CONCERNS have been raised over how a busy key road will cope with extra traffic from the proposed KFC, Costa and Tesco Express outlets in Stroud.

Last week, Stroud Town Council issued a statement raising concerns over the potential extra traffic on Merrywalks due to the proposals, which could transform three buildings in the road. 

It has concerns about the potential for 'dangerous' traffic, especially on a road with three traffic lights which it says already causes 'hold ups at peak times'. 

In February, an application was put in to Stroud District Council for a KFC, Costa and five apartments at the former Cotswold Indoor Bowls Club near McDonald's off Merrywalks.

And last month, it was announced that a Tesco Express would replace Halfords in the new year. 

In addition, Ecotricity wants to convert the old Merrywalks tax office into 18 dwellings.

Last week the town council raised concerns over how the road would cope with these developments in a letter to the county council. 

Stroud News and Journal: View of Merrywalks from the bridge. View of Merrywalks from the bridge. (Image: Newsquest)A spokesperson said: "It feels unlikely that a suitable plan - regarding traffic in relation to the KFC application - will be forthcoming, so we will be left with traffic movements which are dangerous and the issues already caused by traffic turning into the site to access McDonald's will be exacerbated.

"We also have three lots of traffic lights on Merrywalks which already cause hold ups at peak times when schools finish. 

"We are calling for some joined up thinking, taking into account the policies in our Neighbourhood Development Plan, which include specific policies relating to highways in this area.

"We feel that the combined impact of the new developments needs to be carefully thought through and any required mitigations funded."

Stroud News and Journal: Traffic at MerrywalksTraffic at Merrywalks (Image: Newsquest)Tony Davey, chair of Stroud Chamber of Trade, said: "Anyone with even a little knowledge of Stroud will be aware of the congestion on Merrywalks, and how the traffic flows work around the long-term interim bus hub we have there.

"Bringing long-term abandoned buildings into use, such as the former Indoor Bowls Centre and the former tax office, is hard to sensibly argue against.

"When coupled with a change of tenant at the base of the Five Valleys Shopping Centre that is likely to attract some additional customers who will be road users, it is common sense that the traffic patterns will change and inevitable that some additional times of congestion (on an already major route) are inevitable.

"It will serve the communities of Stroud better if rather than look away from the inevitable, the guardians of the public's road network are proactive in their efforts to ensure the best outcomes for both the public and the businesses are facilitated.

"The roundabouts at either ends of the Merrywalks and Merrywalks itself are long overdue improvements that may have been addressed sooner if funding were drawn to Stroud to support its road network and key routes."

A Gloucestershire County Council highways spokesperson previously said the authority had no objections to the KFC and Costa plans.

They said: "This is a town centre location and such facilities are expected to be found in such locations. 

“Twenty-eight parking spaces have been provided which also includes three spaces allocated for persons with disabilities. 

"I am content to accept this level of parking based on the extent of the site and its town centre location.” 

However, in July, a GCC spokesperson said the tax office application should be deferred, arguing that a sustainability statement and draft travel plan regarding parking provisions was needed.

They said: "The highway authority therefore submits a response of deferral until the required information has been provided and considered."

KFC, Costa, Tesco and Ecotricity were all approached for comment. 

A Stroud District Council spokesperson said: “The applications are still being considered and the comments by Stroud Town Council will be taken into account.”