MY view is that the Asda supermarket would actually result in a reduction rather than an increase in traffic along most of London Road, as it would provide local shopping for hundreds of homes in the Bishopdown Farm area.
Many of them would decide they no longer need to travel down London Road to reach a city supermarket. The Aldi supermarket, on the other hand, might well result in some additional traffic. Regarding the survey carried out by Asda, it has reported that 77 per cent of the residents surveyed in the Bishopdown Farm area were in favour of the project.
This indicates a substantial majority of residents in this area consider they are not adequately served by the city’s existing distant supermarkets - something that the planning authorities are clearly obliged to consider.
I MUST make comment regarding Annie Riddle’s column "Who asked us where we want to do our shopping?" in last week’s Journal. Like Annie herself, and many other Salisbury residents, I can see many problems with any supermarket being built in the Salisbury environs. We have five rivers, a railway complete with station and major trunk roads running through the city plus sites of natural beauty and historic interest, and consequently the suitable options are few.
Probably the most suitable location for a supermarket would be somewhere adjacent to The Avenue, where traffic would feed from two roads (Devizes Road and Warminster Road) rather than just one in most other locations. Added to which any supermarket in that area would benefit from the huge developments shortly to be made in that area including Fugglestone Red and the old UKLF site at Wilton.
As things stand (although I am not sure of its impact - traffic in particular) the Sainsbury’s option may be an asset to the south east gateway to our city. How it could be considered an eyesore in comparison to what already borders the sides of Southampton Road is beyond my ken. Additionally, the improvements that Sainsbury’s intends to make to the drainage of that area - with the full support of Wessex Water may be a relief to other businesses in that locality, many of which are already built on what was once a flood plain.
My wife loves shopping in Asda, and I think that on the present proposed site, because of the proximity of its store to the east (Andover), the majority of their custom would come from the north and west and, as a consequence, will clog up not just London Road but probably the rest of our city as well.
Perhaps we should just be content with being Tesco City?