Letter: Thame needs a good all-round supermarket like Tesco

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Many complaints have been made against the proposed Tesco’s - that it will be to the towns’ detriment – I would like to comment:

Firstly, count the hairdressers and cafes currently occupying the town– at least ten hairdressers, all within very close proximity.

Likewise how many gift/card shops all selling very similar items – none of which seem to be struggling – lastly, how many cafés and coffee shop outlets are there? With these facts how can people substantiate that Tesco will be of great detriment?

When Costa opened how much opposition was there to a ‘chain’ coffee shop joining the High St – the ‘independents’ all appear to remain unaffected by such a chain, people it would appear, welcome CHOICE and the chance to try alternatives – why should a similar choice not be given by adding a further supermarket?

With regard to the new houses due to be built around/near the Tesco

Site - if every new home-owner owns a car (most do) - if they wish to go into town i.e. for a weekly shop they are going to have to take their car. This consequently will cause town congestion - car parks at Sainsbury’s, Co-Op and Waitrose are barely adequate at busy times – causing queues and frustration and hazards to those on foot!

Parking being so limited, with no area to expand it, (and no the Cattle Market would not be a good use of space for a multi-storey carpark!) - it seems a Tesco’s would ease pressures on such parking demand – a typical lunchtime sees vehicles causing obstruction - cars queuing for non-existent spaces - this congestion is dangerous but does nothing for the carbon footprint of the town.

People who work on the industrial areas go into town at lunchtime - many use cars – having to go via Park Street/Chinnor Road - already hazardous as highlighted in your last week’s edition – if Tesco’s were to build would it not enhance the town by preventing such congestion?

How practical is it for juggernauts to manoeuvre Southern Road to deliver to Sainsbury’s and the Co-Op – a very restricted road, going past a nursery and playground? It is all well and good saying deliveries are made at night but with the future increase in population is it not obvious that general daytime traffic will increase significantly if people are limited as to where to do their weekly/daily shop!

Tesco will also benefit young people by creating jobs - more families will move into the town - surely a good strategy to get them into work easily and locally - unemployment levels in Thame may be low but with the development of 600 houses those jobs will be needed - surely introduction of new people alone to the town will boost the independent shops and their viability.

Many of Thame’s residents are within the middle/higher wage/retirement bracket. The future of our town is with the younger generation. The majority of shops, including the supermarkets, simply don’t cater fully enough for these and those on a lower wage, tight budget or with school age children – where can you buy a reasonably priced pair of school socks/other basic school requisite?? Thame NEEDS a good all-round supermarket offering a wide range of all products at good quality, value for money prices and accessible to all!!

A percentage of Thame’s residents seem to want Thame to have ‘expensive posh looking’ shops so the town looks appealing to visitors - however they don’t really have the best interests of the shops at heart with regards to high prices charged which is the real reason why they close!!

R Lester

Thame