Herts Ad Comment: We need to support St Albans Station’s independent retailers

PUBLISHED: 15:00 02 May 2018

Charlie's Coffee and Company van is popular with commuters.

Charlie's Coffee and Company van is popular with commuters.


“Welcome to the vibrant city of St Albans - oh, yes, there used to be some much-loved independent retailers at the station but we decided to replace them with soulless chain outlets instead...”

There’s a degree of irony in the fact that the same issue we’re celebrating St Albans being named one of England’s most vibrant cities, for reasons including its hard-working local businesses, steps are being taken which could see two of them being driven out of the main railway station.

Few people would dispute the assumption that Charlie’s Coffee and Company and The Pudding Stop are among St Albans’ retailing gems, and their vans at the City Station attract hoards of customers, both regulars and visitors.

So why were plans to radically transform the station put together without thought for these award-winning traders, who have been operating from sites in the rear car park for years?

Instead we are promised more clone town chains filling out the new retail space, and little regard for the local indies or their loyal customer base.

There also appears to have been a complete lack of consultation with Charlie’s and The Pudding Stop relating to the project, but we all know how good Govia Thameslink are when it comes to communication...

To make matters worse, the station transformation scheme will see the loss of a staggering 78 cycle rack spaces, which sets a poor message when it comes to environmental awareness and efforts to reduce congestion.

The impression given by this scheme is that £5 million was made available by the Station Commercial Project Facility, and the money had to be spent on something, so why not completely revamp the layout of the station?

We urge Govia Thameslink to listen to the comments of their passengers - many of whom are also customers of Charlie’s and The Pudding Stop - and amend their plans accordingly to protect these independent retailers.

More news stories

Yesterday, 16:46

Brave jumpers will splash into 2019 by bearing a freezing cold outside pool for charity.

Yesterday, 14:36

A shop in St Albans has been named the best independent spirits business at the “Oscars of the drink industry”.

Yesterday, 13:25

St Albans MP Anne Main has toured a number of city pubs which have been badly affected by a business rate increase.

Yesterday, 13:13

If you fancy a good laugh, a comedy club night returns to a St Albans venue this week with a quality line-up of four stand-ups.


Recently we, as a family (minus two of the kids), visited The Lodge RSPB reserve in Sandy, Bedfordshire. I had never been before, which is perhaps amiss of me as a birdwatcher as it is the headquarters of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds or RSPB and only 45 minutes drive from home.

Digital Edition

Read the The Herts Advertiser e-edition E-edition
Zoo Watch CountryPhile

Newsletter Sign Up

Herts Advertiser weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read stories

Show Job Lists

Herts Most Wanted Herts Business Awards