Sainsbury's fined for bad parking

Sainsbury’s has been fined £4,000 after delivery lorries to one of its Rugby stores repeatedly parked on a pavement, breaching a planning notice.

The supermarket was found guilty of four breaches of the condition notice at a hearing at Warwickshire Justice Centre on 5 January.

The council said it was the third time the store had been prosecuted for the breach after magistrates imposed fines in April and September 2015.

The court heard the store had been granted planning permission with the condition that all delivery vehicles parked in the boundary of the site while unloading.

However, from August 2012 the council received complaints about vehicles parking on Hillmorton Road while making deliveries.

A breach of condition notice was served in August 2013 and the supermarket was fined £1,000 and a further £2,000 for breaches.

In January, Sainsbury’s was found guilty, in its absence, of a further four breaches in October and November 2015. Magistrates fined the store £1,000 for each breach, ordered it to pay a £100 victim surcharge and £384 costs.

Councillor Heather Timms, the Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for development, said: “This condition was included in the planning permission granted to Sainsbury’s to ensure the safety of pedestrians and drivers on Hillmorton Road. Our planning enforcement team aims to resolve issues through constructive dialogue, but unfortunately we have been forced to take the matter to court.”

A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said: “This was a third-party supplier delivering to our store and we have reinforced the fact with the supplier that all delivery vehicles should be parked in a responsible manner and according to our planning conditions.”

No compensation from VW for affected owners in EU

Volkswagen UK MD Paul Willis has confirmed the company does not intend to provide compensation to EU owners whose vehicles have been fitted with a defeat device to lower NOx output during emissions testing procedures.

In a letter to the UK Transport Committee following his appearance before it last October, Willis said that although VW accepted a defeat device had been used in certain models in the US and had offered owners a goodwill gesture worth $1,000 (£700), it did not think it possible to make the same definitive legal determination in relation to software fitted to differently configured vehicles in the UK and EU.

He declined to go into detail, however, citing “the potential for this to be an issue that is examined in litigation, both in the English courts and elsewhere”.

Since the technical fixes the firm plans to apply are not intended to affect performance or fuel consumption and may provide benefits in terms of reduced NOx emissions, VW would prefer to spend its money on maximising uptake of the fixes “rather than offering a separate financial payment as a goodwill gesture at this stage”, he said.

Willis’s letter said: “VW was optimistic, based on the testing, that the performance and fuel economy will not be adversely affected.” But he admitted the firm would be “closely monitoring both metrics when implementation starts to ensure our anticipation matches the eventual results”.

Transport Committee chairman Louise Ellman said the committee had agreed to call Willis before it again to answer further questions on VW’s stance.

A spokeswoman for VW in the UK told that fixes for the NOx issue would begin in March. Customers could choose between bringing their vehicles in to be fixed or having the fixes carried out alongside a routine service visit, she added.