'Someone will get seriously injured one day' - safety fears raised at Hitchin traffic hotspot

PUBLISHED: 13:54 09 February 2017 | UPDATED: 14:03 09 February 2017

Tesco Express Hitchin

Tesco Express Hitchin

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Fears have been raised about safety at a busy traffic blackspot outside a Hitchin supermarket.

Tesco Express in Walsworth Road, near to the town’s railway station, has been criticised for a number of issues including lorries unloading during busy times causing further gridlock, as well as being a magnet for cars parking outside the store.

The sheer number of people who park their cars outside the shop while they either pay a visit to the late-night shop or use it as a parking bay has been raised by various residents – who are fearful there will be a serious accident in the near future.

The store has previously attracted attention about parked cars causing a hazard to traffic.

Marc Risby from Hitchin said: “There was utter chaos caused by a truck delivery and a Tesco home delivery van who were both parked on double yellow lines, which was very irresponsible.

“I saw a lorry deliver to the store at rush hour – with a number of pedestrians crossing the road in dark clothes who were obscured by the vehicle.

“To make matters worse, there was also a Tesco home delivery van next to it blocking traffic.

“It causes gridlock when the lorries deliver during rush hour.

“Why they can’t stagger deliveries to make sure they don’t deliver during busy periods?

“Maybe there should be more discussion with various agencies including between Tesco and the railway station itself – because many people think someone will get seriously injured one day.”

A Tesco spokesman told the Comet: “We want to be a good neighbour in the communities we serve and we always listen to the views of local residents.”

Regarding the issue of delivery lorries, the store added: “We have a strict risk assessment and delivery process in place for all our stores, which all our drivers are instructed on and adhere to.”

However, North Herts District Councillor Judi Billing added: “I know the Tesco Express store is very popular and used by a lot of people in our area but nobody seems to be thinking of the local residents who live in the vicinity.

“I just wish Tesco had thought through their parking arrangements during the planning process as I said right from the beginning there would be a number of safety and traffic concerns.

“I’m always worried about there being an accident there – especially with young children darting between the tightly packed cars.”

Herts County Council who are responsible for highways told the Comet they had not received any complaints on the issue.

If you would like to raise concerns about this matter – or any other issue relating to Hitchin roads and highways visit Herts County Council website www.hertfordshire.gov.uk or call their general enquiries line of 0300 123 4040.

Alternatively you can tweet them directly @hertscc.

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