Traffic fears over proposed new drive-through at Wrekin Retail Park

A proposed third drive-through at a shopping park could worsen existing peak-time traffic jams, town councillors fear.

American Golf, Wrekin Retail Park. Picture: Google
American Golf, Wrekin Retail Park. Picture: Google

The owners of American Golf, a 565-square-metre store on Wrekin Retail Park, have applied to “downsize” the sports shop and set up a Starbucks branch covering about a third of the space.

There are already regular queues at the retail park from the drive-throughs at McDonald's and KFC which often hold up cars heading to other shops at the park.

Telford and Wrekin Council will decide on the proposal at a later date, but Wellington Town Council’s Planning Committee offered no objection when consulted.

Member John Alvey said they would need “very strong grounds” to oppose Starbucks when drive-through McDonald’s and KFC branches were already nearby, but chairman Giles Luter said traffic has overflown from the restaurant sites onto the public roadway for many years.

Councillor Lisa Jinks said: “We already have the other two drive-throughs. When McDonald’s has a backlog that goes all the way round and onto the roundabout and I fear that if we have another drive-through that will cause further disruption.

“Unless and until highways decide they are going to alter the direction of traffic there is always going to be a problem.”

She added that there had been accidents there.

“I have witnessed a couple of them,” she said.

“It’s just the sheer volume of traffic and people trying to get somewhere quickly. Tempers do get frayed.”

Councillor Stephen DeLauney suggested the committee writes to the borough council to express its concerns.

Councillor Luter agreed, saying: “We should contact highways and say this has been happening for years and surely there must be some kind of a way it can be looked into and studied, and possible options for another exit rather than another entrance, maybe, and have a one-way system”.

A transport statement, submitted to Telford and Wrekin Council by TTP Consulting on behalf of Luxembourg-based site owner and applicant ERE V 10, estimates 27 additional vehicles will arrive at the new Starbucks branch during the 11am-12noon Saturday peak, if the plans are approved. A “lesser increase” at other times is expected, it adds.

In a separate application, Instavolt Ltd has applied to install rapid electric vehicle charging stations at two parking spaces at the far north of the McDonald’s car park, about 100 metres north of American Golf.

The town council Planning Committee offered no objection, with Councillor Alvey telling colleagues: “I think it’s the way forward.”

Councillor Luter said “I completely agree. I think it should be encouraged and more companies, especially on the scale of McDonald’s, should look at integrating that into their car parking facilities.”

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