drivers

Shop’s lorry parks in road after bollards put on pavement

A Gloucester shop’s delivery lorry was photographed parked in a busy main road unloading after the council stopped them from parking on the pavement.

Bollards were installed[1] outside the Biedronki shop to stop “dangerous” parking on the pavement by the lorry and customers, at the beginning of the month on June 5.

The Polish grocery shop in Barton Street[2] has been caught up in a parking row since December, after an elderly man collapsed[3] trying to squeeze past the parked vehicles crowding the pavement.

Read more: Shopkeeper receives racist comments over parking row[4]

Concerns were also rained for pram and wheelchair users who were forced to cross the blind and busy bend.

The shop’s general manager Michael Radoszko, 35, has been against Gloucestershire County Council’s actions to install bollards there without an accessible loading bay for his shop.

The lorry was photographed in the carriageway at 3.45pm on Thursday, June 17, by a frustrated resident who claims it was there for 15 minutes.

Get the biggest stories from across Gloucestershire straight to your inbox, click here[5]

Cars were seen queuing on either side of the lorry on the bend, having to take turns driving around.

This comes after the council advised the shop to have their delivery vans park behind a nearby bus stop away from the narrowest part of the road.

‘Very very dangerous’

Biedronki shop
‘I fear for the drivers,’ said a concerned resident (Image: Ebrahim Moosajee)

Resident Ebrahim Moosajee, who lives opposite to the shop, said: “It was very busy. I saw cars coming up both lanes. They were having to wait either side of the lorry for cars to go past on each side.

“That was worse than before when the bollards weren’t there because it was actually blocking the road, can you imagine if emergency services had been there? That was a p*** take, to be honest.

“There’s no respect from the driver and the shop knows he has parked there so there is no consideration from the shop again. They’re disrespecting council regulations where they have offered them space to park just behind the bus stop.

“It’s very very dangerous, I fear for the drivers now. People can walk around. My concerns are more for the drivers now who have to stop on the road, just to wait for this lorry to go past.”

Shopkeeper fears having to close shop

Michael Radoszko, general manager of Polish grocery shop Biedronki in Barton Street
Michael Radoszko was advised to have his delivery lorries park behind this bus stop (Image: Samuel Port)

Biedronki shopkeeper Mr Radoszko said the delivery driver was unaware of the new rules. He claims the driver delivered three pallets of stock and was there for ten minutes.

Mr Radoszko said: “We are still waiting for a response from Highways [Gloucestershire County Council] to find a solution safer for everybody and we will teach our delivery lorries to park as safely as possible.

“If not, I am very worried I will be forced to close the store and over 20 people will lose their jobs.”

‘Risk to human life and limbs’

Before and after bollards were installed infront of Biedronki (Image: Ebrahim Moosajee)

Councillor Usman Bhaimia (L, Barton and Tredworth) said: “The council should have negotiated with the shop beforehand.

“But I do not support deliveries like this, it is a risk to human life and limbs. I don’t want anyone to get hurt there. The parking there is wrong.

“When planning permission was originally given to the shop, they should have taken into consideration the parking problem. It’s a risk to passers-by, the pedestrians.”

The unit space the shop now inhabits was originally designed as a car show room.

‘We will closely monitor the area,’ vows council

Delivery lorry parked on carriageway outside Biedronki shop in Barton Street
The council says it will continue to work with the community (Image: Ebrahim Moosajee)

Gloucestershire County Council has vowed to “closely monitor the area” after they saw the pictures. The local authority said unattended lorries on double yellow lines “can affect visibility” for pedestrians and road users.

A Gloucestershire County Council spokesperson said: “In line with the current restrictions, loading and unloading activity can take place outside of the peak hours of 8am-9am and 5pm-6pm.

“We have advised that an area next to the bus stop may be more suitable as it is away from the narrowest section of the road, whilst parking considerately to maintain access for local bus services.

“Lorries should not be left parked and unattended on the yellow lines however, as this can affect visibility for passing traffic and people crossing the road.

“Now the bollards have been installed and lorries are stopping in the carriageway, we will closely monitor the area to ensure the safety of pedestrians and motorists and will continue to work with the local community to see what else can be done to help.”

References

  1. ^ were installed (www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk)
  2. ^ Barton Street (www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk)
  3. ^ elderly man collapsed (www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk)
  4. ^ Shopkeeper receives racist comments over parking row (www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk)
  5. ^ click here (http)

Manston lorry park to shut for good

The makeshift lorry park at Manston[1] which opened last winter is to shut for good at the end of this month.

The government has confirmed it will not extend its use of the airport beyond June 30, when the current lease expires.

Lorries at Manston in December. Picture: UKNIP

Lorries at Manston in December. Picture: UKNIP

Lorries at Manston in December. Picture: UKNIP

It was acquired as a contingency to provide a holding area when freight traffic was delayed during the transition period out of the European Union.

The sprawling site was used a Covid test site for thousands of lorry drivers over the Christmas period, with much disruption being caused over the festive season.

But for the past months, the sprawling site has rarely been used.

In March, it was decided lorries bound for the Channel ports would no longer be directed to Manston[2] for customs checks or Covid tests.

And now, analysis of predicted tourist traffic levels during the summer and potential knock-on impact on freight traffic shows Manston’s use is not required.

The site was originally set up to swab lorry drivers just before Christmas after the French authorities insisted no one could enter France without a negative test result.

It left thousands of hauliers stuck at Manston over Christmas, with the backlog only cleared when hundreds of soldiers were drafted in to help with testing.

Earlier this year shocking revelations of drug-taking, illicit sex and fake Covid results emerged[3] involving employees brought in to manage the testing operation.

Read more: All the latest news from Thanet[4]

A1 closure sparks worries of stuck lorries

The county council is asking lorry drivers to be “extra cautious” when they are diverted through the centre of Grantham after a large vehicle became stuck and traffic lights were damaged.

Traffic is being diverted off the A1 at Grantham[1] overnight for work to be carried out as part of the construction of the new southern relief road.

But there have been complaints about lorries getting stuck[2] at the junction of Westgate and Dysart Road in Grantham town centre and damage to traffic lights. Local resident Paul Hodges complained of traffic building up in the town centre when a lorry with an abnormal load got stuck outside his home for an hour.

Paul Hodges took this picture of the lorry trying to negotiate the corner of Dysart Road and Westgate. (48097138)

Paul Hodges took this picture of the lorry trying to negotiate the corner of Dysart Road and Westgate. (48097138)

Paul Hodges took this picture of the lorry trying to negotiate the corner of Dysart Road and Westgate. (48097138)

In response to the complaints Lincolnshire County Council highways department says it is asking lorry drivers to be ‘extra cautious’ while driving through the town centre.

Councillor Richard Davies, executive member for highways, said: “We understand the questions and concerns residents have about the HGV diversion route in place for our final set of night-time A1 works.

“This route was selected because the A606/A607 was not available to us due to other works in the area. The diversion we are using also saves drivers over thirty minutes compared to using the A606/A607, meaning all A1 users are less affected by our night-time closures.

“These A1 closures are still on track to finish in September. In the meantime, we ask all lorry drivers to be extra cautious when driving through Grantham and to contact Galliford Try if they are carrying an abnormal load so they can discuss alternative options with the team in advance.

“I also want to thank residents for staying patient throughout these works and understanding the benefits the new relief road will bring Grantham when it’s fully opened in 2023.”



References

  1. ^ diverted off the A1 at Grantham (www.granthamjournal.co.uk)
  2. ^ complaints about lorries getting stuck (www.granthamjournal.co.uk)

James O’Brien asks when people will see Brexit downsides, as food trade hits ‘crisis point’

18 June 2021, 14:58

By Fiona Jones

James O’Brien questioned when people will accept the pitfalls of Brexit, as Tesco is forced to bin almost 50,000 tonnes of fresh food every week due to severe shortage of heavy goods drivers in the UK.

Reported in industry publication The Grocer, Tesco made this admission during an industry-wide round-table organised by the Department for Transport.

Alongside exportation problems, the “chronic driver shortage and staff shortfalls” means a food shortage in the UK is “inevitable”, with imported goods being rarer and pricier, The Grocer said.

With food and drink exports to the EU from the UK almost halved, 65,000 HGV drivers are needed to fill the gap made by a mass exodus of EU drivers, according to Road Haulage Association.

The crisis is so severe one leading industry figure has called for the Government to put the Army on standby to transport food if the situation worsens.

James O’Brien reacted to this: “When will it become inarguable?”

“So I can tell you that 50 tonnes of food is currently being thrown away in Tesco, Tesco can say it is in large part, not entirely obviously, we’re in the middle of a pandemic still, Tesco will say it is in large part because of Brexit, we can’t get the drivers.

“You will say no it isn’t. I wonder at what point does it become inarguable?”

He pointed out that food and drink exports to anywhere outside the EU have returned “roughly to normal levels so [Covid] is not the reason.”

He cited his local convenience store a shortage of fresh produce, questioning whether that is part of a bigger picture, also noticing a slight increase of pictures of empty shelves on Twitter.

“I do wonder whether you are already feeling the pinch. As ever now, the people I really really really want to hear from are the people who are absolutely convinced there was never going to be any pinch.

James surmised, “So UK food and drink exports to the European Union have almost halved in the first three months of the year, meanwhile over at Tesco suppliers are being forced to bin nearly 50 tonnes of food a week due to a lorry driver crisis.

“Imagine in a normal country that wasn’t still enslaved to Brexit what the tabloid papers would be doing with the news that leading industry figures are calling for the army to be put on standby. Normally they love that, don’t they?

The people that prioritise flags over facts. They think that ten students taking down a photograph of the Queen is really really bad but Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Leader of the House of Commons, flying to Balmoral to lie to her is absolutely fine, normally they’d love this.

“They’ve got the Army on standby, this is outrageous! Nope, not a word. Not a sausage, not a syllable. Such a severe situation, according to one leading industry figure, that he’s calling for the Government to put the Army on standby to transport food.”

The suggestion was made by James Bielby, chief executive officer of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors.

He said: “The situation has reached crisis point and it is likely to get worse as more hospitality venues open and demand increases.

“We are concerned enough to suggest that the Government considers having Army trucks on standby to ensure there are enough vehicles and drivers to distribute food.”

Tonnes of food is wasted each week due to driver shortages, warns Tesco and industry experts

Almost 50 tonnes of food is going in the bin each week reported Tesco, as experts warn the government of a heavy goods vehicle driver shortage.

During an industry-wide roundtable with ministers on Wednesday, organised by the Department for Transport[1], UK retailer Tesco highlighted that 48 tonnes of food had been wasted in the past seven days.

Industry experts have advised that there are not enough drivers to meet current demands.

“Since the beginning of the year, 15,000 European lorry drivers[2], which were reinforcing our staffing, have left because of Brexit, because they didn’t feel welcome and immigration problems,” Rod McKenzie, CEO of the Road Haulage Association[3] (RHA), told The Independent.

“The tax changes that came in in April have also been difficult for them.”

In addition, the RHA stated that some 30,000 lorry driver tests were cancelled last year, due to the pandemic.

That adds up to “30,000 potential lorry drivers,” said McKenzie. “There is an absolute danger to the UK supply chain[4] on which we all depend – 95 per cent of what we have comes from the back of a lorry.

“Whether you work in the food or building sector, there are clear delays.”

The diver shortage is especially problematic when it comes to perishable goods, said Shane Brennan, CEO of the Cold Chain Federation.

“If some chilled and very short life products can’t be delivered they have to be destroyed,” he told The Independent.

“We are seeing the deployment of assets from the frozen food chain into the chilled food chain to try and avoid that wastage.

“Everyone is trying to work out how we can cope with the demand with the lack of labour. We are in urgent talks across the industry and in government about what can be done to get us through the summer.

“We are trying to do our day job without people.”

Where safe to do so, Tesco and other UK retailers donate food to charities and food banks, but spoiled food often goes straight to landfill.

Average deliveries to food redistribution charity FareShare would be 150-160 tonnes per day, but are down to about 100, translating to 800,000 meals a week for people suffering from food poverty, the charity told The Grocer.

“Food we would normally expect to receive into our warehouses on an average day is at risk of not reaching us, and therefore at risk of not reaching the vulnerable people we support,” said Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare.

The historic ability of the UK to deliver is now under threat, claims McKenzie, who suggested the government let European drivers back in, speed up and prioritise driver testing, and “do more at apprenticeship level”.

As a nation, our mindset when it comes to lorry drivers has to change, he claims: “We need to make lorry drivers feel more loved – these guys do an essential job.”

References

  1. ^ Department for Transport (www.independent.co.uk)
  2. ^ lorry drivers (www.independent.co.uk)
  3. ^ Road Haulage Association (www.independent.co.uk)
  4. ^ supply chain (www.independent.co.uk)