FURIOUS traders are planning a fight to the death to halt Tesco's latest bid to convert a car salesroom into its 13th Reading store.

The grocery giant has submitted a revised planning application to build a Tesco Express on the Parson's Garage site in Oxford Road - seven months after Reading Borough Council planners threw out its last bid on grounds it would cause

traffic chaos.

The company wants to create 20 jobs but newsagents and convenience stores have launched a protest petition and say the proposals will put their livelihoods at risk because the store is within a mile of the giant Tesco Extra in Portman Road and another Tesco Express at the town end of Oxford Road.

Babar Siddique Butt of Butts News, next door to Parson's and opposite Oxford Road Primary School, said: "It's going to be disastrous. They say they are creating jobs but if family businesses lose their trade what happens to our livelihoods?"

Nawaz Khan of Medina Group, which has two newsagents in Oxford Road, said trade has plummeted 40% since the other Tesco Extra opened last year and added: "We are working 16 to 17 hours a week to meet our bills. If they open up another one we might as well call it a day and work for them. They're killing us."

Battle ward councillor Sarah Hacker said it was too close to the school and neighboruing busstops and said: "It's a very busy area of the Oxford Road and traffic builds up behind the bridge and in rush hour it is solid. I just can't see how it would work. They want to create jobs but there are other sites elsewhere that aren't as densely populated."

Tesco spokeswoman Melanie Chiswell said: "We have listened to feedback and have provided further information to address the previous concerns about traffic."

"We very much hope that this will be acceptable so that we can bring a new convenience store, choice and around jobs to local people."

The closing date for public consultation is Wednesday, June 29, with the committee making a decision in August.