Acocks Green – Warwick Road/A41 Plans – Too Late for ProntaPrint?

November 28th, 2009
Prontaprint - Closed for Good

Acocks Green Prontaprint - with its fascia board now missing - closed for good, it seems - Did the guard rails play a part?

We are told that the new plans for the Warwick Road/A41 currently being drawn up in conjunction with Birmingham City Council, Solihull Council, Centro and Atkins Global, will be available for viewing on the Warwick Road website from around Friday 4 December. These plans are the result of consultations with local groups so far. There is a link to the Warwick Road Project Team website here These plans will be for the full length of the Warwick Road from Stratford Road to Lode Lane, Solihull. The earlier plans, however, looked promising for Acocks Green, and, hopefully, local suggestions are now being taken on board. There will be a second phase of consultation at the end of January when details like the precise locations of items like trees and traffic lights will be added in.

Meantime, we are sad to note that Acocks Green Prontaprint closed recently. The franchise print and business admin services shop has served the local business community and local organisations, including The Focus Group, for many years.

We hope that the new plans will continue to take account of issues like the poorly planned layout of the Warwick Road as it enters Acocks Green village from town, with its present chaos of notorious and unloved bus lanes which cause hold-ups for all (including buses), three crossing stages between Wilkinson’s and Barclays, central paved section, guard rails and generally wasted space. Shops caught behind guard rails in the section between Barclays and Pizza Express have long complained of difficulties of access for both deliveries and customers. Stephen Andrews of Prontaprint was reported in the local press as far back as 2005 noting that he was tired of seeing 60 year old delivery men having to vault the railings in front of his shop. Stephen repeatedly warned us that he was not sure how much longer he could carry on, given that getting supplies delivered on time was becoming a worry because

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of the guard rails. The Vitamin Shop owners complained of similar difficulties at an Acocks Green Village Partnership meeting in June this year. We witnessed this for ourselves, with staff having to leave the Vitamin Shop to collect deliveries passed to them over the rails; something very difficult with larger items. The Focus Group has also had discussions with the management of Pizza Express on problems caused by the railings.

This is just one of many issues which urgently requires redress. We eagerly await the new plans.

There is also some further information on immediate plans for this part of Acocks Green Centre, on Cll Roger Harmer’s site here.

3 Responses to “Acocks Green – Warwick Road/A41 Plans – Too Late for ProntaPrint?”

  1. Another PP franchisee says:

    The closure of the local Prontaprint has more to do with the thieving behaviour of the Prontaprint franchise. Franchisees of Prontaprint and Kall Kwik, which are owned by On Demand Communications (an offshoot of Boundary Capital plc), are required to pay 10% of their gross turnover – often more than the profit the franchisee earns. The franchisor does virtually NOTHING for this money so it just helps to put hard working owners out of business.
    If the owner of ODC, Kealan Lennon, would invest some of the 10% back into the businesses they would stand a better chance, but his business is only interested in screwing as much out of franchisees as it can.
    Eventually the whole Prontaprint franchise will disappear as the present arrangement is unsustainable.

    • Julia says:

      We can see that you feel very strongly about this, and, in regard to Prontaprint as an organisation, we are not in a position to dispute what you say. However, the local franchisee regularly told us that his main problem was the guard rails. We accept he would not necessarily discuss his business problems with us, but he certainly had street furniture issues! We would be interested to hear from anyone else who has further information about Prontaprint in Acocks Green.

  2. Another PP franchisee says:

    I would not want to contradict the local franchisee. Lack of parking, pedestrianisation and street “obstacles” have affected many Prontaprint and Kall Kwik franchisees over the years. Many have dealt with this by moving to industrial estates as the main business customers of the franchise often don’t visit our shop/offices anyway.
    So sorry to hear about your local Prontaprinter.

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