Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Wavelengths pool opening hours and customer forum

If you have read my previous posts about Deptford's lovely new swimming pool, you will know that I am very happy with nearly all aspects of the facility - except for the opening hours.

Like the majority of the city's working population, my employment is based in central London and my work starts at 9am, which means leaving home at 8am at the very latest. I like to exercise before going to work, but having a swimming pool that doesn't open until 8am is of very little use to me. I only get to use it on my occasional days working at home (a luxury most people do not enjoy), or at the weekends. At least once a week I cycle to the Arches leisure centre in Greenwich, where the pool opens at 6.30am on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 7am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Believe me, the pool can be very busy at that time in the morning.

When Parkwood Leisure carried out its consultation about the new pool at Wavelengths, I encouraged people to fill in the survey and ask for earlier opening hours. Whether no-one bothered, or whether Parkwood Leisure ignored the feedback (or whether people simply didn't even know about the consultation - several regular users have told me this) I don't know, but when the new pool opened for business, it was with the old opening hours. Without exception, everyone I have spoken to on my occasional visits to the new pool wants the hours extended so that they can swim more frequently.

On my first visit, I filled in a customer comment card and asked about earlier opening hours. I am pleased to see that the management has given a response to this request via its noticeboard just inside the entrance. Apparently they are consulting with Lewisham Council about the viability of earlier opening hours and will report back with any news in due course.

Meanwhile, they are also advertising a customer forum for THURSDAY 11 DECEMBER which will be held at the leisure centre from 6pm onwards.

Please, please, please if you are at all interested in this issue, or of course if you have any other comments or feedback about the leisure centre, put this date in your diary and make sure your voice gets heard. I am convinced that if there is enough pressure for a change in hours, it will be difficult for the management to ignore.

If you can't make it on that date, please fill in a feedback form and put it in the box at the leisure centre (you will have to write your comments on the bottom of the form, there is no question about opening hours, they just want to know if you think the place is clean (yes) and the staff helpful (yes, very - sometimes despite difficult circumstances!).

I will try to find out more about who will be at the forum, how long it will go on for (let's face it, 6pm is just as impossible for central London employees as 8am!) and what format it will take, and will report back with any news.


Anonymous said...

I had been waiting for the new wavelengths swimming pool to open... hoping also to go before I started work. Everytime I checked the website the timetable said opening from 7am... perfect. Then as soon as it opened the time was changed to 8am meaning that I can't go before work...I will fill in the customer feedback...fingers crossed

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I will try to get to this. I'd use the pool if the opening hours were longer at either end.


Anonymous said...

My husband and I agree that the opening hours for the general public need sertious revision. Have you noticed just how much time the swimming club blocks out in the evenings? This is a public pool built with our taxes and we do not deem it fair that the swimming club is denying so much access to the general public.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comments posted here about the pool. I was excited by the prospect of a decent size pool within walking distance of my home - but when I saw the timetable I was stunned by how little time was actually allocated for just general swimming by members of the public. I genuinely thought I'd mis-read the timetable or picked up something that was in some way not related to the new pool. Other people I have talked to feel similarly short-changed. I'd like to believe that the pool management and the council will act to address this but it seems to me that if they went ahead with this TT at the outset you are unlikely to see any significant shift taking place ...that would after all be a tacit admission that they got it wrong and let's face it, it's not really in either of their respective interests to do that.

Anonymous said...

I'll try to be there