McDonald’s plans to build one of its new drive-through restaurants have divided residents of quaint Ross-on-Wye over fears it could cause a traffic jam on an already busy roundabout.
Many are dismayed at the construction of another fast food outlet on the outskirts of their historic town and the local high school says it will pose a safety hazard to students trying to cross a busy road to access it.
But the planning request submitted as part of the fast food chain’s rebranding for its restaurants and menu has drawn support from those who say the city has to change with the times and they are fed up with it. head to Hereford or Gloucester for their favorite burgers.
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It is now for councilors to decide on the controversial demand to build a 24/7 McDonalds on a corner of land at the junction of the A40 / A449 at the Over Ross roundabout.
Over 300 performances made at Herefordshire Council during the recently closed consultation period reveal how deeply divided the city is over the prospect of another fast food restaurant on a busy stretch of road that has already seen a Burger King, Greggs, Subway, Starbucks, and Kentucky Fried chicken has been popping up in recent years.
Some of the main opponents live in the new St Mary’s Garden Village and are furious that the developers have allowed the fast food giant to use their private access road so that up to 2,500 more cars can deactivate the dual carriageway. to reach land once reserved. for housing.
One resident described the proposal for a 136-seat restaurant that will be open 24/7 as “insane” and another wrote: because people want McDonald’s. “
But there are also many supporters, one of them wrote: “McDonald’s is known and loved around the world.
“In an ever-changing world, Ross must embrace the future. Consumer choice is vital to having a vibrant economy.”
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John Kyrle High School told councilors the restaurant would encourage students to take a footpath on Ledbury Road to reach an “extremely busy and often congested roundabout” so they can cross the busy A40 to reach the fast- food.
Sales manager Christine Bryan said the additional railings offered by the fast food giant would not be enough of a deterrent and wrote: “We are very committed to the safety of our students, because naturally this type of food outlet pleases many. “
City councilors share traffic concerns and say the proposal will also affect the vitality of the city center and mar the iconic sight of the spire of St Mary’s Church which sits on a hill overlooking the city.
Traders believe other recently opened fast food establishments are already attracting passing drivers who would once have come to the touristy city center to interrupt their journeys and another will make matters worse.
An official also angered the Green Lobby after telling the fast food chain that the council would be ‘thrilled’ if it erected a miniature beehive shaped like a McDonald’s in the new restaurant, because the declaration of climate emergency by 2019 is “of paramount importance”.
Referring to an article describing how some fast food restaurants in Sweden are setting up beehives on their rooftops and planting bee-friendly flowers to mitigate climate damage, he wrote: ‘Herefordshire would be delighted to welcome the first McHive to the UK. Uni and I’m sure the the company would gain a lot of press or press releases and positive interest. “
Objectors say one beehive will not be enough to nullify traffic-generated Co2 emissions let alone meet the county’s commitment to become carbon neutral within a decade.
McDonald’s has long wanted to erect a restaurant along the main road connecting the M5 to the M4 in Wales, but plans to build one at the entrance to Monmouth have been scrapped and other fast food giants have been scrapped. already moved into adjacent lots on the outskirts of Ross. -on-Wye.
According to their submission, McDonald’s is looking to increase its representation in some key locations following a review and Ross’s restaurant would be part of a major brand refresh, both in terms of product line and design. restaurant inside and outside.
He says Ross’s restaurant will create at least 65 jobs, fit into the local environment and be a significant investment in the local economy.
The new glass and wood clad restaurant was designed to follow the course of the sun so that it is warm in winter and cool in summer. In a statement, the company said, “We strive to be a good neighbor in every community we serve.
“We are working closely with Herefordshire Council on this proposal and have outlined a number of sustainability measures that we will incorporate into the design to help us mitigate any impact this may have on the environment and surrounding areas. “
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