ALDI’S new Tamworth store on Scott Road will add up to 200 cars to the already busy thoroughfare.
However, that is only one-third of the traffic the site’s previous owner, home-improvement retailer Masters, was expected to generate.
Aldi has not responded to any approaches by The Leader and the supermarket chain is yet to confirm if the new $5.36m building is an expansion or a relocation from its current location in Centrepoint Shopping Centre.
The traffic assessment submitted to council found Scott Road currently has a peak weekday traffic flow at 4.30pm to 5.30pm, with 1146 vehicles travelling passed the new Aldi site.
“Projected peak hour traffic generation of the Aldi development is 110 to 210 vehicles per hour, for weekdays/Saturday, peak hours,” the report stated.
“In contrast, the previously proposed Masters development had weekday/Saturday generation figures of 300 to 660 vehicles per hour, figures three times the Aldi projections.”
The large amount of traffic Masters was predicted to create was a major concern for neighbours and other residents, who have queried the Scott Road/Goonoo Goonoo Road roundabout.
The resistance to the development was so strong, Tamworth Regional Council received more than 200 submissions when rezoning the block.
Many of the nearby residents The Leader spoke to, who wished to remain unnamed, were still wary about the development due to their long-running battle with Masters.
“[Scott Road] is bad enough already – unless someone is nice and lets me in, I can’t turn into my driveway,” one resident said.
“We’re not against it, they’ve just got to get it right. Particularly the entry and exit points.”
Aldi’s development application proposes to build a “centre right-turning lane” and “two westbound lanes” – or an extra lane for both directions for turning.
The traffic report reveals a roundabout, traffic lights, a seagull channel and a two-way right-turn lane were all considered, but deemed unsuitable.
Tamworth mayor Col Murray said locals were “very passionate” about the Masters development traffic issues, and expected to see the same thing again.
“It’s something we have to deal with when it comes to any one of these developments,” Cr Murray said.