A store in Whitchurch was converted into a Tesco Express when Tesco acquired the One Stop group of convenience stores. There was no need for planning permission for the store, but residents experienced huge disruption in traffic and noise from the store, including early morning deliveries. Since then, residents have entered into negotiation with Tesco, which has admitted that this store is the worst in the UK for traffic and delivery problems.
The store is on a corner of a roundabout which has six roads coming off it – two are “A” roads, one the main road through Whitchurch Village and 3 residential roads. Tesco Express opened knowing there were no parking facilities for staff or customers and no off road loading bay for their deliveries. Foreland Road, where the side entrance to the store which Tesco uses for unloading is, has effectively become part of its car park and a loading and collection bay. The waste disposal can arrive as early as 6.15am and other deliveries have been arriving from 8am. Originally deliveries were from 7am but complaints (also helped by our understanding that the lease only allowed deliveries after 8am) led to the time being put back to 8am.
Foreland Road is a narrow residential road; if a car is parked on the road another cannot park opposite it and still allow room for a lorry to pass. Deliveries to the store went up from several a week to in excess of 40 a week – although we believed there were more than this. The road is blocked by lorries on a daily basis and is very congested particularly during rush hour and school run times.
Local residents sent photos/letters to Cardiff City Council for the 2 years. Finally, at a local residents meeting with Tesco and MP Julie Morgan and Councillor Sophie Howe we presented Tesco with our photographs of the disruption. Soon after, television company Twenty Twenty Television got involved and Tesco decided to 'talk' to us. Julie Mcguckian (Corporate Affairs) and David Cogan (Area Manager) have told us that our store is the worst in the UK for delivery and traffic problems. They allege that it is unique. On 26th September Tesco held a meeting with residents and Councillor Sophie Howe, to try and solve some of the issues. We've asked for later deliveries, smaller vehicles and policing of the area to name but a few. We have also started to get the police involved and have asked them to sort the illegal parking and other road safety issues. This is being taken forward as a priority under the PACT (Police and Community Together) - a new initiative in Wales.