Traffic chaos fear as Aldi store set to open
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