Archive for 26th February 2008

CEN article: ‘Many will drive to new store’

Home - Mill Road Tesco Protestors

Protestors against the planned Tesco store for Mill Road.

CAMPAIGNERS against a new Tesco store have challenged the supermarket’s claim that few shoppers will travel there by car, after a survey of another shop in Cambridge.

The No Mill Road Tesco campaign surveyed the Tesco Express in Cherry Hinton over 12 hours on February 12 and found 110 people parked their cars on the street while they shopped. The figure rose to 142 during nine and a half hours on February 15.

There were nine deliveries on the first day and five on the second.

Tesco has said there will be 30 deliveries a week if its applications to extend the former Wilco building in Mill Road, and install new signs and a cash machine to make an Express store, are allowed.

Campaigners claim their survey of the Cherry Hinton shop shows the company’s estimates of the traffic generated by the plans are too low and also fear it will add to car parking problems due to there being far fewer spaces in the Mill Road area.

Richard Rippin, from the campaign, said: “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.

“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.”

He said the peak times for shoppers arriving by car and parking on the street were the morning and evening rush hours.
He added: “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.”

No Mill Road Tesco has given the data to planning officers and members of Cambridge City Council’s East Area Committee, which will decide the application when it meets at St Philips Church, Mill Road, on March 6 at 7.30pm.