Shoppers warn of boycott

SHOPPERS have warned they may boycott Morpeth’s new supermarket if the traffic lights remain.

The warning was issued to developer Dransfield Properties at a public meeting about the Telford Bridge junction.

The signals were installed by Dransfield as part of a planning agreement with Northumberland County Council to try to accommodate the extra traffic from the new store.

But residents have hit out at the project.

One man said: “I feel that the new store has created this situation and if people really want to get back at the problem they might even boycott the store as a way of turning around and saying you have got it wrong.”

And another said: “You can take a simple message back to Mark Dransfield. At least 2,500 of his potential customers are annoyed about the lights and they will judge him in the same way as they will judge the county councillors.”

However, others defended the developer.

Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade Chairman John Beynon said: “Dransfield seems to be getting a fair bit of stick. It has come into Morpeth and spent millions of pounds to help make Morpeth the best shopping destination in the North East.

“I don’t think anybody wanted a new supermarket, but the Government told us we had to have one so the town centre was the best site.”

Dransfield Retail Property Director Andrew Malley said: “We haven’t gone out to cause a problem to the health of Morpeth.

“We are here to invest in the town and take it forward. At the moment it is one the most prosperous town centres we know and we don’t want that to change. It is in our best interests to get this to work, as well as in yours.”