The damage to the historic fabric of Ludlow is almost as old as the buildings themselves. The damage has got worse over the years as permitted lengths and weights for HGVs have increased. But if you want to get Cakes to Pontefract, a current Tesco slogan, the best way to do it is through the centre of Ludlow. That moving advert for Tesco has slightly damaged a bollard with more significant damage to the truck.
I am lost for words here. Tesco has been a world leader in gathering computerising information on customer habits. It ensures its shelves are restocked the moment they empty. But it seems they don’t know where their stores are. Satnav anyone? A paper map? Or perhaps a Tesco mobile phone will help.
It is only a couple of years since a truck delivering tarmac to resurface the car park at Tesco bashed Ludford Bridge, costing council taxpayers tens of thousands of pounds.
At the beginning of this week, the bollard outside Bodenhams was demolished by a truck. I take my hat off to Shropshire Council for a quick replacement. Bodenhams is Grade II* listed and the Buttercross is right at the very top, Grade I. Fortunately, neither building was damaged.
Thankfully the bollard was back up by Saturday when a truck being driven by TDW Distribution failed to negotiate the Buttercross chicane and had to shuffle back and forth.
The damage to the truck in photographs taken by residents is evident. It shows the folly of not knowing where you are going when you are contracted to one of the biggest companies in the UK.
The new bollard is substantial enough to take a Tesco truck full of Pontefract Cakes. But the scrape on the bollard can be seen.
I can only guess that these drivers are issued with a paper map or no map at all. Otherwise, how do they get lost? Or perhaps it was a satnav error, some systems seem to direct drivers through the Broadgate.
I use an app on my mobile phone to find my way in unfamiliar territory. Ironically, I have a Tesco branded mobile phone. Maybe we should have a whip round to buy a mobile phone so that their delivery drivers can find out where they are going?
There is a broader issue. We have oversize trucks serving Ludlow. This truck was owned by a company in Bridgend, where Tesco has a distribution centre. The driver should have known where he was going.
We have problems with the One Stop delivery trucks also. They block access for residents on Tower Street. They cause a safety hazard on Gravel Hill delivering to that store. Tesco, which owns the One Stop chain needs to get its act together. It must ensure its drivers support the interests of our town as well as its shareholders.
I don’t take any excuses about “it’s a contractor’s vehicle”. If a company has stuck its branding on the side, then it carries the can for everything that happens in its name.
My thanks to residents who passed on the photographs.