Archive for 29th September 2008

CEN article: Mill Road gridlock warning

Home - Fears Tesco lorries will block streets

Image: Campaigners hold a banner the size of a delivery lorry in the car park of the proposed Tesco store.

THE battle against Tesco’s plans for one of the city’s main streets starts tomorrow – amid fears of gridlock and traffic chaos.

The fight to stop the supermarket giant opening an Express store in Mill Road will take another twist as a public inquiry gets under way tomorrow.

And campaigners took to the streets to show their feelings and highlight the congestion deliveries to the store would cause.

The No Mill Road Tesco campaign says it would be a “travesty of democracy” if councillors give the green light for the store to open despite huge opposition.

Protesters believe 40 lorries a week, each taking 40 minutes to deliver to the Express store, will bring traffic to a standstill. They also claim it will be a danger to cyclists, pedestrians and motorists in the narrow road famed for its unique shops.

In a bid to highlight the impact on the road, protesters drove a “lorry” to show the congestion they fear.

They carried a large piece of fabric the size of an HGV to the car park at the back of the proposed shop.
Campaigner Tom Rich said: “These deliveries will not only cause major traffic problems but there is a bigger question of the danger to cyclists and “pedestrians. We are expecting the inquiry sees sense and not make the daft decision of allowing the store to open.”

Tesco is forging on with a planning application for a refrigeration unit despite planning chiefs rejecting the proposals.

Protesters took to the street on Friday in a day of action carrying the “lorry”.

The public inquiry gets under way at 10am at the city’s Guildhall tomorrow (Tuesday, 30 September).

It will hear Tesco’s appeal against the refusal of planning permission to extend the building.

In July, councillors refused another application from Tesco for air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment.

Tesco had previously gained permission for signs and a cash machine and the site is designated as Class A1 land use, for a shop.

Cambridge Evening News, 29th September 2008