Illegal parking by Tesco delivery vans has been getting more and more common on the Wirral, but Tesco has now agreed that driver retraining is needed on the Wirral and is sending a reminder to all Tesco stores re parking.

Here's the email correspondence :

First email sent to Tesco on 30 April 2013 (sent to the Tesco Corporate Responsibility email address: cr.enquiries@uk.tesco.com):
Mr Philip Clarke
Group Chief Executive
Tesco PLC

Dear Mr Clarke,

I am writing to ask you to take action to stop Tesco delivery vans parking illegally on Wirrals pavements. Parking on pavements is illegal except in an emergency or where signs permit it (through the Highway Act 1835 and the Road Traffic Act 1988 - see the Highway Code section 145). Despite this, Tesco delivery vehicles have been parked on Wirral pavements on numerous occasions over the last two years. I am attaching photographs of three incidents.
(1) Photo DSCN5348-compact.jpg; Registration BK60 JFE; date 20.10.2010; time approx 11:00am; location Grange Cross Lane, Newton, West Kirby, Merseyside. Following my report of this, the neighbourhood police inspector (Insp. Blease) contacted the Tesco depot and was told that the practice would cease.
(2) Photo DSCN5820e.jpg; Registration BK60 JEU; date 24.4.2012; time 11:30am approx; location South Parade, West Kirby, Wirral, Merseyside. I emailed Tesco customer services to complain (ref. TES1471473NI), and received an apology.
(3) Photo DSCN6134.JPG; Registration BK60 JFF; date 12.04.2013; time about 11:00am; location South Parade, West Kirby, Merseyside. The driver wore the name badge Steve. He acted as though this kind of parking was routine for him. I have notified the neighbourhood police and they are currently considering what action to take. I feel very strongly that Tesco should not be using up police time in this way.

I have seen three other similar instances in West Kirby (CH48), and I have heard from a Wirral Councillor that he has witnessed similar illegal parking by Tesco delivery vans elsewhere in the Wirral (Bebington).

Apart from being illegal, there are several reasons why Tesco should take action to stop this practice.
(1) Pavements are not built to take the weight of Tesco or other delivery vans, and many pavements are becoming damaged, creating a tripping hazard.
(2) Merseyside has the worst pedestrian casualty rate in the country (reported killed or seriously injured casualties per 100,000 population), and Merseyside pedestrians should be shown respect by van drivers.
(3) Wirral Council is currently promoting walking to school via a three-year scheme. Parking by Tesco vans such as shown in the photographs will undermine this initiative.
(4) The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, the RNIB, Wirral Pedestrians Association, and Living Streets are all currently running campaigns against illegal pavement parking. Tesco should support these efforts.

Tescos web site has a section headed "Community Promises" (http://www.tescoplc.com/index.asp?pageid=93). This states that there are "five pillars of our Corporate Responsibility Strategy, which we call Community Promises". The first of these is "We want to be a good neighbour in all the communities in which we operate". I think you will agree that the kind of parking shown is a long way from this claim and I am writing to ask you to take action so that Tesco vans park only in the carriageway, except in an emergency or where parking on a pavement is permitted by signs.

I am copying this email to the neighbourhood policing team who are dealing with the latest incident, to Wirral Councils Road Safety Manager, who is coordinating the Councils scheme to stop pavement parking, and to my local councillor, who is also chair of the Councils Streetscene Scrutiny Committee (which recently discussed how to deal with problem companies that are parking illegally).

I look forward to your reply.

Second email sent to Tesco on 14 May 2013 (sent again to cr.enquiries@uk.tesco.com):
FAO Mr Philip Clarke
Group Chief Executive
Tesco PLC

Dear Mr Clarke,

I sent you the email below on 30 April 2013.

After two weeks, I have not received a reply, and I have not even received an acknowledgement. Please could you confirm receipt of my email, and let me know when I will be receiving a reply.


[with first email appended]

Email from Tesco on 16 May 2013 from ceo.customerservice@tesco.co.uk
Thank you for your email addressed to our Chief Executive, Philip Clarke, to which I have been asked to reply.

I am very sorry to learn that you have witnessed our Grocery Home Shopping van drivers parking on the pavement when making their deliveries. I can understand how frustrating and disappointing this must be for you.

We do not want vans to be parked illegally or in such a way that causes difficulties to our customers or people living close to where we are delivering. This parking approach, along with a lot of other detail, is all covered in the very comprehensive training programme all our drivers receive before starting to work for us.

I have made our Store Manager, James Garland, aware of this matter and he is going to ensure that all of his van drivers are retrained on where they should and should not be parking.

Along with this, our driver training for the Wirral area has been informed of your complaint and he is going to follow this up and ensure that all drivers are following the instructions given.

I have also ensured that a message is going to be sent to all our stores within the next week to remind everyone of the parking issue and the possible adverse impacts it can have.

Once again thank you for bringing this matter to the attention of our Chief Executive's office. Hopefully, there will be no further cause to bring any issue to our attention. If however there is anything that I can be of help with in the future then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Kind regards

Fiona Black
Customer Service Executive

This seems to be a comprehensive approach to the problem. We will see how it works out in practice.