Waitrose hopes to tempt shoppers out of cars with bike trailers

Three Waitrose stores in Greater London (East Sheen, West Ealing and Holloway Road) have been loaning cycle trailers to customers to encourage cycle shopping.

Equipped with large canvas shopping bags, the trailers are loaned out for several days at a time, so customers don't have to take the empty trailer back the same day.

"We introduced the scheme in the New Year as that's the time when people set themselves healthy activity targets,” said Waitrose project manager, Nicky Snelgrove.

When a customer registers for the scheme in-store, a bracket is attached to their bike. Shoppers can reserve their trailer before they start shopping and collect it as they leave the store.

Are supermarkets really discouraging car use
LCC communications officer Mike Cavenett said, "While we welcome this scheme, it's a shame that supermarkets have done so much to encourage car use over the years, building massive car parks, and discouraging use of local shops that are within walking distance."

"I lived in Balham for many years, and huge chunks of that part of town are given over to unsightly supermarket car parks."

"Every day I used to imagine what the town centre would be like if it was parks and gardens, not car parking. It would improve the quality of life for thousands of city dwellers.

"I look forward to seeing if this scheme is rolled out to the rest of the hundreds of Waitrose stores in the UK, not just 20 or so."