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Bishop's Stortford IT consultant designs QWait app to reduce supermarket and pharmacy queues in the fight against coronavirus

An IT consultant from Bishop's Stortford has developed an app he believes could reduce queuing times at supermarkets and pharmacies in the fight against coronavirus.

Andy Hardie, 48, has created QWait to allow people to see how long the queues are outside essential shops and services.

The app, which is not for profit and would be free to use, can work globally as well as locally, and if it takes off then Andy would add links to NHS donation pages in order to support those key workers on the front line.

Andy Hardie hopes his app could reduce shopping queues like this one at Sainsbury's in Thorley Park. Picture: Vikki Lince
Andy Hardie hopes his app could reduce shopping queues like this one at Sainsbury's in Thorley Park. Picture: Vikki Lince

Users simply enter their address or town and select which type of shop they are looking for to pull up a list of matches and the current queue data. There is also the ability to search for a maximum wait time and update the data for others to use.

Andy, who works for a financial institution in Canary Wharf and has lived in Stortford for 25 years, is now looking to prove proof of concept. Ideally it would require staff monitoring the queues at supermarkets and pharmacies to update queue data every 30 to 60 minutes.

"I developed the app after seeing all the 'what's the queue like' posts on social media," said Andy, who is married to Muriel and has three children – Marc, 19, and 12-year-old twins Euan and Fraser who attend The Bishop's Stortford High School.

Andy Hardie (34136442)
Andy Hardie (34136442)

"The app records the wait time at supermarkets and pharmacies to allow everyone to see the last updated info and hopefully reduce wait time and help stop the spread of the virus.

"If we could get the local shops to update it I think it would be very useful for the people in and around Stortford as well as the whole country. It works globally as well."

Andy, who is a member of the golf, tennis and rugby clubs in Stortford as well as the Bishop's Stortford Pool League, has spent more than 60 hours developing the app.

"It works and people like it from the feedback, but it will only help if the data is good so we need the supermarkets on board," said Andy. "For it to be successful and useful we require the shop door security staff to update the info, say every 30 minutes to an hour."

You can find the app at https://qwait.azurewebsites.net.

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