Robot grocery delivery service to expand in Trafford

A robot grocery delivery service in Greater Manchester is expanding after a successful trial.

The Co-op's robots first appeared in Sale in March and the next six months will see them move into Timperley and Urmston.

They have been used by 9,000 residents and membership of a Facebook group for users has more than 800 members.

Some 57,000 deliveries have been made to local people, many of whom are disabled or housebound.

The robots are designed to carry food, groceries and parcels to vulnerable residents who have limited access to shops.

Stephen Adshead, Trafford Council's executive member for highways, environmental and traded services, said: "The introduction of these robots has been really positively received and have helped to fill a gap in the market.


"They are also helping with sustainability with the reduction of car journeys and carbon emissions, which I welcome.

Councillor Jane Slater added: "There was concern that they would lead to a reduction in jobs in the retail sector. It's quite clear from the evidence we've seen that that hasn't happened."

Councillor John Holden said he came across one that had "done a nosedive from the kerb and was on its front with its wheels in the air, completely unable to move".

"I picked it up, placed it back on its wheels and it trundled away and suddenly stopped and said 'thank you', he said. "Now that is remarkable programming. It really is."

The scheme, using robots, developed by Starship Technologies, has previously been trialled in Leeds, Milton Keynes and Northampton.

In Greater Manchester they supply households from the Co-op stores on Washway Road and Coppice Avenue in Sale, and now Davyhulme and Flixton, Timperley Central and Ashton upon Mersey, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

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