MP meets with Tesco regional boss to resolve pavement blocking in Royston

PUBLISHED: 17:31 10 September 2019

Tesco regional director Colin Hamilton with MP Sir Oliver Heald at Royston's Tesco Express. Picture: Courtesy of the office of Sir Oliver Heald MP

Tesco regional director Colin Hamilton with MP Sir Oliver Heald at Royston's Tesco Express. Picture: Courtesy of the office of Sir Oliver Heald MP

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The MP for North East Herts has held a meeting with Tesco's regional director following concerns of metal cages, used for transporting goods from lorries to store, blocking a pavement in Royston.

Metal crates left the back of Tesco Express last weekend. Picture: Ray DowdingMetal crates left the back of Tesco Express last weekend. Picture: Ray Dowding

Tesco Express, in Market Hill, came under criticism last month following repeated incidents of the storage cages being left out the back causing the pavement in Fish Hill to become obstructed.

Resident Ray Dowding contacted Tesco, MP Sir Oliver Heald and the Crow to share his concerns - including that the cages made it extremely difficult for parents with prams and wheelchair users to get around - in the hope that something could be done.

He had been raising the issue since May, when he says he saw 18 cages at one point out the back of the store.

First thing Monday morning, Sir Oliver had a meeting at Tesco Express with regional director Colin Hamilton.

Metal crates left the back of Tesco Express in June. Picture: Ray DowdingMetal crates left the back of Tesco Express in June. Picture: Ray Dowding

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Mr Hamilton explained that procedures have now been tightened up and every member of staff has received training to ensure that delivery cages are only brought out of the store when the delivery lorry arrives.

Transfers from the lorry to the cages will be done as quickly as possible and there will be a member of staff monitoring the use of the pavement by pedestrians.

Mr Hamilton said: "We take the safety of our customers and colleagues very seriously and it remains our number one priority. 
"We have reviewed all the delivery procedures in our store to ensure we don't create any congestion on the pedestrian pavements and we have retrained all our colleagues."

In response, Sir Oliver said: "I am grateful to Mr Hamilton for taking seriously the concerns raised with me about delivery cages blocking the pavement to the rear of the store.

"I was reassured that the procedures are now in place to prevent this happening again and any future concerns will be dealt with swiftly if reported to the store duty manager."

In light of Sir Oliver's input, Mr Dowding thanked the MP - and told the Crow: "This has been a long running safety issue which I have taken up with Tesco on numerous occasions. With the support and intervention of Sir Oliver Heald we now have the assurances from Tesco's management that this serious safety issue has finally been resolved."

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