Clapped-out ice cream van polluting pedestrianised streets

clapped out ice cream van

clapped-out ice cream van Aldershot street market

clapped out ice cream van

clapped-out ice cream van Aldershot street market

For the last three weeks, there has been a clapped-out ice cream van with its engine left running during the Thursday street market in Aldershot. One week top of Union Street, one week lower down in the middle of the market, this week in Wellington Street.

A diesel engine idling is bad at the best of times, noise and air pollution, there should therefore be zero tolerance of a diesel engine running all day long in a pedestrian street, where you do not expect either engine noise or pollution.

The exhaust from the ice cream van is only a few inches above the ground. Those worst affected will be toddlers and children in buggies, those most vulnerable. They will be subject to NOx and diesel particulates, neural toxins and harmful to lungs.

Running an engine while a vehicle is stationary pollutes the environment and is against the law on a public road.

If a vehicle is idling it can produce up to twice as much exhaust emissions as when it is moving. Exhaust fumes contain a wide range of air pollutants such as carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10). These detrimentally affect the quality of the air we all breathe.

Diesel vehicles emit four times more NO2 and twenty-two times more PM10 than petrol vehicles.

In Islington, 200 premature deaths a year from poor air quality.

Many areas of the country exceed World Health Organisation guidelines and EU limits, and as a result face EU imposed fines.

Islington, the first borough to do so, has zero tolerance of idling engines. Anyone who leaves an engine running faces an on-the-spot fine of £20 (doubled to £40 if not paid).

This ice cream van must be removed, and it begs the question why was it tolerated or granted permission in the first place?

It appears it was the market manager who granted permission, but as the street is closed to vehicles during the day until 4pm (6-30pm on market days) the market manager has no authority to grant permission. And as already noted, it is illegal to idle an engine on a public road.

Why is there no enforcement? Why is there no enforcement of vehicles driving down Union Street and along Wellington Street on market days, when access is not permitted until after 6-30pm?

Dylan's ice cream at Guildford farmers market

Dylan’s ice cream at Guildford farmers market

If an ice cream van is desired, then invite Dylan’s ice cream, locally sourced quality ice cream and the van does not leave the engine running.

But this raises a further question: Why an ice cream van when there is an ice cream parlour cum coffee shop at the top of Union Street? Should the market be stealing business from local businesses, or do we wish to see more empty retail units?

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4 Responses to “Clapped-out ice cream van polluting pedestrianised streets”

  1. Iain Says:

    It might seem clapped out, but presumably if it has passed its annual MOT and any other inspections that might be required, then it has permission to be on the roads.

    If the engine is idling all the time while it is stationery then it is most likely functioning as a generator to keep the ice cream icy. Otherwise there would be only warm slush to sell! I would presume that it has no facility to plug in to any municipal electricity supply, unlike some market stallholders.

    I must admit that I am somewhat flabbergasted at your assertion that the market manager has no authority to grant vehicular access during road closure times. If he didn’t, then we’d have no market at all, as the traders wouldn’t be able to access their stalls to take them down and load up their trucks and vans from late afternoon onwards!

    Are you not also aware that vehicular access to Union Street and Wellington Street has been controlled for years by gates or automatic barriers.

    I would also dispute than an allegedly clapped-out ice-cream van in any way competes with a cafe like Vero. An ice-cream van only sells ice cream cones (and possibly tubs) to people who want a quick treat while wandering the streets. Vero offers an attractive sit-down cafe which serves waffles, ice-creams, drinks and chocolates for somewhat more money to a completely different type of customer, with the added advantage of being in the same location seven days a week, all year round.

  2. keithpp Says:

    That it has passed MOT (we assume), does not alter the fact a clapped-out van. That an old van, the emissions will be far worse than I have indicated.

    The Market Manager does not have authority to ignore the sign on vehicle access.

    Market traders are allowed to bring their vehicles in to set up. Their vehicles then have to be removed. They are not allowed to bring their vehicles back into the road until after four o’clock.

    The rare exceptions to this have been inclement weather.

    With the exception of the market traders, no other vehicular access is permitted until after 6-30pm.

    It is against the law for a vehicle to leave its engine idling on a public road.

    Aside from a clear breach of the law, these are pedestrianised streets, thus do not expect to find vehicles, let alone vehicles with their engines running all day long.

    There is actually no need for an ice cream van to leave its engine idling. Dylan’s ice cream, serving quality locally sourced ice cream, does not leave an engine idling.

    Does rubbish ice cream compete with quality ice cream? Who knows. The number of junk food outlets in Aldershot, indicates the locals have little taste and prefer to buy rubbish.

    In terms of quality, then yes I would agree, no competition between the clapped-out van and Vero. Were Dylan’s ice cream to be on the market, it would be a different story, as serving artisan ice cream, though in the long run could benefit Vero were people to acquire a taste for quality ice cream. Dylan’s ice cream does well on the Guildford farmers market. Dylan’s ice cream on Guildford farmers market has far more customers than the clapped-out van does on Aldershot Thursday street market. But then in Guildford quality is appreciated, and people are prepared to pay for quality. I have only seen Dylan’s ice cream Guildford, Godalming, Haslemere (where they now have an ice cream parlour) and Farnham, towns worth visiting, towns where they appreciate quality.

    The Guildford famrers market needs a quality coffee van, for example Hobo Co with their battered old Citroen van. But is is being blocked by the tax-dodging coffee chains serving rubbish coffee, chains that should not be allowed to dictate what happens on Guildford High Street. The indie coffee shops have no objection, as in the long term they would benefit as once a taste for high quality coffee was acquired, coffee drinkers would seek out quality coffee and they would benefit, as indeed would Harris + Hoole.

    Most of the local businesses in Aldershot are marginal. They are getting by, not much more. It does not take much to push them over the edge. This is not atypical of Aldershot, in most towns 10% of the businesses are marginal. Once one goes, it is one less reason to visit a town, and a domino effect occurs and the town centre collapses, as has happened in too many town centres. It is the indie shops that give a town character that make it worth visiting. Which is what Aldershot with its chains, tacky fast food outlets, gambling joints, binge drinking bars and boarded-up shops is lacking.

    The ice cream van will not be returning, and should not have been permitted in the first place.

  3. webclam Says:

    Good to see its gone and won’t be back, but why do the local police not do anything? If it’s a contravention of road law, issue a ticket and move it on. Apathy by plod is as disappointing as the original offence. Do the officers not care or can’t be bothered with the paperwork?

  4. keithpp Says:

    It does beg the question why no enforcement, and who is responsible for enforcement.

    It also raises question re Market Manager who was encouraging and complicit in law breaking.

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