Wandsworth council says â€œhuge Tesco juggernautsâ€ had twice been photographed parked up outside on Putney High Street
Retail giant Tesco has come under fire from Wandsworth council for reportedly â€œfloutingâ€ restrictions on vehicle deliveries on Putney High Street in South London – a well-known air pollution hotspot.
Wandsworth council said that â€œhuge Tesco juggernautsâ€ had twice been photographed parked up outside the supermarket chainâ€™s small Putney High Street store within the first 10 days of the ban on daytime deliveries coming into force on January 11.
On both of these occasions, according to the council, the lorries obstructed traffic and caused congestion to buses and other traffic for at least half an hour, including during the height of last Thursdayâ€™s (January 21) morning rush hour.
On this latter occasion, however, the driver was issued with a Â£130 fine.
The daytime unloading restriction, which was introduced as part of a new initiative aimed at improving air quality on the busy shopping street, prohibits any vehicle from parking and/or loading and unloading between 7am and 7pm from Mondays to Saturdays.
Initially a pilot initiative, the ban will be subject to a review after six months.
The busy South London road previously also hit the headlines earlier this month for becoming the first road in London to break legal limits for the whole of 2016 just eight days into January (see AirQualityNews.com story).
Speaking last week (January 21) Wandsworthâ€™s environment spokesman, Conservative Party councillor Jonathan Cook, said: â€œIt is extremely disappointing that our efforts to improve air quality in the high street are being so openly undermined by Tesco.
â€œWe 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.
â€œWe did speak to their store manager after last weekâ€™s initial transgression and were assured it would not happen again. Sadly today has shown this is not the case and as a result Tescoâ€™s reputation is bound to suffer â€“ in Putney at least.â€
In response to the council, a spokeswoman for Tesco said: â€œWe do our best to be a good neighbour and have reiterated the new delivery restrictions to our depots and drivers.â€
In 2013 annual average levels of nitrogen dioxide were measured at 124 ugm3 (microgrammes per cubic metre) and 106 ugm3 on two of Putney High Streetâ€™s monitoring stations. The national EU annual average limit for this pollutant is 40 ugm3.