Customers will be passing, not local

EDITOR – During mid-May residents within the neighbourhood of the proposed Sainsbury’s store on Newmarket were targeted with a two-page letter extolling the virtues of having a Sainsbury’s ‘Local’ on this site.

The points raised within the softly, softly approach that was adopted paint a biased and rose-tinted picture of the realities presented by such a development.

What could be more flawed than the supermarket’s suggestion that their convenience stores are ‘designed to meet the everyday needs of people who can walk’ and who live within a quarter of a mile of each store?

Throughout the early 1960s we had a neighbour in Lincoln who was able-bodied and fortyish but who routinely used his car to post his mail in the postbox less than 100 yards away.

During the last 50 years such behaviour has become commonplace, and I know for a fact that it applies to many local people when a few hundred yards are involved.

In any case, this is missing the main point, which relates to Newmarket and the way that it has changed over these past years.

This thoroughfare serves a large area to the east stretching roughly from Saltfleet to Sutton, and the regular impact of commuters, shoppers, holidaymakers, delivery vehicles, tradesmen and others routinely generates an appreciable traffic flow.

When speeding and cavalier driving are factored in alongside the craziness of current trends on Newmarket, the overall situation looks bleak.

Towards the cattle market, for instance, we suffer from lorries off-loading in the middle of the road, while the filling station is so impoverished for space that a sudden influx of customers means that vehicles end up waiting within the road itself.

As if all this were not crazy enough, we also have customers for the shop leaving their vehicles double-parked while they do their shopping, adding to further problems developing between the top of Church Street and Watts Lane, where visibility is routinely restricted because of senseless parking.

Entering Newmarket from Church Street can be bad enough, but from the medical practice and Watts Lane it can be a nightmare, and I gather several accidents have arisen already as a result.

Into this complicated equation of messy parking, pushy through traffic, masked vehicles struggling to enter the roadway, two sets of traffic lights for the crossings and so on, Sainsbury’s plan to locate one of their convenience stores knowing full well that much of their resulting trade will come from PASSING TRAFFIC.

This idea that the majority of their customers will be local and on foot simply does not figure.

A larger facility of this kind will inevitably cast a much wider net than they describe, and will make current difficulties and dangers far worse.

Dusty Miller

Stewton Lane, Louth