A FOOD chain giant have said they will stop unloading goods from an HGV vehicle into smaller environmentally friendly vans on industrial estates less than half a mile away from a store after they were snapped by disgruntled residents.

Tesco staff have been photographed by residents over the past few weeks unloading goods from HGV lorries into smaller “less CO2” emission vans in the back roads of two industrial estates in Station Road, Lawford, in order to deliver the goods in the smaller vans to the Tesco Express store in Manningtree High Street.

The store have been using the smaller van to transport goods to the store after promising residents they wouldn’t use the larger HGV in the town after a campaign in 2005.

Barry Hammick, of Constable Close, Lawford said: “Over the last few weeks it has come to our attention that the "less CO2" emission lorries used by Tesco are in fact only doing the final half a mile or so of the journey to the Tesco Express in Manningtree.

Mr Hammick, a member of Tesco opposition group, Stour Community First, added:”This means they are in fact running an articulated lorry as well as the low emission vehicle to make deliveries which is hardly environmently friendly.”

A spokesperson for Tesco said: "In 2005 we made a commitment to local people that we would use a smaller 8 metre lorry to deliver to our Express store in Manningtree.

“However, this lorry now has engine problems and is currently not in operation.

“As a short term solution, goods are being transported on one of our larger vehicles which delivers to several stores and then using a Hybrid vehicle solely to deliver the goods to the Express store.”

She added:“It is not best practise to unload goods in an area other that a designated Tesco loading area.

“We would like to thank people for bringing this to our attention and we will now deliver to our store in Highwoods, Colchester and then to Manningtree.

“To honour our promise all deliveries to the Manningtree Express will be in a small vehicle."

Michael Coultharde-Steer, chairman of Stour Community First, said: “The fact that these smaller lorries have “less CO2” printed in large letters on the side when in fact they not saving any CO2 at all is laughable and it just goes to show we are right not to accept what companies tell us.

“At the end of the day, it is all about public relations and sales. If they only have the one low omission lorry anyway that suggests to me they are just simply paying lip service to the idea.”

Residents in Manningtree have been voicing concern over the use of HGV lorries by the food giant since 2005 when the Tesco Express store opened in the high street.

John Caldow, of South Street, took on the supermarket chain after he got fed up with the large lorries parking outside his home to deliver goods to the new store.

Mr Caldow took a chair into the middle of the street and took out his newspaper.

After three hours of traffic building up, Tesco found a suitable small vehicle which could negotiate the narrow road.