Sunday, 4 March 2007

Prints, trolley, you know the drill

What really makes me angry is that none of this cosmetic work, the installation of the extra railings, the scarification of what were beautiful lush banks, has made a jot of difference to the trolley problem. There's even a trolley at the end of our road - you can see them abandoned all over the town and it looks appalling.
I'm still waiting for a response from the central maintenance department at Tesco.


Dave said...

In addition to coin-op trolleys is there any CCTV installed on the car-park? I've seen it included as part of the planning application process for some stores.

It's a shame when such measures are needed, but they seem more and more commonplace.

Kate said...

If they had coin-release trolleys, there'd be no need for CCTV. It's such a (relatively) cheap option, absolute peanuts for a huge company like Tesco, and they'd be paid back tenfold in terms of their community profile. Not to mention all the trolleys that get stolen and damaged at £100 a pop.

My chief concern this evening is that the heavy rains on the stripped banks will cause a collapsing of the soil. Would you believe the reason that was given to the EA was to "improve bank stability"!

Dave said...

I don’t know if they do this, or what the trolley bays are like, but a really cheap method to trial could be to corral the trolleys up, in their bays, last thing at night and padlock and chain them in place.

I fear idle youth – an assumption I know - will always find a way, but make if difficult for them.

Do Tescos "attack" the banks like this each and every year, or is this a first?

Kate said...

They do corral the trolleys, but not soon enough. Any trolley park near water anywhere in the country suffers in the same way, and in this particular case the car park is a popular place for bored kids to hang out because it's near the swimming baths and a youth centre. All the teenagers I've personally spoken to down there have been interested and positive but, as with any sector of the population, it only takes one div. And leaving loose trolleys on a dark car park near a steep bank is a bit like giving a toddler a hammer and then complaining when he breaks your china.

Re the destruction of the banks, no, no one's ever touched them before in all the time I've lived in Whitchurch. North Shropshire District Council mow the top lawn in front of Centre North East but they've never interfered with the slopes. It was a totally uncalled-for, pointless act which, voles aside, has left the place looking a damn mess.

I must pursue the issue of who owns the land - although even if Tesco do, they still need to get works passed by the Environment Agency because the Staggs Brook counts as a main river.

Kate said...

I've just googled 'Tesco', 'trolley', 'river' and 'canal' and come up with this lot:;jsessionid=FBC46034FD6E54FAD6A9FE2BD14F5172

Really, Tesco have to get on the case. And to be fair, I think Paul Birkenhead, the manager of White Lion Meadow Tesco, is pushing hard for coin-release trolleys.

Dave said...

It’s probably covered in those links but some Local Authorities charge supermarkets for recovery of trolleys – I’ve seen £150. It may only apply to the ones wandering the street if Welsh Water look after the brook (I’d be surprised if they aren’t charging someone!)

I don’t know what NSDC’s position is, and I tend to think of councils as passive beasts, but if it carries on for too long it may be worth having a word with you local councillor.

Anyway it’s good to have the local Tesco’s manager pushing for it and let’s hope he can swing it before too long. And let’s also hope for a few days of drier weather while the banks recover.

Dave said...

NSDC, although they don't spell it out in terms of trolleys, already have some measures in place.

Kate said...

I'll have a look at that. Tesco have already been fined £30,000 (plus over £7,000 in costs) for allowing its trolleys to be dumped in the River Chelmer, and as far as I know that wasn't a protected and fragile wildlife habitat like the Staggs Brook.

It's an important case because it shows what can be done. We've been taking photos of the trolleys in the Staggs Brook since December when there were 15 in there at once, full of accumulated debris, and causing a risk of flooding. So our records show the scale of the problem, and also that it's not going to go away.