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New loading bay is answer to Tesco delivery problems

PUBLISHED: 12:15 25 April 2007 | UPDATED: 14:31 07 September 2010

Tesco came under fire because of the parking fines they accrue (Why Tesco stays safe from the clampers, H&H letters April 12) but, whatever one thinks of the firm s seemingly unstoppable spread throughout the country, in this case I really don t think it

Tesco came under fire because of the parking fines they accrue (Why Tesco stays safe from the clampers, H&H letters April 12) but, whatever one thinks of the firm's seemingly unstoppable spread throughout the country, in this case I really don't think it's entirely their fault.

Every parking attendant makes a beeline for the store the moment they come on duty because they know there's going to be a Tesco lorry parked where it shouldn't be.

Of course it's well within the power of Camden to come up with a solution, but then they have received £50 in fines per day, six days a week, since they opened. That's over £22,000. Not in their interests to solve it, really.

How do we solve this? Whether we like it or not, Tesco needs daily deliveries. I think it has increased turnover in England's Lane from its predecessor, Crispins, nearly five-fold. The biggest problem Tesco faces is how to keep its shelves full when it has no storage space: certainly past 7pm, much of its fresh produce has flown off the shelves. It really doesn't bother Tesco whether it gets a £50 fine each day; it more than makes up for that in sales.

The real problem is that there is nowhere for the lorries to park: frequently all the bays are full and they have to park outside - or very near - to their store since this is the only way produce can arrive. Most supermarkets re-stock their fresh produce in the middle of the night but Tesco aren't allowed to in case they disturb the residents. What other options does Tesco have?

Surely, the simple answer is for Camden to create a loading bay, just like outside Shepherds Foods in Regent's Park Road.

The double yellow lines (presumably created to protect drivers' sightlines of the zebra crossing at the end of England's Lane) are longer on the north side than the south side, which doesn't really make much sense.

Maybe some of the double yellows plus one or two parking bays could be converted into a loading bay big enough for Tesco's lorries between, say, the hours of 8.30am (when parking restrictions start) until 10.30am when it could revert to pay and display.

Two hours should be enough for Tesco to unload its lorries without sacrificing too much of everybody else's right to park outside the shops on England's Lane (I believe they also deliver non-foodstuffs in the evening when it is quieter).

Congestion in England's Lane is bad, particularly during the school run period, and it's not entirely Tesco's fault. The C11s can't pass each other even when there are no lorries there.

Recently, parking bays were suspended on one side for road works and the problem disappeared, so maybe we should be looking to ban parking on the other side of the road and certainly opposite the new loading bay until, say, 10.30am.

Like it or not, we need to find a way to live with Tesco. A few adjustments to existing parking bays would alleviate the problems in the morning rush hours, the worst time for congestion. At worst, the loss would be of a couple of bays to members of the public for two hours. Oh, and another 18 months' worth of missed parking fines to Camden .

G Posner

Chalcot Gardens, NW3

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