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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Sainsbury's to Extend Harringay Premises for Online Delivery Hub - Another Bout of Traffic Chaos?

Last month Sainsbury's submitted an application to add a further extension to the Harringay store. This time it will provide an online delivery hub and a click and collect facility. 

On the face of it, this might seem like good news - oh good fewer people driving to Sainsbury's. But, having seen the fiasco last time Sainsbury's extended and the poor level of scrutiny of the plans by the Council I have my doubts.

What's fuelling those doubts is thoughts about who the facilities will service. I imagine the catchment area for both the online delivery section as well as the click and collect will be far wider than just Harringay.

And it won't just be Sainsbury's customers using the facility. The Click and Collect services will also be available as a Collect+ outlet for the many thousands of purchases made on ebay and 350 other brands.


  • we'll still probably have most of the people currently travelling to Sainsbury's by car
  • plus, an unknown number of delivery vehicle movements of goods in (from Sainsburys, ebay and 350 other merchants)
  • plus, an unknown number of vehicle movements as people drive to collect purchases from an unknown catchment area
  • plus an unknown number of collection journeys for people using the click and collect for both supermarket shopping and Collect+ to service Sainsbury's ebay and 350 other brands.

Fuelling this concern are articles like a few I've picked up recently, pointing out how the sheer scale of deliveries and our demand for immediate regular deliveries are causing problems.

  1. How London got rid of private cars – and grew more congested than ever - Britain’s biggest city has almost ground to a halt, thanks to the rise of Uber and delivery drivers
  2. Delivery disaster: the hidden environmental cost of your online shopping - mountains of packaging waste and millions of transport miles
  3. Online Shopping Was Supposed to Keep People Out of Traffic. It Only Made Things Worse
  4. 1.5 Million Packages a Day: The Internet Brings Chaos to N.Y. Streets - The push for convenience is having a stark impact on gridlock, roadway safety and pollution in New York City and urban areas around the world
  5. How Your Amazon Delivery Helps to Clog the Streets
  6. Crowded streets: Cities face a surge in online deliveries
  7. Delivery vans to blame for record traffic levels

My fears around Sainbury's plans for Harringay may be totally misplaced. I do hope so. (If the reaction to them at last week's LCSP is anything to go by, I may be alone in holding them). Only time will tell.

Sadly, the deadline for opposing the planning application passed yesterday (But as of this morning, you can still submit a comment online). I've been out of the country for the past few weeks and when I heard about this at the end of last week, I hadn't realised that the deadline was so soon. So apologies for missing this one.  For those would still like to see the application, it can be viewed here. There was only one objection. But TfL have withheld their blessing.

Tags for Forum Posts: sainsburys, traffic

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I don't think it's all about Sainsbury's, the traffic problems at the Williamson Rd traffic lights. Anecdotally (so some may stop reading right there), the traffic problems became noticeable to me when the original smaller Homebase/wholesale cash & carry/Royal Mail delivery office structures on the Arena part of the site were swept away and replaced by the current retail park early 2000s, including the Argos which generated a lot of 'turn up and buy' traffic before online shopping was much of a thing. The Sainsbury's expansion into clothing and homewares I've no feeling for in terms of extra traffic.

Now, Sainsbury's owns Argos, and Sainsbury's plans to close 'up to 70' Argos stores. So if the Harringay store closes, Sainsbury's won't have the same-size warehousing for stock, so a proportion of Argos online shoppers will choose delivery over click and collect because it won't be already in stock for instant collection. Also, Argos now has a delivery service - so one van on a multi-drop run will be replacing, one hopes, several cars from the 'turn up and buy' traffic. So it may not be yet another increase in overall traffic.

I see it will be built at the back (eastern) end of the car park - currently only used by learner drivers, fast food consumers and (formerly) indigent travellers.

We have very different memories. Gordon.The retail park was up and running by Spring 2007 (see this photo on Flickr). Sainsbury's was extended over the summer and early autumn of 2007, finishing in October. There were no recorded traffic snarl-ups after the Arena was opened. They all started almost immediately after the Sainsbury's refurb. There are many threads on the topic here. I've no idea why the Sainsbury's extension caused such an uptick in the store's popularity, but it did.

But I’m not really interested in going over old ground. I’m more concerned about potential issues for the future.

Here's a thought why Sainsbury's came to be the tall poppy and why I avoid it.

Post 2007 there are now four car parks each with separate exits onto Williamson Rd (pre-2007 there was one less and there was only Homebase and the cash & carry at the front). 

In order 1. Homebase/TK Maxx; 2. McDonalds/Sainsbury's petrol; 3. Argos/Next; 4. Sainsbury's.  At each exit cars interleave, say one by one or 1/2: 1/2. That effect repeated over the three junctions ahead of me from Sainsbury's means that Sainsbury traffic only advances at one eighth (1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2) the speed of those waiting for the traffic lights to change.  Even before you factor in the Green Lanes jams.

Also, the Sainsbury's queue is the most visible as well as the slowest, so Sainbury's get the attention when it's a holistic issue across the whole estate. And the issues could be discussed on the then-new hyperlocal forums when previously one wrote to the local paper as an outlet, and short of searching newspaper archives I can't substantiate my recollection.

My final word on the situation over a decade ago - You’re right, Sainsburys traffic can take longer to exit for the reasons you say. But that doesn’t change the fact that the real volume issue started just after the work on Sainsburys was complete.

I'm amazed that Hugh's genuine fears and unknown unknowns about the sainsburization of Harringay and the amazonization of our city streets, posted at 8.34, by 14.37 has generated no more than a couple of comments by Gordon. Time was, we'd be on our 10th page by now. Maybe it's because it's Tuesday of Half-term. There is the more serious side-effect of our changed consumer habits on the language - Greek, Latin, Arabic as well as English: not only amazon but Argos, Arena, Alibaba & Alimama. And when Gordon remarks that Argos generated a lot of 'turn up and buy' traffic before 'online shopping' was 'much of a thing', how on earth am I going to keep up with it all?  So when did 'much of a thing' become 'a thing'?  And as for my own abuse of 'so' just now, no comment. 

I can't see how this plan would lessen traffic, as it would just make Sainsbury's more of a 'destination' in many ways.

I thought this branch was scheduled for closure some time in the near(-ish) future because of the lease on the site expiring?

That was also my understanding, but I can't remember where I saw it.

In fact I thought the whole thing was to be razed.

These threads may clarify recollections - an erratic memory and vocabulary recuse me from further interpretation.


Funny this as, a few years ago, I was told that our Sainsbury's would be closing once the one in Hornsey opened. I was devastated by this. So, the fact that they're expanding is cause for major celebration for me. It has always been such an amazing convenience living in Harringay having a supermarket so very close by, and all those now claiming to be disturbed by carbon emissions.  don't even pretend how much you rely on and are grateful for our major supermarket and that it was a deciding factor that made you pay, if not a million, close to, for your home. Anyway, our supermarket has really gone down market since the opening of the Hornsey branch, so this news gives me hope and I pray no missguided resident intervention, in the name of a fashionable cause, messes that up.

Most people around here paid less than a quarter of that, a long time ago when the Sainsbury's was much smaller and the main reason they moved here was that is was cheaper than Crouch End (which as you say, did not have a Sainsbury's).

Well you all were very smart then and it has more than paid off! Crouch End is very pretty and cute and nice to visit and all, but majorly inconvenient due to expensive shops, but more importantly, poor transport links. I have a friend who lives there and it takes her ages to get to Finsbury Park in rush hour!

Not sure what your friend is doing but it only takes 20-25 mins to walk from the Broadway to Finsbury Park if you don’t want to hop on a bus. 



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