Eat out to help out – if you can find parking

Good news for van drivers up and down the country today, with the Government’s new ‘eat out to help out’ incentive, meaning British workers can take advantage of cut-price meals up and down the country, including many popular takeaways. The scheme which runs Monday to Wednesday through August means that lunches can be on Boris and Rishi for our UK van drivers! To find out which eateries near you are offering the deal, check the website which will give you all results within a five mile radius. We suggest everyone takes advantage of the scheme while it’s on offer, and put a few quid back in your pocket whilst helping the service industry get back on its feet. 

You’ll remember a few weeks ago we were bemoaning the fact that local councils are going gung-ho through town centres, deciding arbitrarily to pedestrianize roads and close off parts of towns to traffic. Well, it seems this is happening across the country, not just in our own little local enclave. Where we are, the latest Highways England/Local council have proposed suspending all parking bays in the centre of town to be able to make those spaces pedestrianised to enable social distancing. Which is great (well, to some, the local cycle groups seem to be lobbying hard for it), but the problem is that not only does that stop local businesses from being able to welcome customers who are able to pop in and visit (our town centre is on a very steep hill, which would make walking to shops impossible for elderly customers), but it also places additional pressure on the limited number of public car parks in the vicinity, which are overstretched as it is. 

This also of course, has a knock-on effect for delivery drivers. Where are they supposed to park to make deliveries, especially those for large goods or bulky items which can’t be lugged up hills from miles away? We don’t know how you guys are supposed to deal with that. And of course, that has a knock-on effect on the shopkeepers too, who need those deliveries to be able to keep trading in what are already challenging times. And that’s before we take a moment to consider those of you who support local delis and sandwich shops by popping in to grab lunch from them. You’re not going to do it if you need to park miles away. 

It seems this is a countrywide issue, with latest reports suggesting that local councils who do impose these measures without public consultation could be liable to legal action as a result. Good! It’s all well and good being able to want to cycle more freely and we understand the environmental benefits that brings, but the reality is that many towns and cities in the UK were created many hundreds of years ago and the way they are built simply doesn’t support that. 

There also appears to be another knock-on effect of these closures creating pinch points, which are increasing pollution as a result of added congestion. Emergency services are also reporting delays in being able to attend emergencies as a result of the congestion. 

If these things are happening in your area, please do take a moment to email your local council or highways agency and make a complaint. Making a living as a delivery driver or shopkeeper right now is hard enough – let’s all try and work together to stop the council do-gooders from making it even harder. 

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