Tesco under fire for flouting Putney High Street lorry ban

Published: 21 January 2016

The council’s environment spokesman Jonathan Cook has criticised supermarket giant Tesco for flouting new air quality rules in Putney High Street.

Since a ban on daytime deliveries was introduced ten days ago to stop vans and lorries blocking traffic, huge Tesco juggernauts have twice been photographed parked up outside its small store in the high street.

On both occasions the lorries obstructed traffic and caused congestion to buses and other traffic for at least half an hour – including at the height of today’s (Thursday) morning rush hour.

The ban was introduced as part of a new initiative to raise air quality standards in the high street. The restriction prohibits any vehicle from parking and/or loading and unloading between 7am and 7pm Monday to Saturday.

Cllr Cook said: “It is extremely disappointing that our efforts to improve air quality in the high street are being so openly undermined by Tesco.

“We would certainly have expected a large company like theirs to understand the need to comply with these rules, which will not only be of benefit to the wider community but also directly benefit their own staff and customers.

“We did speak to their store manager after last week’s initial transgression and were assured it would not happen again. Sadly today has shown this is not the case and as a result Tesco’s reputation is bound to suffer - in Putney at least.”

The driver of today’s lorry was issued with a £130 fine.

The ban on daytime deliveries is designed to help traffic flow more easily – especially buses and other large vehicles - thus reducing the ‘stop start’ movement of traffic that results in higher pollution levels.

It builds on other work carried out by the council to limit vehicle emissions, including the introduction of 89 cleaner engine buses on routes serving the high streets

This was achieved ahead of schedule after TfL and the Mayor were shown research commissioned by the council that revealed buses were contributing more than two thirds of harmful NOx emissions in the high street. Faced with this evidence TfL agreed to fit the buses with new exhaust technology that has subsequently reduced pollutants at street level by 72 per cent.

As a result of this scheme, the council was named runner-up in the 2015 National Air Quality Awards in the Local Air Quality Initiative of the Year category.
For more information about the work being carried out locally to improve air quality across the borough visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/airquality.