Make way for bumper trolleys

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ONCE, ALL a shopper had to worry about was whether their trolley would travel in a straight line. Now they have to pick the trolley tailored for their needs.

Asda yesterday unveiled 22 new types, even one that takes 10 family- sized boxes of washing powder and six bumper packs of Corn Flakes. The Big Shopper, bigger than any trolley in a British supermarket, needs a customised checkout, so the aisles at the Asda "new concept" Killingworth store in Leeds are up to 12ft wide.

For the elderly shopper there's a sit-on trolley. A flap at the front (through which valuables may be stowed) doubles as a seat and the wheels lock so it won't run away with you. Other trolleys include a big red one with coloured beads for the children, cradle-carrying trolleys and trolleys with toys.

Elderly and pregnant customers can sit down to load their shopping on a low conveyor belt that rises to check-out level, then take a golf buggy back to the car.

Maureen Rees, star of the BBC television docusoap Driving School, has tested the trolleys. "You don't need a licence to drive a trolley yet but some people are so bad they should be banned," she said.