£75,000 parking fine bill for Tesco as supermarket faces national investigation

A Tesco lorry parked illegaly outside the store in Heath Street

A Tesco lorry parked illegaly outside the store in Heath Street - Credit: Archant

Tesco lorries delivering to branches across Camden racked up a total of 1252 parking tickets in a year - adding up to a staggering £75,120.

These Camden council figures have been revealed as the backlash grows against the supermarket giant’s unpopular plans to open a new store in Haverstock Hill, Belsize Park.

Protestors, among them actresses Dame Janet Suzman, Emma Thompson and actor Tom Conti are now asking the question: “Exactly what kind of a neighbour would Tesco be?”

“The worst kind,” say residents who live near existing Tesco branches in West End Lane, Heath Street and Swains Lane.

They are fed up with the behaviour of large delivery lorries which park illegally during rush hour, block roads and cause traffic chaos.

They aren’t surprised by the figures which reveal that from January 1 to December 31 2014, 1252 parking tickets were issued to lorries outside Tesco branches in the borough.

“It is unbelievable. Tesco’s management doesn’t seem to care at all about the huge number of parking tickets the lorries get. It makes no difference to their behaviour,” said Virginia Berridge, chair of the West Hampstead Amenity and Transport group (WHAT)

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“At West End Lane they just stop outside to make their deliveries. There seems to be a lorry there at all times of day, blocking traffic and causing huge disruption. Cars are forced to overtake them which is dangerous. They are bad neighbours.”

She has been liaising with Camden council over the issue.

She is disappointed that a trial by Tesco of re-timing deliveries to stores has been postponed.

Following the flood of complaints from local residents, Camden officers have joined the Transport For London-led consortium aimed at getting lorries to deliver away from peak times.

Officers also met with Tesco last Friday to discuss the parking issue.

But in a letter to WHAT on January 22, Camden’s principal transport planner Roy Turner revealed progress at the consortium had been delayed: “ I attended a meeting of the Retiming Deliveries Consortium yesterday.

“Due to the economic pressures that the larger supermarket chains are facing, Sainsbury and Tesco are in the process of restructuring their companies and consequentially progress with making changes to deliveries to the stores under consideration are delayed.”

Jessica Learmond-Criqui, of Hampstead Shops Campaign, has taken many photographs of large Tesco lorries parked illegally and blocking traffic for up to 15 minutes during the morning school run in Heath Street.

She has written to Tesco to complain about the danger posed by these large trucks. She writes: “What do we have to do to get Tesco to sit up and to take notice that they cannot use these size trucks in our village. This is a death trap and it won’t be long before someone is killed.”

A Tesco spokesman said: “Our stores in Camden are particularly popular and require several different deliveries. We understand some of these deliveries are causing problems with local residents, which is a concern for us, and have been working closely with Camden to try to find the best delivery solutions.”