A COUNTY councillor has called on Sainsbury’s to consider using narrower vehicles to serve rural areas after some of his constituents found themselves with food deliveries to their homes temporarily suspended.

Cllr Roger Bingham, of the Lower Kentdale division, stepped in to help ensure deliveries along Woodhouse Lane, Heversham, continued after the supermarket chain reviewed the impact that width restrictions along the road would have on its vans.

Cllr Bingham said if Sainsbury’s felt its vans were still too wide then it should consider following the examples of the fire and waste disposal services by obtaining ‘narrower vehicles suited to serve residents living on country lanes’.

It is understood the company had initially suspended deliveries to the road while it reviewed how the width restriction would affect its vans.

Cllr Bingham said that, assisted by information from the county council, he stepped in to inform Sainsbury’s of a 1971 traffic regulation order on the lane which allowed exceptions to the restrictions to be made for deliveries.

“Many of the people affected were older people and quite a number of them had health issues,” said Cllr Bingham.

“I was very pleased because it was an interesting example of my knowledge as a historian and as a local person supporting my council work. It can help to have local people who serve in local government.”

Cllr Bingham said he knew of 9 households on the lane which received Sainsbury’s deliveries but the number could be higher.

Heversham parish councillor Iain Richards, who first notified Cllr Bingham of the issue, said some of the lane’s residents were shielding amid the pandemic so were ‘reliant’ on food deliveries.

“There was a potential problem, a risk of deliveries not being able to be made and we resolved it,” he said.

“It’s useful having somebody like Roger who’s been county councillor for some time.

“He knows the right people to ask and the right questions to ask, so credit to him.”

A spokesman for Sainsbury’s said: “We are working to reactivate delivery passes for a very small number of customers in the Heversham area.

“We have apologised for the inconvenience this has caused.”