GPCA received the following letter:
It has become a lot more difficult to park at Waitrose over the last couple of months and I can only assume that the extra pressure has been generated by the new hospice and, to a lesser extent, by the reduction in spaces following the creation of the additional disabled slots.
I have lived in GWP for 30 years and until recently have never had any difficulties finding a space in the car park, however, frequently I now have to drive around waiting for a space to become free as it is often full. Spaces do become available quite quickly so this is not an issue in itself but it does highlight the ongoing problem of the odd layout of the car park. If you choose either of the first two aisles you are forced to exit if there are no spaces in your chosen aisle; you cannot drive around again to try elsewhere. Also, you can only try the spaces down by the pub if you choose aisle 3, but then you cannot then try aisles 1&2 if there are no spaces there. You can only enter the garage by going through the car park and down aisle 3 – fine if you know this, but there are no signs for those who don’t.
The only alternative to exiting and re-entering if you don’t find a space in the first aisle that you choose is to perform a hard right turn from the exit lane, if there is no traffic. I have had to do both myself, and neither option is satisfactory and can be dangerous.
Whilst it is great news that GWCA has successfully campaigned for the additional disabled parking bays at Waitrose car park, is it not now time to press for a re-design of the car park layout?
The best solution would probably require a full re-modelling of the car park, which would be expensive. However, a compromise solution involving one or more of the following could be undertaken which would improve the situation (i) making the ‘cross aisle’ adjacent to the petrol station 2-way (ii) reversing the direction of flow on one of the aisles (iii) adding a mini roundabout near the exit to allow you to turn back into the car park safely.