A STAFFORD councillor has said plans for a new supermarket in Queensville should not go ahead unless the company proposing it agree to stump up the money to fix the growing traffic problems in the area.
Forebridge Councillor Tom Harris said proposals to put an Aldi on the site of Freedom Caravans and the adjacent petrol station would exacerbate a major traffic problem that was already causing havoc for residents of the area.
“I have nothing against another supermarket in town,” he said. “But that road is probably the most congested in the town already and putting an Aldi there is just going to drive even more traffic up there.
“I’m going to have to say, I am sorry but no, unless the traffic situation at the Meadows is sorted out.”
Councillor Harris said residents had been experiencing problems leaving the estate for years.
“Now there are more cars on the road than ever and the residents of The Meadows are forced to wait at the end of the road - I think the record was for almost 14 minutes - just to get off the estate onto that roundabout because there is traffic racing down Queensville or from Silkmore Lane in the other direction.
“It is a miracle that nobody has been seriously injured or killed yet honestly,” he said.
“I welcome an Aldi but it’s only going to make matters worse honestly,” he said. “The only way that I would be to support it, and indeed the residents should support it, is if Aldi are prepared to stump up the cash to deal with some of the traffic issues there.
Councillor Harris said it was possible for the county council’s highways department to levy a charge on a new developer in matters like this.
“I’m not an expert on these matters, but I think there has to be some sort of traffic light scheme to allow residents of The Meadows to get off the estate, or maybe a double roundabout rather than a single roundabout.
Cllr Simon Tagg, cabinet support member for transport and connected county with Staffordshire County Council said: “All planning applications come through our development control section for comment.
“As the local highway authority we ensure that the proposed traffic associated with the development can be accommodated within the area.
“This will include the provision of appropriate access arrangements and other measures that may be required.”