Calls to improve Hatfield Asda's accessibility

Three Liberal Democrats in coats stand outside Hatfield Asda's back door holding a paper petition and a clipboard.

"Keeping the back door closed makes it far less accessible for disabled and less mobile customers." - Credit: Welwyn Hatfield Liberal Democrats

A petition to "reopen Asda's back door" to make it more accessible for disabled and less abled people has been launched by a Lib Dem councillor.

Asda closed their Hatfield's store's back door at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic arguing in order to "control the number of shoppers in the store at any one time".  

But Hatfield Town Councillor Tim Rowse said: "There are no longer social distancing guidelines in place but still they refuse to open their back door near Boots.

"Keeping the back door closed makes it far less accessible for disabled and less mobile customers. It also discourages Asda customers to shop in the town centre, disconnecting the supermarket from the rest of Hatfield’s businesses.

"It is a shame that Asda is refusing to be better neighbours and disappointing that Welwyn Hatfield Council appears to be turning a blind eye to this. Welwyn Hatfield Liberal Democrats have recently been campaigning outside Asda collecting signatures for a petition requesting that the door be re-opened."

Before starting this petition, Cllr Rowse spoke to the store manager and asked him to resolve the situation with his head office. So far he has been unable to do so.

He also wrote to Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council's planning enforcement team in November requesting that they take action but they are yet to reply.

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A spokesperson from WHBC said: "We’ve made many attempts to discuss this issue with Asda as we recognise the impact their decision not to open these doors has on older people, those with mobility issues and other businesses in the town centre, but have yet to receive a reply.

"We are, however, continuing with our efforts to engage with them and will keep everyone updated with their response.

"We have heard back from Asda's property team, who confirmed some exit routes in their stores were closed to assist with Covid measures. They are going to look into the current situation at the Hatfield store."

You can sign the petition here