CAMPAIGNERS have hit out at supermarket giant Asda’s “ridiculous” plans to install a new click and collect facility at its Colchester store.

The firm has applied for planning permission to revamp its click and collect facility at its shop at the Turner Rise Retail Park.

Plans will see a new external pod created at the front of the shop for storage whilst the existing click and collect canopy will be removed and replaced.

However, the proposal has proved controversial and Colchester Cycling Campaign hit out at how the changes will affect the pedestrian and cycle route to the store.

The group said it will place “severe restrictions” on the pedestrian access which is “used by hundreds of people daily”.

“This path funnels pedestrians walking to and from the steps from Northern Approach Road and Petrolea roundabout and the ramp from the NAR near Bruff Close.

“Asda intends to reduce an 8 metre wide path to about 1.5 metres,” they said.

“This would not be ideal at the best of times but during Covid, the proposal is ridiculous.

“At present people are waiting at the top and bottom of the steps to allow others to pass at a safe distance.

“The pavement Asda intents to leave would be half this width. There would be no way people could keep a sufficient distance apart when walking to the store.

“There was a reason why this path was created at such a width when the store was originally built.

“We urge the council to reject this scheme and urge Asda to retain the attractive approach to the store it has at present.”

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Residents have also been objecting to the plans.

One said: “In an age when we are encouraging people to leave cars at home and walk or cycle, it seems a backward move to reduce the width of a well-used path.”

Another added: “Reducing the space for pedestrian and cycle access to a supermarket for the benefit of car drivers to click and collect is absolutely atrocious. I strongly object yet again the car driver is put above more environmentally friendly pedestrians and cyclists.”

The Gazette approached Asda for comment but it had not responded at the time of going to press.