Ikea have applied to extend Sunday morning opening hours at their Greenwich branch.
Sunday trading laws mean that the earlier opening time proposed for 9:30am would only be for browsing with people unable to buy until 10am. The cafe and restaurant would open earlier and be allowed to sell food and drink.
I can’t see many objections to this in terms of traffic. Sunday mornings are generally a quiet time.
A year ago they applied to open earlier on weekdays which would be a different story. That plan was dropped but will it return?
Since opening in February increases in traffic across the area have been difficult to gauge. The road capacity was often already at capacity and Ikea wouldn’t necessarily create gridlock in and of itself but have a cumulative impact upon already high levels.
Anecdotally, peak time traffic in Greenwich and the A2 is extremely bad on a daily basis and perhaps worse.
Induced traffic from Ikea cannot be helping. Early schemes to promote sustainability have been dropped after planning necessities expired.
The next store that could bring more traffic is Lidl which opens early 2020.
Silvertown Tunnel projections see an extra 30 per cent more vehicles on the at-capacity A2 in Greenwich heading south away from the new tunnel.