IT WAS a controversial topic across Fratton but now it’s just a matter of months before the new Tesco store opens to the public.
The store, which is being built in the old car park next to Fratton Park, is due to open in November, in time for Christmas.
We are pleased with the way that the store is progressing and we are looking forward to opening in NovemberJames Wiggam, Tesco
Huge traffic jams were caused around Fratton Way whilst the store was being built and roadworks were taking place.
But Tesco has now confirmed the roadworks have been completed.
James Wiggam, corporate affairs officer at Tesco, said: ‘We are pleased with the way that the store is progressing and we are looking forward to opening in November.
‘We think it will be a huge benefit to the local area both in terms of the jobs created and the shopping for local people.
‘We are hoping to open in November. So before Christmas, our local customers will be able to come and shop there with us.’
And Mr Wiggam said he hopes Pompey supporters can benefit from the new store.
‘On match day we are looking forward to welcoming fans into the store.
‘We think it will be of a benefit to them.’
Councillor Luke Stubbs said: ‘Given all the financial problems Tesco has had, it must be good news that the store is going to open.
The worst outcome would be for it to be have a large building standing empty.
‘However a lot of people do have some concerns about how it’s going to affect the traffic flow.
‘Fratton Way is a narrow road.
‘But the planning committee decided to accept it.
‘I suspect on match day it won’t be that busy because people will avoid it.
‘But it’s an A road and at peak times there will be a mixture of people trying to get home and people trying to get to the shop.
‘Whether there is capacity for both at the same time, we will have to wait and see.’
Mr Wiggam has now reassured shoppers that there will not be a problem with traffic.
‘We are working to ensure that customers can get to the store easily.
‘We are pleased that traffic was considered as part of the planning application.’
Communities secretary Eric Pickles granted planning permission last September.
Despite this, local traders gathered around 4,000 signatures against the effect of the store on business and the city’s road network.
The store is expected to create up to 300 jobs.
It will not be open 24 hours, but will open from 6am until midnight each day from Monday through to Saturday and from 10am until 4pm on Sunday.