Archive for 25th February 2008

Press release: Survey shows real traffic impact of Tesco Express

On-street parking and all-day deliveries –survey shows the real impact of a Tesco Express

Tesco’s assertions about the levels of additional traffic its proposed store in Mill Road would generate have been called into question by a survey of an existing Tesco Express in Cherry Hinton.

Tesco’s claim that few people visit Tesco Express stores by car seemed so unlikely that volunteers decided to monitor the visitors and deliveries to the Tesco Express in Cherry Hinton High Street on two days in mid-February.

During almost 12 hours on Tuesday 12 February, 110 people parked their cars on the street in order to visit the Cherry Hinton store.  On Friday 15 February this rose to 142 during a nine-and-a-half hour period –an average of 15 people an hour parking on the street in order to use the Tesco store.

These figures do not include people who used nearby car parks. The site of the Cherry Hinton Tesco Express is surrounded by parking facilities, including a 40-bay car park shared by local shops.

Mill Road, by contrast, offers little in the way of public parking, and the parking in adjacent side streets is already insufficient for the needs of residents. An additional influx of car-borne shoppers visiting the proposed Tesco Express would inevitably increase traffic congestion –and Tesco is actually asking for 18 parking spaces to be removed to make room for an extension to the store, and access for its delivery lorries.

What the volunteer monitors had not expected to find was the huge discrepancy between the number of deliveries by lorry which Tesco says the Mill Road store can expect, and the actual figure at Cherry Hinton.

Tesco has said there would be 30 deliveries per week to the Mill Road store. But between 6.45 am and 6.30pm on 12 February, there were nine deliveries to the Cherry Hinton store, and on Friday 15 February, there were five. This store is actually open 15 hours a day, so the daily figure may be higher.

“In less than two full days, the Cherry Hinton store received almost half their projected weekly total deliveries, so it is clear that there will be far more than they say,” said Richard Rippin of the No Mill Road Tesco Campaign. “On Tuesday, one lorry turned up before the time it was allowed to unload, as people who live near the Tesco Express on Chesterton Road have told us happens most days.”

Richard Rippin added that the peak times for shoppers arriving by car and parking on the street are the morning and evening rush hour periods. “This tells us that a significant number of customers appear to be stopping on the way to and from work to do ‘top-up’ shopping by car. Since Mill Road is one of the main routes into and out of the city centre, we can be sure that at the times of day when Mill Road is already heavily congested, there would be more traffic congestion created by people, many of them likely to be parking illegally, dropping into the Tesco Express.”

The No Mill Road Tesco campaign has passed the full data from the two days’ monitoring to members of the East Area Committee and the planning officers. The Committee will meet at 7.30 on the 6 March, at St Philips Church, Mill Road, to decide on Tesco’s three new applications.