Lorries, Tescos and future icons

Lorry deliveries can be a sore point in London.

Our Victorian streets can’t cope with the size of many lorries, their weight shakes our homes, and their diesel fumes pollute our air.

At the weekend, I was at Islington Green with colleagues observing the Tesco lorries in action. The Tesco there is only a ‘Metro’ but it gets a full size artic to restock it. There is no separate delivery entrance so the artic parks in the buslane outside, pushing buses (including 2 bendy bus routes) into the already busy Essex Road, just where it narrows past the Green for the junction with Upper Street.

It’s a nightmare. Tesco are supposed to stick to certain delivery hours but as far as I can tell blithely ignore them. They leave their delivery cages all over the public pavement. They block the road and allegedly write off parking fines as an operational expense; they generally seem to be pretty uncaring about the impact on the community that provides their customers. Perhaps we should boycott Tesco until they are more considerate?

There are lots of things retailers can do to reduce the impact of deliveries on the area, and save themselves money too. Sourcing goods more locally is greener; so is reducing packaging. And those measures in turn would reduce distance of travel and size of lorries.

Sticking to agreed delivery ‘windows’ co-ordinated with other stores; sharing deliveries where possible; and using environmentally-friendly vehicles would also help. Encouraged by a low emission zone!

Meanwhile here’s a good idea, highlighted by Mike Tuffrey at the GLA.

He’s asked Mayor Boris to look at developing a small ‘London Lorry’, as proposed by the London Forum of Civic and Amenity Societies, to allow goods to be delivered to high street around London on smaller and more environmentally-friendly vehicles. Mike suggests thiis concept could be extended to the ubiquitous ‘white van’, be powered by electricity, and potentially achieve iconic status on London’s streets!

Better an icon than an eyesore.


1 Comment »

  1. […] chance to raise some very local issues. At the candidates’ reception, I buttonholed a senior Tesco exec about their lorries parking at Islington Green – and later in the week raised it with […]

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