The Chester Cycling Campaign Award 2017 for the most cyclist friendly supermarket has once again been won by the Morrisons Supermarket in Saltney.
All of the ten major supermarket sites in the Chester area were surveyed in the closing months of last year: Aldi (2), Asda, Iceland, Morissons (2), Sainsburys, Tesco (2) and Waitrose. The survey assessed the cyclist facilities provided for customers and for employees.
‘This is the third time we have conducted such a survey’ says Stephen Perry from the Chester Cycling Campaign. ‘Based on the practical experience of local cyclists, we have identified the key criteria that are most important to cyclist customers; namely the number of bicycle stands, whether the stands are under cover, how close the stands are to the entrance of the store and if there is signage to the stands. For the staff facilities the survey looked at whether the store provides secure storage for staff cycles, if the supermarket has a cycle to work scheme, if lockers and a drying area are provided and finally whether the store has a ‘Bike Champion’ to promote cycling for staff.’
Some local supermarkets had taken note of the feedback given to them after the last survey conducted in 2014, and had made improvements. As a consequence the final results for the top supermarkets were extremely close, especially for Sainsburys, Morrisons and Waitrose. Waitrose in particular, as a new entrant in the area, have impressive cyclist facilities at their new Boughton store. By comparison the facilities at new Asda store on the Greyhound Estate are disappointing. However despite the competition, the Morrisons store in Saltney managed to hold on to its lead!
‘Clearly we were disappointed to be pipped to the top spot,’ says Dickie Danby manager at the new Waitrose ‘but I am very pleased that we did so well.’
Christine Joy, Manager at the Morrison Saltney site, was delighted to get the result.
‘We are absolutely thrilled to bits to win this award again’ says Christine. ‘I’ve only be at this store for a few months now, but our deputy manager Anthony Lacking was presented with the award when we won it in 2014, which still hangs on the wall by the store entrance. We are both so proud to be winning it for a second time, especially as we know the competition this time has been very tough.’
‘About 20% of the 120 colleagues we employ here come to work by bike, including all of those on the night shift’ adds Anthony. ‘Many of them live locally and do not have cars so the cycling support facilities that we provide for them are really important. We try very hard to be very cycle friendly for customers and staff’
‘Having bike racks at the front door of the store, with a clear sign, under cover, well lit and with CCTV coverage, is really important for anyone shopping by bike’ adds local cyclist Craig Steeland. ‘Even though it does not guarantee that the bike and the contents of a pannier bag will not get tampered with it provides a lot more reassurance.’
The purpose of the Chester Cycling Campaign award is not only to given recognition to the supermarket with the most cycle friendly facilities, it is also to use the information collected to give feedback to each of head offices.
‘It has been particularly rewarding after this survey’ adds Stephen Perry ‘to get written feedback from each of the head offices thanking us for our feedback and agreeing to address critical issues wherever practical in current store modifications and in future store designs.’