Villagers fear Tesco Express chaosBy Caroline Cook
December 02, 2011
Villagers in Twyford have raised concerns about the opening of a new supermarket, with fears it could increase traffic congestion in the High Street.
Supermarket giant Tesco has unveiled plans to open a 3,000 sq ft Express Store in London Road but villages fear drivers will park outside the store and cause traffic chaos.
At a meeting of Twyford Parish Council on Tuesday, November 22, members discussed concerns about the impact the supermarket would have on the village.
Twyford parish councillor David Hymers said: “A concern is about the infringement of double yellow lines in the village centre.
“Although people don’t normally sit there for long it is long enough to be a pain in the neck.
“They use the newsagents at the moment but I think Tesco is going to make it worse.
“Nobody seems particularly clear about what the arrangements for the car park are going to be.”
In a report read out at the parish council meeting, Councillor Stephen Conway, ward member for Twyford, also raised concerns about whether people would park outside the store to use the cash machine and block the road.
Tesco submitted a planning application earlier this month for new signage, a cash machine with security camera and automatic doors.
Cllr Hymers said villagers he had spoken to did not object to the development in principle but said they were concerned about the impact it could have.
He also said the development could raise further issues about parking enforcement in the village with drivers already flouting the rules.
He said: “It does once again raise the issue of enforcement about parking regulations and when the borough council are going to do something about it.
“All the motorists are well aware there is no enforcement and with Tesco there it’s only going to get worse.”
Cllr Annette Drake, borough member for Hurst, said she had spoken to the local PCSO about enforcement and had been told they would be keeping an eye on the area.
Cllr Drake also said she had received calls from villagers who were worried about an application for the store to sell alcohol from 7am to 11pm.
She said: “I had a complaint about that and I reported it to the planning department but they said it’s a licensing issue.
“It is a legitimate concern.”
An online petition has also been launched calling for people to “say no to Tesco” because campaigners say it could have a negative impact on smaller businesses around the village.
A spokesman for Tesco said: “Our Express stores are extremely popular with customers and the local communities they serve.
“A large percentage of our customers come from within 500 metres of the store with many walking or cycling.
“In addition we will have shared use of the car park at the rear of the shop, with the other tenants which has in excess of 37 parking spaces.
“The Express in London Road will create approximately 20 to 30 jobs and provide additional choice and value for local people.”