22 January 2001

L. Saunders

Renewable Energy

Surely if you are concerned with road transport efficiency you should be more concerned with the fact that large superstores are contributing to incentives for motorists to use their car as opposed to using public transport.

For example Safeways stores are currently lopping 10p off the cost of a gallon of petrol for every £40 spent in-store. This obviously encourages car use to the store. Also, with very few exceptions,there are minimal facilities aimed at ease of access to superstores, except for cars.

It is ironic that a car user can virtually drive up to the front door of an out of town superstore but bus stops are usually located some distance from main entrances.

If you are really serious about discouraging car congestion on our roads, then it should be a condition of planning consent that any proposed store should put public transport needs first and private car use second.

How much does it cost a superstore chain for a piece of land given that probably more than half will be set aside for private car parking. Are all store users then subsidising car users by virtue of the fact that the total land purchase price contributes to prices set for the store's goods?

If store car parks were reduced in area, presumably the land price of the site would be less. Then some of this saving could be used to subsidise efficient and
cheap public transport to and from city centres and the stores.

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