Saturday, 21 July 2018

Supermarket urged to use smaller delivery lorries

SMALLER lorries should be used to make deliveries in Benson for safety reasons, says the parish council.

SMALLER lorries should be used to make deliveries in Benson for safety reasons, says the parish council.

It wants the Co-op to stop using articulated lorries to deliver stock to its store in High Street in case it leads to an accident.

Councillor Dave Rushton, chairman of recreation and lands, claimed it was “only a matter of time” before someone was injured.

He said: “One day somebody is going to get hurt, maybe a pedestrian who is in the way.

“Ten-wheelers are just not suitable because we are so restricted in space. The ideal solution would be for the Co-op distribution people to use smaller vehicles in villages such as Benson.”

Lorry drivers who deliver to the shop reverse into the loading/unloading bay by the side of the store, blocking the road in both directions.

The road can be blocked for up to 10 minutes during deliveries which take place about three times a day.

Cllr Rushton said: “Everything comes to a halt and inevitably drivers get impatient and do silly things. What with the parked cars, it is quite a tight squeeze but why should it be like that? Why can’t they use smaller lorries? It would be very neighbourly.”

The pavement on the opposite side of the road has been damaged and in May the side of a parked car was scraped by a reversing lorry.

Cllr Rushton said: “The car was in the high street in a parking bay but the lorry turned a little bit early and clipped the side of the car quite badly. These are big, articulated lorries and there is just not enough room to turn one of them in Benson high street.”

Parish clerk Peter Eldridge has asked the Co-op to carry out a new risk assessment. He said: “There are bigger and bigger lorries trying to reverse into a tight space. They block the road and when they turn they go on to the kerb which over time will damage them. It is a risk to general users of the area.”

Elizabeth Leppard, who is also a parish councillor and lives in High Street, felt it was unrealistic to expect the Co-op to start using smaller vehicles.

She said: “I can’t see them using smaller lorries, although there is no harm in asking. It would be nice but they are not the only lorries coming up and down here. The buses are just as big. I know it can take a little while for drivers to back into the bay but people just have to be patient.”

Her husband Ian said the lorries needed to make the deliveries and the drivers did their best. “I think the lorry drivers do surprisingly well,” he said. “The only issue is when a new driver has to learn to sort himself out but that is once in a blue moon.”

A Co-operative Group spokesman said: “Following a risk assessment in May, we have reduced the size of vehicles that we use to deliver to the store and we are confident this will resolve the situation. We will continue to work with our neighbours in order to meet their needs while also serving the local community.”

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