TESCO delivery lorries in the centre on Midhurst are ‘holding the town to ransom’ it has been claimed.
Chairman of the town council’s finance and general purposes committee Steve Morley told fellow members: “I feel sometimes the town is being held to ransom, in the summer especially, when one lorry is unloading, and another is waiting and they form a truck corridor right down the street.”
He said he had witnessed some ‘very selfish parking’ by Tesco lorry drivers.
His comments came after owner of Caffe Verdi Peter Davies called for measures to ease the lorry nightmare in North Street.
Mr Davies said Tesco accounted for more than 70 per cent of the total lorry deliveries in the street each year. “They have one a day and sometimes two which is about 600 to 700 a year.
“I am concerned about the damage being caused and the traffic hold-ups when lorries double park.
“Safety is also an issue with no long term plan to cope with them.”
He said there was also the issue of private cars using loading bays.
“I put forward a scheme to redesign the street scene outside Tesco and the pharmacy.
As Tesco is set back from the street anyway, it would allow lorries to park outside their own shop.”
But Mr Davies said he received no support from West Sussex County Council.
Carol Lintott told fellow councillors a plea to the public not to use the loading bays could help.
But Gordon McAra said he did not believe Tesco were ‘as bad as they are being made out.’
The benefits of having a supermarket in the centre of town, said John Quilter, outweighed the disadvantages.
Town councillors are writing to the county council and Chichester District Council to see if the situation can be alleviated, both through highways maintenance and enforcement.
A Tesco spokesman said: “We are as frustrated as other traders we cannot use the loading bay during permitted times.
“Cars have been blocking the bay as the loading bay sign has been stolen twice.
“We would be happy to meet the county council to resolve the issue.”