One of my photos

Obstacle Course

December 2nd, 2007 · Posted by Skuds in Politics · No Comments · Politics

I was out doing some canvassing in Broadfield this morning when I saw this mess of trolleys. There are three houses with front doors which can only be reached by going down a switchback ramp – unless you want to use a slippery slope of muddy grass or a metre-high brick wall.

Unfortunately the ramp is blocked by three shopping trolleys, all chained together. We are used to seeing these trolleys blighting the landscape and decorating front gardens all across the Courts and Guinness Trust estates, but this is moving beyond visual blemish and moving into the realms of actual nuisance and obstruction.

Drop a cigarette butt or crisp packet and council wardens will swoop down with an eighty-quid fine, but it looks like you can leave these things wherever you like with impunity.

A couple of years ago we got so fed up with it all a bunch of us spent an hour or two collecting all the abandoned trolleys just in the Courts area and returning them to the shops. We were told at the time that the shops had someone who goes round collecting trolleys , and we have also been told in the past that the council collect them and sort of hold them hostage, returning them to the supermarket in exchange for some payment or other.

I don’t believe that is happening.

All the evidence points to two things: the shops are not doing enough to recover trolleys, and their customers are abusing the ability to remove the trolleys from the parade. I don’t think that the behaviour of a hard-core of customers is going to change so it must be time to either greatly improve the collection or prevent the trolleys being removed in the first place.

I cannot believe that nobody who lives in this area is annoyed enough to force the issue. I think I would be if I lived in the Courts and was confronted with these all the time.

There is an obvious environmental benefit to having someone who lives within a few hundred metres of the shops walk home with their shopping instead of driving, but there must be a way to encourage that behaviour and not end up with masses of rusty wire trolleys around every corner.

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