aspect while completely missing the basic problem of poor design. The result of this poor design is that Tesco have felt forced to sub-contract a car park scam company who are issuing fake and unenforceable PCNs [Ed: Penalty Charge Notices] all over the site for the most minor “infringement” in order to make a profit, thus losing goodwill and business for Tesco and other businesses.
3. There is a bus route right through the trolley pushing area. It is bad enough that cars and trolleys have to mix but adding buses is insane! What next, articulated delivery lorries at front of store? It would have been quite easy to achieve the aim of delivering bus passengers close to a store door without routing the bus through the car park. The local authority really should not have allowed this either.
In the grander scale of things it would be nice at least to hear from Tesco that the lessons from this botched development have actually have been learned so that at least they are incorporated into future designs of Tesco shopping centres, perhaps even that they will not be using the same designers again, given the schoolboy errors that have been made.
Returning to the local issue, and on the assumption that Tesco currently consider these problems unaffordable to fix, those concerned about safety, potential legal problems or just being made to feel unwelcome on Tesco land should stop complaining to each other and remember that this is not a one supermarket town. The others have well designed car parks, safe bus access and plenty of space to park in the petrol station if you just want to shop there. Also, none of them are involved with people who would risk being locked up if they tried to operate their ‘business’ in Scotland, so you do not need to worry about being a few inches over the white line of your parking space in their car parks.
I have previously had a good relationship with Tesco and would like to shop there again but there is no point so long as they have problems and other stores do not so I am voting, not with my feet, but with my large booted car, which I fill with groceries every week. Tesco are building up a terrible reputation locally (what other store chain has triggered rioting? (To be fair probably more the fault of the local authority – but public perception is everything!)) so there are clearly some opportunities here for some bold and decisive management action to bring Tesco up to the standard of the other local stores in these respects. I believe that all residents of the area would prefer to see recognition of the problem and an action plan followed by some proper solutions being put in place so that we can park without fear of being ‘fined’, get to the shop before our legs give out and return to the car easily and safely without risking being run down by a bus. It would be better for all if Tesco was seen as a valuable part of the community rather than the way things are now.
Come on Tesco – be part of our community rather than just seeing the community as a money mine!
Last 5 posts in New Town Centre
- Willow Brook shopping centre prepares for more businesses to reopen - 9th June 2020
- Discount retailer One Below to open store at Willow Brook - 19th September 2019
- Hospice charity shop now open at Willow Brook - 6th September 2019
- Children’s Hospice South West to open new charity shop in Bradley Stoke - 10th August 2019
- Willow Brook backtracks over speed bumps - 2nd August 2019