A BUSY first morning is expected as the Botley Road Waitrose gets set to open its doors tomorrow.

Staff have been getting used to the new layout over the past few days and the shelves have been fully stocked for the grand opening.

Employees have been banned from driving to work to ease traffic on the Botley Road.

Branch manager Greg Porter said: “It’s been remarkably calm actually over the last few days and we are ready for tomorrow.

“The stock has been arriving and everyone is really looking forward to getting customers through the door.

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“There’s been a lot of local interest and we have had lots of people driving up to the store and asking when we are open so fingers crossed it will be busy.”

Concerns over increased congestion were raised at the initial planning stage but Mr Porter said everything had been done to encourage shoppers to cycle and take the bus.

The store has worked with Low Carbon West Oxford to introduce bicycle trailers which are free to borrow for up to three days.

He said: “We have bike trailers available to encourage shoppers to cycle and have been working with Stagecoach to highlight potential routes to the store.

“I don’t think it will create additional traffic – I have told my staff they cannot park on the site.

“They will all be getting the park and ride, it may only be 20 or 30 cars but it will help.”

Fresh stock such as fruit and veg and meat arrived at the store yesterday but other items such as wine, beers and cereals as well as the Halloween and Christmas-themed aisles have been ready since Monday.

A new 'bakery grazing' area of the store will allow shoppers to grab a bite to eat as they wander around the 24,500 square-foot supermarket.

A 95-seater cafe sits at the far end of the store and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The new staff have been on site since Monday acclimatising to their new surroundings.

Sales assistant Naib Alam, 23, from Cowley, said: “We have done training in Headington and Witney branches but it’s good to finally get into the store and start learning where everything will be.

“There’s a great group here and the atmosphere is brilliant.

“We can’t wait to get started.”

Construction work started in April after the former MFI and Halfords building was demolished last year.

The store will be officially opened at 8am tomorrow by onsite security guard Ambrose Emmanuel and deputy Lord Mayor Colin Cook.

The opening hours will be 8am-9pm Monday to Saturday and 10am-4pm on Sundays.