Archive for the ‘Traffic’ Category.

Lorry Watch: Tesco using unmarked vans

We are continuing to monitor the lorry situation.

Interestingly, we have evidence that Tesco are using unmarked vans, i.e. without the Tesco logo on, to deliver round the ‘loop’.

So watch out for white lorries without any markings but also for contractor vehicles, namely “Expert Logistics” and “Petit Forestier” (both seen parked at back of Tesco site on Saturday).

Lorry problems already

Here is a report from a local resident which was copied to us and which refers to incidents merely hours after the opening of the store. Note in particular the driver of Tesco’s own lorries stating that the delivery arrangements were ‘ridiculous’.

Dear Mr Payne

I am writing to you to report activity which I believe to be dangerous and illegal in relation to deliveries at 163-167 Mill Road. I urge the City Council to take action against this. If you are not the person responsible for taking the action, please let me know who I should contact instead.

Between 9.00am and 9.30am this morning (Tuesday 25 August) I witnessed the following:

A lorry registration HX53GWW (the “First Lorry”) was present in the rear yard of 163-167 Mill Road, having presumably just finished a delivery.

A lorry registration AY57EFE (the “Second Lorry”) reversed from Mill Road into Sedgwick Street, contrary to the one-way restrictions, and stopped on the double yellow lines on the east side of Sedgwick Street between the entrance to the rear yard of 163-167 Mill Road and the junction with Mill Road. This lorry had clearly been stationary on Mill Road prior to reversing into Sedgwick Street. The driver of the Second Lorry got out of his vehicle and spoke to some people in the rear yard.

After several minutes, a lorry registration MX58RFO (the “Third Lorry”) drove up Sedgwick Street (in the correct direction) and stopped behind the Second Lorry. Sedgwick Street was completely blocked to vehicular traffic (including cyclists) at this point.

The driver of the Second Lorry got back into his vehicle and drove off into Mill Road. The First Lorry then reversed out of the yard into Sedgwick Street, and drove off as well. At this point the Third Lorry drove forwards into the space vacated by the Second Lorry, i.e. on the double yellow lines on the east side of Sedgwick Street between the entrance to the rear yard of 163-167 Mill Road and the junction with Mill Road.

The driver of the Third Lorry got out of his vehicle and went to speak to people in the rear yard. I heard the driver say the words: “That’s not what is says on my risk assessment” and “What do you think I’m driving, a transit van? This is a 21 ton vehicle”. He suggested that somebody from the yard might like to carry out the manoeuvre instead of him. I spoke to the driver of the Lorry and established that he had been asked to reverse into the yard, whereas his ‘risk assessment’ stated that he should drive in forwards and then turn round within the curtilage of the site. He also commented to me that he had found it very difficult to negotiate the back streets and he had passed extremely close to parked vehicles. He said it was ‘ridiculous’ to deliver to the site in this way.

Due to the parking spaces which have recently been painted on the rear yard surface, many vehicles had parked there, and it appeared to be physically impossible to make a delivery with the Third Lorry, which was significantly larger than the First Lorry already within the yard when I arrived at the site.

I had to leave at 9.30am to go to work. At this point the Third Lorry was still parked on the double yellow lines on the east side of Sedgwick Street between the entrance to the rear yard of 163-167 Mill Road and the junction with Mill Road. I witnessed one more lorry pass the site, which had to drive onto the pavement on the west side of Sedgwick Street in order to get past.

It is quite obvious to me that such arrangements are an accident waiting to happen, and that action should be taken to prevent this danger to public safety. As I mentioned at the start of my email, if you are not the person to take this action, please put me in contact with the person who can deal with the isssues.

Tesco lorries down Sedgwick Street already causing problems

Entirely as predicted, Tesco’s lorries delivering to the back of the store are already causing problems down Sedwick Street.

These pictures were sent to us by a local resident of the street. If you have any more, please e-mail them to us via the address on our contact details page.

The lorry driver has had to exit the vehicle and move wing mirrors. Notice the proximity to the parked cars.

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Letter to nearby residents

We have written a letter to nearby residents on the issues they will be facing when Tesco starts its daily lorry deliveries.

Traffic problem evidence being collected

A new section of our website contains collated reports of:

  • Traffic problems being created by Tesco’s operation, including lorry blocking and driving on the pavement)
  • Evidence of unloading during the banned period
  • Evidence of unloading from the front of the site (which is disallowed by planning condition)

If you spot anything similar, which may indicate a breach of planning condition or an offence of obstruction or driving on the pavement, please:

  1. E-mail your report and photos to . We will put this evidence online but anonymise it (unless you state you are happy to have your name public)
  2. If you feel that a breach of planning permission has taken place (see below for guidance), please contact the Council:
  3. If you feel that an offence of obstruction or driving on the pavement has been committed, report this to the police at 0345 4564564 (local rate number).
East Area Committee members have given the senior planners powers to take enforcement action in respect of breaches of planning permission regarding deliveries.

Reporting a breach of condition:

The relevant condition being breached is:

Planning permission C/71/0826 for the building at 163-167 Mill Road.

“Condition: No loading or unloading of  goods,  including  fuel,  shall take place otherwise than within the curtilage of the site.”

The reason:  “To  avoid  obstruction  of  the  surrounding  streets  and  to safeguard the amenities of adjacent premises”.

Details of how to report a suspected breach of condition are at

Please report suspected breaches as soon as possible.

Quotation from a blog post on traffic issues

We have come across a blog post made on another website, and are reproducing it here as further evidence of the problems already being created by Tesco’s operation:

“My flatmate stood at the bus syop on the Broadway for some 25 minutes on Wednesday 12 August (9.25 am to 9.45 am) and watched a delivery taking place to the Tesco site. A wagon was parked on the street whilst a piece of bulky equipment was being unloaded. Although large, the wagon was smaller than the usual Tesco mobile warehouse. Cyclists and pedestrians struggled to get past (although the fence contributed to that) and the traffic became something of a nightmare (for part of the time there was also a vehicle parked on the opposite side of the road a little further down. Not only was traffic reduced to single lane, the buses and larger vehicles struggled to manage that at times. Tesco suggest they will be doing this at least twice a day, despite knowing they will be in breach of the planning condition. It seems Tesco are not prepared to admit bought the wrong site and go away – presumably losing one battle may encourage more people to stand up to their bullying tactics. Apparently they may also be looking to open a store on East Road, where deliveries will take place across the Adam and Eve Car Park, another traffic nightmare waiting to happen. They have outline permission there, probably because the Tesco name wasn’t mentioned in the application.”

Pavement driving

Here are some pictures from another supporter.

Again they show deliveries being undertaken from the front of the site.

“Here are some more pictures for your collection. Two of the security van parked on the front and then driving over the pavement last night. Workmen at the front of the store this morning.”

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Cash machine installation (12th August 2009)

Sent to us by a supporter.

Tesco have this morning installed a cash machine on site.  Here are some photos of the lorry that made the delivery.

A video clip was also taken by the same photographer.

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Contractors block Mill Road and set up diversion (12th August 2009)

Sent to us by a supporter. Some quotations from the e-mail we received from this supporter are underneath.

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Some quotations from the e-mail we received from this supporter:

I was cycling along Mill Road towards town at around 6:40am when I found the road blocked at the junction with Hope Street .  Pictures attached.  I’m afraid the quality of some of them is not great, but there
are a few that will give you an idea of what was going on.  One of the men confirmed they were Tesco contractors.

“I was cycling along Mill Road towards town at around 6:40am this morning when I found the road blocked at the junction with Hope Street.  The attached pictures are of poor quality, but there are a few that will give you an idea of what was going on.  One of the men confirmed they were Tesco contractors.

They had two large lorries pulled up on the road so they could unload to the front of the store. They were parked on one carriageway and were using a kind of mini forklift truck to unload from the side of the vehicles into the other carriageway, thereby blocking the whole road.  They had a blue diversion sign encouraging people to divert down Hope Street.  Many, but not all did.  When people insisted on passing they waved them through, but unfortunately those doing the waving did not have a co-ordinated approach to this, so they ended up with a bus and van head-on that would have crashed if the van driver had not realised what was happening.  Most cyclists simply rode on the pavement.  Just as I left a police car came past also travelling towards town.  Miraculously the diversion sign seemed to have vanished, I’m not sure if the police car stopped as this happened just as I was cycling away, needless to say down Hope Street.”

“Are the residents of Hope Street  etc happy that drivers are being told to use their roads as a rat run?”

“Was the contractor authorised by the County Council to effectively close the road and use signage and stewards to divert traffic in this way?”

“Were the contractor’s employees suitably qualified to set up this diversion?”

Photos taken at 08.50am, 11th August 2009

Sent to us by a supporter.

These were taken at 8.50am, which is during the loading ban period (8.15am-9.15am).

The pictures show a van that has illegally driven onto the pavement, and a lorry blocking one side of the road, delivering from the front of the site, during the loading ban period.

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