AS managing director of GT Garages (Scarborough) Ltd, I am compelled to respond to your article of May 30 headed ‘Guesthouses will get Tesco parking’.
How fortunate are the guesthouse businesses in the lower part of Columbus Ravine to have been given consideration by Tesco in the debate over their proposed site. Not so the businesses on the section of Columbus Ravine between Dean Road roundabout and Hoxton Road, of which we are one.
Currently, due to the dual carriageway in our part of Columbus Ravine, access to and egress from our business is by way of ‘left turn in and left turn out.’ The roundabout at the junction with Dean Road provides a vital facility to enable existing and potential customers to access not only our business but other neighbouring commercial enterprises (Kwik Fit, Play Zone etc) from any direction. However, replacing this roundabout with traffic signals will not only remove this facility but positively encourage cars to use the residential side roads to execute U turns in order to be facing ‘the right way’ for entry to our premises. If Trafalgar Street West, at its junction with Dean Road, were to remain open this situation might be mitigated in some part, but Tesco feels entitled to demand that this ancient roadway is closed as part of their plans.
Kindly note that removal of the 14 on-street parking spaces, to which you refer in your article, is not, as one might assume, taking place in the lower part of Columbus Ravine, where most of the guesthouses are situated, but outside our premises, in particular next to the cemetery and near Play Zone.
This is to accommodate a further set of traffic lights which will allow access to and exit from the Tesco store, but not assist one other commercial enterprise in the locality.
In fact we do not think it is an exaggeration to say that not only will Tesco have an adverse effect on the Scarborough high street, taking some £6.5 million out of the local economy – as per their stated annual target for Scarborough – but they will have an adverse effect on our business too.
Not only will our customers be denied easy access to our premises, which they have enjoyed since 1979, but they will no longer be able to park outside when wishing to have their cars serviced or repaired, or indeed when choosing to purchase a new or used car.
Furthermore, where, one wonders, will the car transporters stop to offload stock of new Citroen and Suzuki cars when the designated hatched area between the roundabout and our premises is removed to accommodate two sets of traffic lights? Outside our premises? Possibly, but this will stop the traffic flow for 10 to 20 minutes several times per week whereas currently there is sufficient space for our transporters without impeding traffic flow.
Why did Tesco appoint consultants to carry out a traffic impact exercise? At no point have they or Tesco consulted us or our neighbours.
Their interest lies in how to get customers into and out of the Tesco site by car, by bus or as a pedestrian, not to discover how Tesco might impact on the locality, especially if that is negatively.
Tesco is not a philanthropic organisation – throwing a few parking spaces at guesthouse owners is offered for pure commercial gain, nothing else, and I sincerely hope the guesthouse owners will have more sense that to believe this is a viable long-term solution for them and continue to object to the current plan.
GT Garages Ltd