Tesco no go

Tolworth development plans scrapped.

Supermarket giant Tesco has pulled out of its plans to build a supermarket in Tolworth, just 24 hours before campaigners gearing up to fight them at a public meeting.

It is the second time Tesco has abandoned its plans for the site next to Tolworth station, which MP Edward Davey believes is unprecedented and declared it a “victory for Tolworth” and hopes the site will be sold off to developers so family houses can be built.

A consultation meeting organised by Kingston Council at Tolworth Girls' School tomorrow night will still go ahead despite the announcement.

Tesco press release (PDF)21.01 KB


I think your right on most counts with this summary.

The major other factor that may distort matters is the appalling transport system for actually getting to Kingston.

All roads leading into Kingston are now so littered with bus lanes,traffic lights,humps,necks and assorted vision obscuring road signs that many folks are put off driving in (which the council intended),public transport is full of oldies enjoying their bus pass and mega buggies which cannot fold down and thus fill the available space and more.

Retailers must despair as no one can do serious shopping and tote bags around all day and then hope the bus has some spare seats to dump it on.

If car parking and access are artificially restricted then all high streets will decay,oddly this may lead to Tolworth becoming more attractive to retailers if they can seize the day and create ample low cost parking for shoppers with cars.With the demise of the Tesco plan the area has lost the opportunity to use the power and muscle of the hated but oh so successful company to develop the whole area and provide just the facilities that could see a magnificent shopping and working environment being created.

The alternative view is that the roads into kingston are littered with too much traffic.
If public transport was better, eg trams, dedicated bus corridors as per east london, OR people were more inclined to carshare, then traffic would actually move faster.

All those single occupied cars snailing along the Ewell Road each morning - where are they travelling to, and why do the drivers feel that public transport options don't work for them?

Are there genuine gaps in public transport for orbital routes around these parts of outer london, or is it just that people are culturally wedded to their cars?

Many of the Ewell Road drivers are heading for Kingston Bridge to get into Twickenham and up into Heathrow and Ealing etc.
Try getting to Hounslow on the 281 in the morning and you will soon see why sitting in ones own car is preferable both for comfort and speed,recently it took me over 3 hours from Berrylands to Hounslow Central via Kingston on the bus.

We need more bridges across the river.

Given that the whole of the western world is fretting about the decline in car production and the dreadful unemployment caused surely it ones public duty to drive more and generate tax revenues for the government to waste on quangos to fret about the myth of "global warming"?

People are totally reliant on their cars, even when thy don't need to be.

I live in one of the river roads, and several of my neighbours will drive into Kingston, queue and pay for one of the car parks rather than take the rather pleasant 15 minute stroll down the river to get there. Some will even drive to Surbiton town centre to 'pick up a few bits' when it is only a 5 minute walk.

If people are going to use their cars in this type of situation, there is absolutely no hope of getting them to give them up when they actually have to travel a reasonable distance.

I haven't quite got around to giving up my car, but it is seriously tempting given that I only need to use it about once a fortnight.

Shame really, but what will Tesco do with this land now?

Tescos is the nadir of anywhere. Not having a Tescos is a good thing.

Oh no!

Does this now mean years of planning blight along with a reluctance to build anything in the current down turn?
Are we to witness another glorious "peace camp" as "Friends of the Ait" liberate this valuable land,which I am sure can be traced back and designated as Common Land?
I am sorry for the traders along the Broadway who will suffer as the area slips into an even deeper decline,but this what they appear to have wanted.

I agree - it does not look good for the Broadway. The downturn will compound matters, but the general move away from retail space is the problem. Rents in Kingston town centre will have to be reduced to fill the masses of space there, and this will make space in Surbiton and Tolworth even less attractive.

Surbiton is likely to fair slightly better because the station means more young professionals in the area, but Tolworth seems destined to grow only in terms of take-aways and cheap convenience stores.

In 20 years time, I would expect to see 50% less retail space in towns like Kingston and Surbiton and 75% less in Tolworth. If this doesn't happen, the remainder will just stay empty long term.

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