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Bumper weekend for new Dobbies Garden Centre

A multi-million pound garden centre saw around 10,000 people flock to its opening weekend.

Dobbies Garden World, in Phorpres Way, Hampton, Peterborough threw open its doors to the public on Friday, two weeks earlier than originally planned.

Fears had been raised that there would be traffic chaos with Peterborough City Council putting together a “Plan B” if there was gridlock on the A1260 past Serpentine Green last weekend.

But the Scottish firm employed a parking security firm to smooth out the process and there was no need to divert traffic to the other end of Phorpres Way at its junction with the A15.

Jim McKee, area manager, said: “We’ve had about 10,000 people over the full weekend.”

“The road network round here is very good and we have put in measures to make it easier.”

“We are very pleased with how it has gone. This was supposed to be a slow start to ease our staff in to how it has worked. We’ve been a little surprised and pleased with how many customers we’ve had.”

“We had a company record on the first day for the number of people signing up to our loyalty scheme, which has made everyone very happy.”

The firm saw about 1,000 people apply for the 130 to 140 posts and some staff have not yet joined because the centre opened before they finished their notice period.

They faced some teething problems including 11 staff being slapped with parking fines on Friday after bosses asked them to leave their cars on the road to save spaces in the car park. But the firm has since come to an agreement with Tesco at Serpentine Green to use its car park for staff.

Customers who came to visit the store were delighted with what they found. Phil and Jacky Yates drove in from Whittlesey to see what the fuss was about. They said: “We only came here to try the breakfast and we’ve ended up with loads of stuff.”

“It’s absolutely superb. The staff are very friendly and it has lots to offer. The roads made it very easy to get to. We will definitely be back.”

The company has employed the parking firm for the Bank Holiday weekend as they are expecting another rush.

Source : Ben Truslove – Peterborough Today

22 August 2011
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