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Sainsbury's to Extend Harringay Premises for Online Delivery Hub - Another Bout of Traffic Chaos?

Last month Sainsbury's submitted an application to add a further extension to the Harringay store. This time it will provide an online delivery hub and a click and collect facility. 

On the face of it, this might seem like good news - oh good fewer people driving to Sainsbury's. But, having seen the fiasco last time Sainsbury's extended and the poor level of scrutiny of the plans by the Council I have my doubts.

What's fuelling those doubts is thoughts about who the facilities will service. I imagine the catchment area for both the online delivery section as well as the click and collect will be far wider than just Harringay.

And it won't just be Sainsbury's customers using the facility. The Click and Collect services will also be available as a Collect+ outlet for the many thousands of purchases made on ebay and 350 other brands.

So:

  • we'll still probably have most of the people currently travelling to Sainsbury's by car
  • plus, an unknown number of delivery vehicle movements of goods in (from Sainsburys, ebay and 350 other merchants)
  • plus, an unknown number of vehicle movements as people drive to collect purchases from an unknown catchment area
  • plus an unknown number of collection journeys for people using the click and collect for both supermarket shopping and Collect+ to service Sainsbury's ebay and 350 other brands.

Fuelling this concern are articles like a few I've picked up recently, pointing out how the sheer scale of deliveries and our demand for immediate regular deliveries are causing problems.

  1. How London got rid of private cars – and grew more congested than ever - Britain’s biggest city has almost ground to a halt, thanks to the rise of Uber and delivery drivers
  2. Delivery disaster: the hidden environmental cost of your online shopping - mountains of packaging waste and millions of transport miles
  3. Online Shopping Was Supposed to Keep People Out of Traffic. It Only Made Things Worse
  4. 1.5 Million Packages a Day: The Internet Brings Chaos to N.Y. Streets - The push for convenience is having a stark impact on gridlock, roadway safety and pollution in New York City and urban areas around the world
  5. How Your Amazon Delivery Helps to Clog the Streets
  6. Crowded streets: Cities face a surge in online deliveries
  7. Delivery vans to blame for record traffic levels

My fears around Sainbury's plans for Harringay may be totally misplaced. I do hope so. (If the reaction to them at last week's LCSP is anything to go by, I may be alone in holding them). Only time will tell.

Sadly, the deadline for opposing the planning application passed yesterday (But as of this morning, you can still submit a comment online). I've been out of the country for the past few weeks and when I heard about this at the end of last week, I hadn't realised that the deadline was so soon. So apologies for missing this one.  For those would still like to see the application, it can be viewed here. There was only one objection. But TfL have withheld their blessing.

Tags for Forum Posts: sainsburys, traffic

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Compared to 5 minutes walk to Manor House station from where I live in Harringay!

Lucky, not smart. Some really stupid people own homes, lots of really smart young people, don't.

Anyway, I don't think the supermarket factored at all in most buying decisions in Harringay.

Well it wasn't even there when I moved here - still last days of the dog track.

And I'm a middle-aged person who still can't afford to buy her own home, despite working all hours (for a charity which works to support homeless people) on what was once considered a decent salary. So I am very grateful I'm still, just about, hanging on to my small one bed rental (right opposite the retail park where Sainsbury's is situated btw), even though it is touch and go. And I really appreciate all Harringay has to offer and have nightmares about the day I'm finally, definitively, priced out of the area. So, Sainsbury's having a home delivery service is not my biggest concern, all due respect.

With my hand on my heart Caroline, I swear to you that proximity to Sainsburys played no role whatsoever in my move here! In fact it’s hard to think of anywhere in London (zones 1-3) that is going to be that far from a supermarket so I think you are massively overplaying how lucky we are in that respect. 

Thanks for the links Hugh, and the information about the expansion. I agree from a quick skim it’s hard to see this reduce traffic volumes. 

You will never get a decent sized supermarket in zone 1 or 2. All you get are the "locals" etc which charge far, far more and are a ripp off! I love having a supermarket so close, as it actually means I can walk there - no need for a car. However, I get if you're doing a big shop for a family that isn't possible. However, if they are doing home delivery, surely that will mean less people need to drive there and, consequently, less traffic, not more. Also, home delivery is a God send for those whose mobility prevents them from getting out, so I really cannot see any negatives here!

I love the local Sainsbury's, don't get me wrong. I can walk there with my trolley and get most of my weekly shop without having to get in the car. But most people come there by car from much futher afield and then drive up my road on the way home.

I thought the Hornsey branch might take away some of this traffic, but it just isn't as comprehensive a store - although I agree ours has gone downhill. I think that has more to do with the attempted merger with Asda which seemed to take it a bit downmarket - that and competition from 'discount' places like Lidl.

There have already been some pretty big staff cuts, and more to come, and I understand workers had to sign new contracts with worse conditions. So overall it's not the store it used to be.

I don't think anyone locally will be served by it turning into a distribution centre for home deliveries, and we certainly don't need more big lorries and delivery vans on Green Lanes. Perhaps we should rethink our desire to receive everything personally at home within a few hours of ordering it, as it certainly isn't cutting traffic.

If staff are being exploited, then that is really, really wrong and a cause for protest. However, in terms of traffic, if less people need to go to the store, as they can get home delivery from a van that will do multiple deliveries, I fail to see how that won't reduce traffic, especially when you factor in those like you and me who can walk to the store.

Also, many people rely on receiving everything personally at home due to disabilities that keep them from leaving their homes through no choice of their own. In addition to this, I know many parents are grateful for not having to drag their screaming kids round the supermarket whilst doing their weekly shop. And, distribution centre = more jobs and more investment in the local community. So, again, not seeing the negative, although if staff are being exploited, that is definitely not ok!

Whether there are fewer vehicle trips to the store depends on all the issues I addressed in my original post.

  1. Will the catchment area for the online service be the same as the physical store? I suspect not. I imagine it will be far wider.
  2. We'll still probably have most of the people currently travelling to Sainsbury's by car continuing to do so - data shows that many online shoppers are just supplementing their weekly in-store shop. 
  3. plus, an unknown number of delivery vehicle movements of goods in (from Sainsburys, ebay and 350 other merchants)
  4. plus, an unknown number of vehicle movements as people drive to collect Sainsburys online purchases
  5. plus an unknown number of collection journeys for people using the click and collect for both supermarket shopping and Collect+ to service Sainsbury's ebay and 350 other brands.
  6. Plus, evidence suggests that when people start shopping online, they get habituated to the convenience and buy much more frequently than they would if they shopped in-store. They often don't plan a weekly shop; they see they need something and just grab their phone and order it. Statista's data showed that whilst 50% of in-store shoppers still do a weekly shop, only 14% of online shoppers do. 

You can comment on applications right up to when they make the decision, they just prefer you to do it in time for them to consider it in the report.

Thanks, Annee. I didn’t realise that. Though I did see that my hastily posted comment the day after the supposed end date was accepted. 

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