Legions of cyclists adore Lidl stores for their cheap offers on decent cycling kit - and the plentiful cheap cake.
But in Calcot, near Reading, Borough Council members are recommended planning permission for a new store should be opposed, because of its impact on local cycling and walking routes.
The store “would have a detrimental impact on highway safety and would prejudice the council’s ability to deliver National Cycle Network Route 422,” according to a report seen by Get Reading.
It also notes that a pedestrian refuge would be moved to a very narrow stretch of pavement under the plans, and the location of the store would make it harder, if not impossible, for Reading Borough Council to extend an existing off-road cycle route which follows the opposite side of the road.
Lidl say that the proposed development will bring a new 1,424m² neighbourhood foodstore to the area, featuring 103 car parking spaces and the creation of up to 40 jobs for local residents.
It adds that “the site is well placed to encourage access by sustainable modes of transport. Customer cycle parking will be provided to encourage shoppers to visit the store by bicycle.
“The car parking spaces are arranged in a manner so that it is safe and easy for customers to manoeuvre around the car park. There are pedestrian links through the car park to the store entrance and trolley storage.”
Along with its bargain cycling clothes, shoes and tools, the best of which are regularly featured here on road.cc, Lidl has also branched into pro cycling, having signed a sponsorship deal with Etixx-Quick Step – bringing with it Tony Martin, Tom Boonen, and Marcel Kittel.
Based in Marcel Kittel’s home country of Germany, Lidl operates more than 10,000 stores throughout Europe and in 2014 was food and drink partner of another Belgian team, Lotto-Belisol.
The supermarket operator has become the team’s “Official Fresh Food Partner,” with a logo added to the team kit.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.