Highways Response to Road Improvements, (McDonald’s, Sandyford)

Council Highways have responded to calls for road improvements at McDonald’s (Sandyford) by Councillor Chandra Kanneganti and Sandyford & Goldenhill Residents Association in regards to traffic chaos caused by the restaurant’s drive through facility.

The Highways Department has responded as follows.

I can appreciate the concerns and issues raised by the residents. I have noted that the McDonalds, Tunstall site already has in place a dedicated right turning lane from the High Street, and unfortunately there is no way of extending that dedicated turning lane to cater for more vehicles due to the need to have right turning lane into Hollywall Lane and also the location of the existing pedestrian crossing would be problematic.

I must point out that there are similar issues being experienced at other Mcdonald’s Franchises throughout the City, especially in Norton, Meir Park and Trent Vale whereby queuing traffic from the Drive Thru’s are encroaching onto the Highway Network. The reason for this is purely down to the current Covid-19 restrictions that are in place meaning more Drive Thru transactions are now been conducted, as patrons are unable to either eat within the restaurants and/or prefer to collect food via their own vehicle rather than enter a restaurant premises to allay their own covid safety concerns. In addition to this Mcdonalds have reduced the amount of staff on site in line with national guidance, which will have a knock on effect on the lengths of queues and volumes using the Drive Thru.

The traffic management that is in place within the McDonald’s Site is purely down to their management but as you can appreciate the High Street franchise does not have an expansive car park like other McDonald’s throughout the City and extending the drive Thru queues within the extents of their site would prove very difficult. Unfortunately at this moment in time, there is no highway law that the City Council can enforce on McDonalds to alleviate the vehicular queuing on the highway network. But there is legislation currently being drafted by Central Government Office which will provide us with more powers in the future.

If there is any dangerous manoeuvres being carried out by vehicles on the High Street itself these would need to be reported to the local police unit in the first instance so they can assess the manoeuvres and take the appropriate action where possible.

We will continue to monitor the situation, but in conclusion, it would appear that customer habits and staffing levels within Mcdonalds have changed somewhat in line with Government advice and due to this it as had a knock on effect on the Traffic Management Issues around some McDonalds facilities. As relaxations to the covid-19 restrictions are brought into operation over the next few months it will hopefully reduce the need for patrons to queue to utilise the Drive Thru facility and traffic movements and volume will return to more normality as it was pre-covid restrictions.

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