Morrison’s Promotion Going Badly Wrong in Loughton

Posted by George on November 30, 2012 11:50 am
Morrisons on High Road in Loughton

Morrisons on High Road in Loughton

In the middle of November 2012, Morrison’s supermarket chain have decided to promote themselves before Christmas and have done the following: outside of some shops including the one in Loughton, during one day only, they’ve been giving away cards that entitle a shopper for 10% discount on all shopping till Christmas 2012 (i.e. for a month and a half).

Some people posted this event on the internet and some people, who read the posts on the internet, called the Morrison’s head office and asked for a card to be sent to them - and allegedly have been sent these cards.

I also asked for one (like a normal person who don’t have the time to walk up and down the road near Loughton’s Morrison’s all day waiting for someone to give me a discount card) and has been given a sharp answer that the promotion is not for me but rather for those who don’t shop at Morrison’s and they cannot send it to me and that the internet users are irresponsible and they apologise that they cannot do anything for me.

What a disaster!!! I’m not surprised that Morrison’s sales are going down and they are unable to complete with other large UK supermarkets like Sainsbury’s, Tesco, ASDA and even Marks and Spenser! Such badly done and consequently badly gone promotion should be a lesson for everyone who studies economics, marketing and retail.

So… where do I start?


London Underground Route Validator - Travelling to Zone 2 for the Price of Zones 6 to 1 Ticket

Posted by George on August 15, 2011 4:53 am
Pink London Underground Card Validator

Pink London Underground Card Validator

After at the beginning of the year 2011 (as well as 2010 and 2009) the prices on London Undergroud shot up once again thanks to the policy employed by the new London major Boris Johnson. It became even more difficult to people on low income to get to Central London from Loughton. The price of the single peak hour ticket went up to £4.50; off-peak ticket now costs £2.70. So it now costs nine pounds just to get to work and back if you work in Central London, and travel to work on the tube from Loughton or Debden underground stations. If you don’t live in Loughton and have to travel to one of the stations on the car, I don’t envy you because you probably also have to pay for your car’s parking, which is very expensive as well.

If one doesn’t work in Central London but works in North London, then the best route to take would be to Stratford on Central Line and then on the newly named London Overground (former North London Line) to wherever then a person needs to go. The line goes through London’s zone 2, so one would suppose that the ticket price would be £2.50… but not everything is so easy these days because Transport for London have introduced so-called Oyster validators, which everyone travelling through London with the Oyster card has to use on certain routes to get the expected fare even though these routes are default ones and it’s bluntly obvious that to travel, people would choose them over the other longer routes. Oyster Validator is a pink card reader, which needs to be touched to tell London Underground that a person takes THIS route as opposed to THAT route.

Thus instead of trusting people and allowing them to choose the best route for the best price, Transport for London now penalises people for not knowing that they need to use the pink validator to validate their oyster cards on a particular route.


New Bus X5 Links Romford, Loughton (Debden) and Harlow

Posted by George on August 15, 2011 4:20 am

X5 is an express service that links Loughton with Harlow to one side and Romford to the other side. The number of buses is limited and the stops are restricted (buses only use the stops mentioned below in the route’s timetable). As the route covers a long distance and the buses run every two and a half hours on average, the delays are expected during a rush hour and possible at any other time of the day.

It’s expected that attractability of the route X5 is going to grow because a simple travel to both Harlow and Romford has been long thought by the Loughton residents. Both of those towns have excellent shopping facilities (the huge shopping centres and large outdoor markets - something that we sometimes miss in Loughton and this fact has its positive as well as negative effects) as well as leisure centres, cinemas and hospitals. The parking in Harlow as well as Romford is not free and the petrol is expensive nowadays, so the bus ride may seem like a good idea if you’re not going to be put off by the ride fare or the probability to get delayed due to the large gaps between the buses.

I went from Loughton to Romford and back once and during the outward journey everything was fine but on the way back the bus has arrived 40 minutes late. This is not a fault of a driver but rather a consequence of the busy road traffic in Essex and the luck of local speedy routes in the triangle Harlow - Loughton - Romford. The cost of the return ticket was around 5 pounds.

Below is the X5 bus timetable as it is at the moment (August 2011) and it may change in the future. Considering how bus routes in Essex come and go and considering the economic situation and the cuts that Essex County Council faces, it’s always wise to check that a bus route still exists and the timetable is still valid before making any travel plans.


The Car Routes from Loughton to Central London

Posted by George on August 15, 2011 3:54 am

Sometimes even those Loughtoners who live and work in Essex, go shopping to Waltham Cross, Harlow or Romford and go on holidays abroad or up North, have to go to London. It’s very good that we have the London Underground, which have been serving us and our parents and grandparents since 1856 but it’s not always the viable transport solution. That is because sometimes it simply doesn’t work. Delays, cancellations, signal failures, people under trains, leaves on the track, ice on the track, scheduled maintenance and closures sadly happen very often as England is not Japan and trains in this country don’t work and probably will never work as everyone expects them to.

Other situations that may “prohibit” the use of the tube are heavy luggage, a pregnant wife, small kids, many points on the route and other things each of us may be dealing with. At the end of the day it could simply be a desire to take a car for a ride and see whether one can still navigate the London roads. And this is of course where the car comes into play.

Obviously when driving to Central London during the week and before 6pm, be prepared to get stuck in the traffic and spend a fortune just to pay for parking and to pay the congestion charge. For all-day parking we’re looking at around 20 pounds while the congestion charge will set a driver back by 10 pounds (the price information is valid for 2011).

On weekends and in the evening it’s much more tolerable. Most Controlling Parking Zones (CPZ) in Central London have the parking restrictions lifted after about 6 o’clock in the evening or 6:30pm. Some have restrictions on Saturdays but in my experience it’s always easy to find CPZ with no Saturday parking restrictions, which is close to one that does have those restrictions. Westminster, Camden, Islington, Southwark and other Central London councils have clear maps of their CPZs and they can be easily found on councils’ websites.

Below are four most common car routes from Loughton to Central London that I often use and recommend to everyone.

Car Routes from Loughton to Central London

Car Routes from Loughton to Central London


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