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New store creates job, raises cash for charity and brings traffic chaos.

By Cheadle Post and Times  |  Posted: December 12, 2013

By Abbey Buxton

duke of wellington

The former Duke of Wellington Pub in Blythe Bridge

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A NEW convenience store opening in Blythe Bridge will celebrate its launch with a £500 donation to Douglas Macmillan Hospice.

The new Tesco Express store opens on Friday, December 13, in Uttoxeter Road, Blythe Bridge and Ivy Taylor from Douglas Macmillan Hospice will be invited to cut a ribbon to declare the new store officially open.

Store manager, Claire Armson and her team will present a cheque for £500 to Ivy Taylor from the Douglas Macmillan Hospice as part of its commitment to supporting the local community. The Douglas Macmillan Hospice is a 28-bed care facility for people suffering from incurable cancer and other life limiting illnesses, and serves the North Staffordshire area.

Claire said: "We are delighted to be able to make a donation to help the local Children's Hospice. We are really keen to ensure we select a group that will benefit from the funding. My team and I are looking forward to welcoming our customers into the new store and we hope that Tesco will become a key part of the local community."

The doors of the new Tesco Express open for the first time at 8am on Friday, December 13, with the official opening ceremony and cheque presentation taking place later that morning at 10.30am. The new store received 170 applications for 15 new jobs and Tesco interviewed and recruited staff from the local area.

Claire Armson and her team promoted the new jobs online and conducted 50 interviews - with positive results which led to all vacancies being filled by local people.

Claire said: "I was thrilled by the response we received to our recruitment drive. In this time of economic uncertainty, it is great that we are able to create jobs for our local community and help get people back into work. I am really pleased with my new team and I'm looking forward to working with them. We are delighted to be opening a Tesco Express store on Uttoxeter Road in Blythe Bridge and look forward to playing an active role in the local community."

Forsbrook Parish Council chairman councillor Gill Burton said that while it is good news that the new store has created local jobs and supported a local charity, it has also created traffic chaos with delivery lorries and contractors' vehicles blocking Uttoxeter Road trying to access the site and creating gridlock at the newly renovated crossroads.

She said: "While it's good news about offering 15 jobs for local people and presenting £500 to the Douglas Macmillan Hospice it's not good news concerning traffic problems we're having in the centre of Blythe Bridge at the crossroads.

"I've had complaints from residents saying that deliveries to the site are blocking Uttoxeter Road for several minutes and traffic then backs up to a stand still, it's horrendous.

"We knew it would happen and did bring it up at the parish council last month and county councillor Bill Day is going to bring it up with the highways department, and we've asked the police to pay attention.

"Doing nothing at these crossroads is not an option and highways have got to come and sort it out, these traffic problems aren't going to go away.

"The county council highways department didn't object and made no comment about the highways situation that could arise and now it has and we want something done about it."

Store opening hours will be seven days a week from 6am until 11pm, and the store will have a free cash machine, two self-service tills, mobile phone top-up facility, National Lottery counter, beers, wines and spirits and an in-store bakery. Parking is available to customers at the rear of the store. There will also be click and collect service on all non-food items, where customers can order online and pick up in store everything from buggies to bikes.

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