Traf­fic chaos fear as Aldi store set to open

Southport Visiter - - Front Page - BY JAMIE LOPEZ jamie.lopez@reach­plc.com @jamie_lopez1

ABIRKDALE coun­cil­lor is warn­ing of po­ten­tial traf­fic chaos when a new su­per­mar­ket opens. After months of build­ing work, an Aldi su­per­mar­ket opens on the site of the former Birk­dale Trad­ing Es­tate on Liver­pool Road to­day.

Plans to build the store were ap­proved 12 months ago de­spite warn­ings over the safety of the ad­di­tional traf­fic on an al­ready con­gested main road.

The store is open­ing just yards from a Tesco Ex­press store on the op­po­site side of the road, which is a main route be­tween South­port and Ains­dale.

Lib Dem coun­cil­lor Ian BrodieBrowne, who rep­re­sents Birk­dale, says res­i­dents have al­ready en­dured dis­rup­tion dur­ing con­struc­tion and is call­ing on Sefton Coun­cil to en­sure such prob­lems do not con­tinue.

He said: “At the plan­ning stage my col­league, Richard Hands, raised con­cerns about the im­pact on that stretch of Liver­pool Road, es­pe­cially as the new shop is al­most op­po­site Tesco.

“I have writ­ten to the coun­cil ask­ing them to care­fully mon­i­tor the sit­u­a­tion and to bring in­ap­pro­pri­ate traf­fic man­age­ment ar­range­ments if, as many lo­cals be­lieve, that be­comes nec­es­sary.

“We have been con­tacted by lo­cal res­i­dents who have been greatly in­con­ve­nienced dur­ing the con­struc­tion phase. It would be a tragedy if that level of dis­rup­tion con­tin­ued after the store was open.”

While the open­ing of the Aldi store, which is the sec­ond to open in South­port, has been wel­comed by many in the town, the de­ci­sion to build on the site of the trad­ing es­tate and evict ex­ist­ing busi­nesses was heav­ily crit­i­cised.

Cllr Brodie-Browne is urg­ing peo­ple visit­ing Birk­dale to visit the vil­lage’s in­de­pen­dent shops as well as the Ger­man dis­count re­tailer.

“We are very lucky to have so many ex­cel­lent re­tail­ers and it is im­por­tant that the con­tinue to flour­ish. They of­fer great ser­vice and value.”

A grand open­ing is to be held at the store to­day, with Olympic medal­list and South­port res­i­dent Dan Purvis cut­ting the rib­bon. A to­tal of 38 jobs have been cre­ated at the su­per­mar­ket.

The first 30 cus­tomers will be given com­ple­men­tary bags full of fresh fruit and veg­eta­bles.

Gym­nast Daniel, who won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics and claimed gold at the 2014 Com­mon­wealth Games, will of­fi­cially cut the rib­bon to de­clare the store open at 8am.

After the open­ing, Daniel will pay a visit to Birk­dale Pri­mary School to de­liver an in­spi­ra­tional assem­bly about his gym­nas­tics ca­reer to date and the im­por­tance of liv­ing a healthy life­style.

Daniel, who lives in South­port and trains at South­port Gym­nas­tics Club, in Ains­dale, said: “I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to open­ing morn­ing. It’s a great feel­ing to give back to a com­mu­nity that’s so close to my heart.”

Store man­ager Linzi Lig­gat said: “Hav­ing a lo­cal hero cel­e­brate our grand open­ing is so spe­cial. It’s not ev­ery day you get to meet an Olympic ath­lete, so I’m sure our shop­pers will be de­lighted to meet Daniel.”

The new Aldi su­per­mar­ket in Birk­dale

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