Parking at the shopping centre

posted in: Uncategorized | 4

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.


4 Responses

  1. Ian Cox

    Dear Sir/Madam/Ms,

    I note the article in the latest issue of the GWP News which mentions the criticism that WSBH staff are taking up too many spaces in the shopping centre car park and feel this is a bit disingenuous. Even before the Hospice opened there have always been busy periods where the car park has been full and my customers have complained to us about it for years. You must also consider that Hospice staff have been relocated here from Woking and many do not live on the Park so have to drive to work – This should have been addressed by the planning committee when the initial plans were submitted.

    Other Unit staff (Waitrose, Herbies and even our pub) staff are also exempt the 3-hour waiting restriction and have been using the car park for years and also the Costa has increased the trade of parents with young children who take up the bulk of the parent & child spaces at particular times.

    There was clearly a need for more disabled parking but I am not sure there was sufficient demand for all of the additional bays which have taken able-bodied motorists parking slots, indeed often I drive down and NONE of the new slots are occupied. The new parking slots over by Denton Way have also caused problems for cars turning left towards our Pub as it is difficult to see cars exiting when turning left.

    Kind Regards, Ian Cox

    Fox & Flowerpot
    Bampton Way
    GU21 3LG
    T: 01483 730739

  2. Cardriver

    I agree we need disabled parking, but did we need so many extra spaces? I agree with Ian, many are empty, even at busy times of the day and they are getting increasingly used by people not displaying a Disabled Badge.

    What was the process by which additional number of disabled spaces was calculated?

  3. Lindsey

    Hi there

    I work in the NHS health center in goldsworth park.

    I know the car park is extremely busy due to the new hospice being open, also the new disabled bays (which I am all for as I think it is an acceptable place to put these bays for any of the NHS health care visitors with disabilities).

    Unfortunately, I have noticed on my going in and out at different times of the day that the car park is so full that customers or patients have to go around the car park more than once, they do a dangerous manoeuvre inside the car park, just before you go past the petrol garage, they will turn right and go back straight into the car park as though they had come from the entrance properly, sometimes they won’t indicate (they don’t go all the way out and around the roundabout nearby and back again).
    I also suspect that some customers park in the NHS staff car park, of which is busy enough as it is with all the staff.

    I write to you today as I have noticed cars parked by the kerb where the grass bit is on the main road just in front of the car park, this is also dangerous I have found due to the age of some drivers, they can be hesitant and it makes it more awkward and confusing for other drivers.

    I know, it is very difficult to just get new bays for parking but I don’t know if there is anything that could be done to resolve this congestion?

    I hope you may find some resolution for this issue. That said, I appreciate what has been done so far in the car park for disabled users.

    Thank you for your time.



  4. Ann Taplin

    I used to use the supermarket on the park as it is close to my home, but now I drive to other supermarkets to do my shopping. I have Fibromyalgia but NO blue badge, meaning that I cannot park close enough to avoid the crippling pain with walking. I have noticed that the car park is now always near to full whereas before the hospice was built I could easily find a space closer to the supermarket. Costa hasn’t helped the congestion either, both in the car parking and open seating area. I have lived on the park for 14 years and it has never been this bad. Also I have not seen any of the extra disabled taken. It’s now just empty wasted spaces, and I vary the times of my visits. I now only use the car park for doctors and chemist but it is frustrating and painful when I have to squeeze into a spot over the other side. I have to walk the long way round as I cannot walk sideways to get between parked cars. This situation will not change so sadly my local shops will be losing my business as I shop elsewhere….

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