Wal-Mart's UK supermarket chain Asda is introducing a revolutionary new shopping trolley, it said today (Wednesday).

Supplied by the German company Wanzl, and now being introduced in 18 stores, the new trolleys feature a revolutionary independent suspension system and 'softsteer' front castors giving a smooth, quiet ride and making the trolley much easier to steer even when fully loaded.

"You can virtually guide the trolley with your fingers," said Howard Willis, customer services innovation manager. "The suspension gives a cushioned ride for fragile goods such as wine bottles and glassware and provides more comfort when toddlers are on board."

The new trolleys are also more environmentally friendly in keeping with ASDA's rigorous environmental policy, the company said. The new design reduces trolley vibration over rough or uneven surfaces so cutting noise levels by up to 75%.

"Noise pollution is something we take very seriously at ASDA and with hundreds of trolleys in use in our car parks, anything we can do to reduce local disturbance to the environment is welcomed, especially at night," Willis said.

The sealed zero-maintenance Softsteer castor from Wanzl incorporates a durable on-board polymer cushion- the heart of an integral suspension system which combined with smart off-set steering geometry delivers the easiest, smoothest and quietest trolley.

The new trolleys are being introduced across the country and are being rolled out in the following stores in May and June: Stockton-On-Tees, Queslett, Barnsley, Burgh Heath, Burnden Park Bolton, Doncaster, Carcroft, Kilmarnock, Liscard, Middleton Park (Aberdeen), Sefton, Sittingborrne, Bristol, Billingham, Barrow, Chatham, Leigh

Asda has over 200,000 trolleys throughout the chain.

Trolleys have an average service life of around five years and Asda renews between 50-60 store fleets a year.