Fast-food chain KFC has confirmed it is taking action to resolve residents’ issues with its new outlet in North Town .
Ward councillor Keith Dibble held a meeting with the company in December, weeks after the opening of the restaurant in Ash Road, to present concerns about litter, traffic, parking and lighting .
A senior manager at KFC has now responded, outlining the steps it is taking to improve the situation.
The company said it has already introduced litter picks by staff, held at least eight times per day.
Litter-pickers go through the restaurant car park and along Ash Road to the junction with North Lane, then along North Lane and back down North Close.
Three extra bins will be installed in the car park, plus signage urging customers not to drop litter.
Additional signage will limit visitors’ stay to two hours and direct drivers leaving the car park into North Lane via North Close.
KFC said there had been a reduction in traffic congestion at the restaurant since it opened, especially during peak hours, as its staff were better trained and able to run the branch more efficiently from day to day.
This meant there had been a “significant improvement” in the availability of car parking space, it added.
However, the company admitted there was “still room for improvement” and explained that it was looking at ways to improve the speed of service over the counter and in the drive-through lane.
KFC also said that, at this stage, it was not planning to add any additional lighting to the restaurant or along North Close.
It added that the anticipated summer opening of the McDonald’s drive-through yards away , on the junction of Ash Road and North Lane, would improve visibility along North Close.
Cllr Dibble said he was pleased to see “positive action” being taken by KFC, adding he would try to take this further by arranging a meeting between the company and neighbours of the restaurant next month.
During a long-running planning dispute, scores of residents objected to KFC's plans for the site.
Within days, residents complained of traffic backing up from the restaurant and sightings of KFC litter in the surrounding areas and along the A331.
At the time, a KFC spokesman said: “We always aim to be a good neighbour and will work closely with residents and the council to ensure this KFC is a positive addition to the local community.”