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For those stuck in traffic...


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One of the people I know sent me this internal email...

From: Kimberley Mike J

Sent: 16 September 2008 15:57

Subject: Authorised Global email: Lotus 60th Anniversary celebrations Sunday 14th September 2008

Dear All

I am writing to thank you all for making our 60th anniversary ‘Open Day’ such an outstanding success and specifically wish to thank Nigel Marshall, Donna Clayton, Jane Hunter and Lesley Weller for their hard work in organising this event and ensuring it was such a fantastic day for all with the support of the entire Lotus team.

We had approx 20,000 visitors which included 8,000 Lotus owners from all over the world. This included our main Board of Directors and Executives from Kuala Lumpur, who flew in just for this momentous event and thus publicly demonstrated their support for Lotus.

It was great to welcome our visitors to Hethel, renewing old friendships and making new ones. The owners clubs are also particularly over the moon at being able to visit Lotus and we have pre sold a good number of Evoras due to the fabulous show put on by the Eagle team from engineering through to manufacturing.

I can only apologise for the intransigence of the Police and in particular the local council for the difficulty most people experienced due to the volume of traffic entering the site at peak times. We had requested the Council to allow us to use both ends of Potash Lane and Ketteringham but permission was denied!

However, thanks to all of you the day was a fantastic success and truly celebrated our founder Colin Chapman and Hazel, in starting the company 60 years ago. The day was made even more momentous by the fact that Hazel and Clive were there to open the event and supported us fully through Classic Team Lotus.

Once again a huge thank you to you all for such a wonderful anniversary celebration. It is something I believe everyone will remember with great pleasure and affection.

Best regards

Mike Kimberley

Chief Executive Officer - Group Lotus Plc

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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Interesting point of note:

I have been informed that a senior council member lives close to the gate they refused to open on the day. Where would we be without good old British "Jobs for the Boys". :no

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the local news crew that were filming the anniversary celebrations should have been informed about the councils decision not to open potash lane and highlighted the difficulties that marred the day.

I wonder whether it was the councillor who forced his way through the one way flow on potash lane, driving some ugly grey/silver 6-seater?!

Mike Kimberly at the launch of the Lotus Evora,

"These cars will be for the few who know the difference!"

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To be fair, the crowd was larger than we had at Brands Hatch for the German Touring Cars and Lewis Hamilton was there. I guess over 50 cops were there directing traffic in through 3/4 entrances for that!

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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It's to be expected of Norwich and local councils, my lane to my garden rear entrance which I have to travel down to park my cars has been over grown all summer, I asked them 3 months ago to come and cut it back, and finally it's got done today, Hooray! It will now take another 3 months to get the decaying earth and plant matter cleared from the road edge, which usually turns to mud at the first sign of rain.

It's this country all over, our governments and local services just don't seem to want to support anything we do, it still amazes me that air ambulances are not paid for by the NHS, the number of lives they must have saved since they were first introduced, if I was one of the paralympic team today having to have my photo with GB, I would have said, thanks, but no thanks!

Norwich and local councils suck! :no I know, I pay the bastards and get a crap service, we finally had a great tourist attraction with the Elephant models around the city, it made the city centre colourful and something different to look at. The council didn't give them planning permission to keep them there permanently, they didn't even have to pay for them, they were sponsored so they had to remove them and auction them off. :dizzy:

To think how much business Lotus has bought to the norfolk area, jobs they have generated, this is the sort of kick in the teeth that's to be expected in todays couldn't care less society.

Owen

Edited by OwenGT3
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I agree with Owen.

The local authority show how they want to treat local businesses by their opposition to Lotus plans to have wind turbines to help power the plant, I think Tony said the local decision has been over-ruled so can now go ahead, I sincerely hope it does.

Local councils complain they want residents to do all they can to.. recycle, reduce energy consumption, use bicycles, purchase local goods, but as soon as a local firm tries to do something, they want to stop it.... It will detract from the beauty of the countryside. That countryside picture was man-made by previous industry. I'm not saying destroy it, but when a local firm wants to do something good for the area / the local community / the environment, they should not try and block that, they should support it.

How much business did small businesses take due to people travelling long distances to get tot he day?

Do the council want to support that? NO, well that's how it looks.

And the local police wanted to reduce traffic queuing on the A11 etc,? Well, force the council to open the gate the other end of Potash Lane.

That said.

To all at Lotus, including but not limited to MJK.

Thank you for a wonderful day, it wasn't marred by queues, it would simply have been even better without them.

Everybody working that day seemed to have a dedication to Lotus, and that's the best asset Lotus can have.

I wish all at lotus the very best over the coming weeks, months and years as we see the people building on the current business to go to a strength to be recognised in the arena of transport design and production.

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Nice one.

I only hope that when Mike does eventually step down, that the next CEO takes some time to see how highly regarded Mike is as a result of his presence and positive attitude to the Lotus fan base - and what good PR he provides for Lotus with their current and future customer base. I only hope that Lotus can capture the "MJK way" as a role model for the future. My sincere thanks to Mike and all at Lotus who share such a positive approach to us.

Loving Lionel and Eleanor......missing Charlie and Sonny

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This is the same council that put Lotus's rates up

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Well Mr Kimberley senior and junior,

Sorry but I shall be a little controversial.

It would appear that I owe you a conditional apology. I was unaware of the refusal to open Potash Lane which would indeed have helped a little.

However, I'm slightly at a loss as to what the bobbies could have done to improve the situation. They could have applied pressure on the council to reconsider their refusal to open up the route but thankfully I believe they do not have the power to force the council to open it (I stand to be corrected on that point). Therefore, with the council refusing to open up the lane what could the bobbies have done differently to alleviate the queues? The nature of the siting of the factory and the roads leading to it meant queues were inevitable with the number of people/cars wanting to attend.

Bearing in mind the fact that Lotus were compromised by the council's edict, there was one thing that Lotus could have done to reduce the time it took to get in and therefore the queuing up the road.

When we actually got to turn into the back of the airfield we have to drive through what seemed like a gap created by lifting out a fence panel or two, which was only one car wide, required a sharp 90 degree turn and involved driving over rough dirt which was then getting rather rutted and so understandably all the cars were crawling through one by one at idle in first. This was the ultimate cause for all the traffic problems further back.

This is not the first time I've had to enter or leave the factory in this manner and it is also not the first time we've had queues backing up onto the A11.

Would it not be possible to widen the aperture of the "hole in the fence" so that it allowed two lines of traffic through and reduced the turn in angle? A little work with a mini digger and some hardcore would establish a firm roadway and the speed and volume of cars going into the ground would be vastly increased. This would have made a huge difference at very little cost.

Kimbers, if your dad provides the machines and materials I'll offer my labour !

I agree with the other points made by Andy, Owen and Kimbers ... the council are pants !!

Lets not forget that this is the council who were going to cut down all the conker trees along Newmarket Road because they presented an H&S issue !! Fortunately, some wise soul got the matter raised on the Today Programme and BBC News and they were forced to back down !

Keep off the straight and narrow

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I was going to make exactly the same point. It really didn't matter what was going on further down the road, the limiting factor was the speed with which cars could get through the enterance on to the site...

Obviously, it would also have been sensible to open the site to traffic as early as possible and try to spread out arrivals as much as possible.

That said, the Council obviously didn't help; the stuff about wind turbines etc (if true and I assume that it is) is utterly ridiculous. This happens all over of course and it's not just Norwich. Plenty of examples of Councilors blocking road improvement programmes because they don't want to change their little part of England. It is corruption and abuse of power, pure and simple.

And I repeat that despite the traffic problems (which did take the edge off of the day for me) it was still a fabulous event and I am pleased to see the Lotus brand so healthy and in such capable and dedicate hands...

Ian

Ian

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The "Police Issue" was two fold.

Traffic Management and Loss of Lotus business.

Lotus requested a dozen times, help in directing and sorting traffic. Things like you see at normal shows including A11 management to ensure all show traffic stayed on the inside lane, not blocking the through traffic (which it did for 20 miles). Keeping people moving, advising on things like the entrance (lets not forget they are technicians and office workers not professionals like the police) and, yes, putting pressure on the Council to open the other end.

The net result was one Traffic warden, totally overawed who actually totally gave up, leaving the police to issue closure threats unless it was sorted (erm, well help then).

Loss of Lotus business was that they started to turn people away from the event. You can imagine the anger at having queued for 2 hours and getting to the front and being told to piss off by police! Especially if you'd travelled down from elsewhere in the country or abroad! The Police went beyond their powers in doing this, turning away business from a legitemate and legal business event and thus constricting the business that Lotus could do. This only came to light when my friend who was a VIP, sat in the queue watching people being turned away and called me. I told the old man and Nigel rushed up Potash Lane to inform them they couldn't do it.

Lotus recieved an official apology from the Chief Constable who admitted they had made a mistake in underestimating the organisation required on what was public roads (something Lotus cannot influence legally).

At least they admitted their part in it, the Council refuse to even acknowledge the problems they caused. It's no ones fault apparantly

Possibly save your life. Check out this website.
http://everyman-campaign.org/

 

Distributor for 'Every Male' grooming products. (Discounts for any TLF members hairier than I am!)

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Sounds like a lack of 8 P's really on the council / Police's part.

Prior preperation and proper planning prevents piss poor performance.

It happens all the time - Climate camp at kingsnoth power station was planned by the protestors about 18 months in advance - the powers that be reacted about 1 week before it kicked off and just ran around like headless chickens.

It's not as if this was the 1st show Lotus have staged - I remember the Classic 50th which was way bigger than expected and 2-3 events they've had since.

Police do have the power to put pressure on the council to open roads etc IF they believe the jams casued by not doing so is inappropriate or unsafe (usually both).

Sad really, they should 'support' local businesses, esp good companies like Lotus not hinder them.

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Sorry Kimbers.

I acknowledge that the police have acknowledged that they might have been a little better prepared.

However, I still think you are missing the fact that Lotus Cars Ltd had as much to do with the problem as either the police or the council. Simple physics will tell you that the inappropriately small and slow entryway was the principal reason for the backlog. The queuing on the A11 was a symptom of this.

A few appropriately placed signs along the A11 telling factory visitors to stay in the lefthand lane might have helped too. When we organised the 50th of the Lotus 7 last year those signs were our responsibility not that of the police (though we did need their permission).

I believe the police can bring pressue to bear on the council but they cannot FORCE the council to open the road.

However, they do have the legal right and duty to keep the traffic flowing as best as possible and to move people on if they think they need to. Whether they were a little overzealous or not is another debate.

If Lotus lost business it was because Lotus had not managed the vehicle entry well enough and there were previous precidents to give forewarning of this problem.

If Lotus are solely blaming the council and the police then this will only happen again (as it has before), which may lead to an enforced restriction on numbers and tickets in advance which in turn may lead to a loss of business.

By all means have loyalty and pride in the company but don't be blind to shortcomings because that will only lead to decline.

Keep off the straight and narrow

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Do we need to go into depth then mate? because I can, I spent an hour discussing it with Nigel who was in charge.

The Police a little better prepared? They sent one traffic warden!!!! And then only more when it backed up the A11!! Better prepared? How about prepared at all!! (this after a dozen phonecalls to police and council starting months before)

The original plan called for both ends to be open and 2 car parks, one at the top one at the bottom of the road. This would have meant twice as much traffic flow, with police directing half the traffic towards Lotus on the Hethel road and half towards East Carleton on the back road leading to the gated blocked end of Potash lane.

Please don't tell me the traffic would have been the same because pure mathematics states it would be halved, prob avoiding the A11 jams.

Now maybe the gate wasn't wide enough to pull in there at speed but that wouldn't have mattered if what i stated above had actually happened. By the time they had enough police there to help filter traffic it was all sadly too late. I know because they went hairing past us at 9.45 whilst we were stationary, half way to the factory.

Anyway. Onwards and upwards.

Possibly save your life. Check out this website.
http://everyman-campaign.org/

 

Distributor for 'Every Male' grooming products. (Discounts for any TLF members hairier than I am!)

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Kimbers,

I appreciate your position but respectfully disagree with you.

There's no point washing dirty linen on here ... I have no desire to sully the name of Lotus, just pointing out that they too held responsibility for the problems which most others are wishing to wash over ... and thus nothing will be learnt, only to the detriment of all.

Keep off the straight and narrow

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