[Forum] Smoking by Tesco staff on public footpath “unacceptable”

Footpath linking Savages Wood Road with the Willow Brook Centre.

I regularly walk up the pedestrian footpath parallel to the Tesco filling station and outside the Tesco staff entrance with my young children. The children complain about the smoke that they inhale as they walk past the Tesco employee smokers on the corner, where the delivery lorries pass.

There has recently been a lot of press coverage of ‘second hand’ cigarette smoke, especially with children and I am in agreement with them that having to be subjected to this is unacceptable.

Whilst I understand that there has to be a smoking area dedicated for those employees that smoke – isn’t there an alternative location away from the footpath so that non-smokers (and children) do not have to suffer? It’s not as if this footpath is out of the way – it’s a primary route for pedestrians from the Savages Wood Road end of the site.

My children also comment on the cigarette butt ends left all over the pavement and verge chippings and how disgusting it looks. I am amazed that Tesco management do not notice this themselves, bearing in mind that they have to pass it as they go through the staff entrance.

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  1. I agree with this. I also walk through there with my children and it’s not nice. You would think a big company like Tesco would arrange a smoking shelter for their employees, perhaps around by the goods entrance.

  2. I can’t help feeling that the second hand smoke pollution your children get from passing the Tesco smokers is a great deal less than the pollution from vehicles as they walk along some of the roads leading to the centre.

    However, I do agree with you about Tesco management siting their smoking area away from a public right of way, and certainly think they should make a concerted effort in trying to lessen the amount of cigarette butts etc discarded by their staff in that area. If the staff don’t use provided bins, Tesco should arrange frequent cleaning of that area.

  3. Agree completely, although not particularly bothered about the smoke. I’m often on my bike and they block the access to the footpath. Besides that, it isn’t creating a great impression for Tesco and it’s not nice to have to wade through the carpet of butts. I’m amazed management allow it. Surely there is somewhere at the back of the depot they could smoke, out of the way of the general public?

  4. Deb, if your on your bike, you should be on a public road, so maybe it is you who is in the way.

    To the original poster, your children seem to complain alot… From the sound of your article it seems like you are the one who doesnt like it, and are using the “young children” excuse to gain sympathy. And while i agree with your comments,and tesco should build an alternative smoking area, i work in the complex (not for the tesco) and i dont think there is anywhere around for them to smoke that isnt a public area (the staff from other the shops smoke right next to the bus stop, but you dont mention that?) and as another commenter mentioned the loading area, this cannot be done due to safety issues with the large lorries for the local shops.

  5. I occasionally walk this route to the centre, and generally hold my breath as I go past as cigarette smoke effects my medical condition. The mess from the butts is unsightly and the bin rarely used. As for the Tesco management doing something about this, quite often they are there puffing away with the rest.
    I’m surprised they are allowed to smoke so close to the petrol station, one butt not put out properly and a gust of wind, we might have an explosion!

    As Bobby says, Tesco is not the only area where this is a problem, by the bus stop, out the back of Harvester ( where the food operatives smoke in their whites and sit on the ground…but that’s another subject), out the back of Reflections, in front of the leisure centre and out side the gates of the high school are a few I can mention. The problem is the smokers and their addiction to nicotine, no sane person would really want to stand in these places and make them an eyesore!

  6. Fluffy Chicken quite rightly mentions the Harvester food operatives…yes it may be another subject but personally I find it even more offensive than the Tesco issue! These staff are clearly & frequently seen having their fag break and (on more than one occasion) simply chucking their (still smoking) butts onto the pavement/gutter!

    Whatever their adherence to food hygiene regulations, I don’t think Harvester are doing themselves any promotional favours!

    Smoky BBQ chicken anyone?

  7. Totally agree with all of you but especially that Tesco management are also out there smoking and dropping their litter as that is what those buts are?
    I work for a large organisation in town and we have the same issue. When somebody complained to the council and they got involved on the litter dropping aspect, the company took action, fear of prosecution. Sadly, we all have to walk through it again so maybe time for someone to report the littering again?

  8. Why can’t people walk on the other path rather on this one where all the big lorries drive into the loading area or are people to lazy to walk a little bit further

  9. Hi All,

    Just to pick up on a few comments left:-

    Bobby: I don’t like it as much as my children, but they are the ones who walk past the smokers with the hands over their noses and stare at them. They keep asking questions why they are allowed to smoke there etc. This is a route through for children walking home from Meadowbrook School too.
    In terms of staff smoking next to the bus stop – I can’t comment on this as I don’t walk along that part.
    I think that there should be an area somewhere for smokers, but away from the thoroughfares.

    Happy: The path being referred to is the main route from the Savages Wood Road pedestrian crossing that is paved all the way past the 3 Brooks pub car park. The lorry access road has a raised zebra crossing across it (put in place when new apartments built) to the path past the staff entrance. Why should the majority have to walk and cross more roads, for the sake of a minority, when there is an adequately safe route?

  10. Walking past a pub and walking past a petrol station very nice for the children ,the other side of the road is much better to walk on

  11. Steve, I agree. I walk past at least once a day with my children (who are too young to comment), and it’s very unpleasant. One of the many things on my to-do-list was to contact Tesco management and suggest that surely they could provide a amoking area away from the path (it’s not like they don’t have enough land), and clear the butts up. Maybe it’s a co-incidence but there hasn’t been any smokers there for the last couple of days when I’ve walked by, they are noticable by their absence.

    As for taking a more ‘scenic’ route on the other path…. really!!!

  12. Don’t comment much, but I absolutely hate smoke & people smoking, but really!? You’re moaning about people smoking outside of the building?? If you haven’t noticed there is a pub right next to Tesco with customers who smoke to.. Let’s moan about them!!! :-/ Or not.

    I swear people in Bradley Stoke just moan for the sake of it…

    I want to see article’s like someone trying to raise money to build a new social club in Bradley Stoke etc.

  13. Cisco:
    I think you’re missing the point here… its more a point of peoples health being affected here – you may want to read the links on this post to see the evidence.
    In terms of the pub – they have a dedicated area around the corner from the entrance… and also my children aren’t quite old enough to be using a pub…

    I’m happy to praise where praise is due, but likewise I’m happy to moan when I feel strongly about something. I will be happy to praise Tesco if they do something too.

  14. The path down the side of tesco, is for people using the shops, not as a pathway to get to school… the pedestrian footpath is on the other side of the road.. problem solved

  15. @Steve,

    I see the point perfectly clear, just don’t see the point in moaning about it. If you got a problem with it affecting your health just find another alternative route, simple as that.

  16. Bobby: I don’t use this footpath to get to school – it was just an example…. as also given by others above

    Cisco: I’m not the only one with this view, so why should we ALL change, because of a minority???

  17. I’m not asking you to change your view, I just think it’s a waste of a complaint, but I do agree it is an issue.

    It’s just like starting a campaign in Bradley Stoke to stop cars from entering the town because they produce carbon pollution, the reason behind the campaign is because my children are walking on the side of the pavement and inhaling exhaust fumes. The government will never listen as they make huge profit from car taxes.

    Same with Tesco they will not listen to you because building a smoking shelter will just cost money, plus Tesco owns that plot of land and the pavements were designed to get in and out of the complex, not to other certain place.

    Good luck with your complaint.

  18. Bobby, the parents from Meadowbrook school are encouraged to park at the willowbrook if they drive and walk over to school. The path down the side of Tesco is the shortest and safest route as it ends up at the pelican crossing by the new retirement flats, meaning that the children don’t have to cross any roads.

  19. the parents are encouraged by the school to park in a privately owned carpark put in place to help business’?

    sounds like theres your problem

  20. Is this not all getting a little exaggerated and out of proportion.

    Of course if you walk past someone who is smoking you are likely to, momentarily, smell the fact that they are smoking. Smoke rises and does not fall to linger one metre from the floor to damage the health of young ones.

    Smelling a wiff of cigarette smoke is not quite the same as inhaling the full contents of 20 Marlboro lights.

    If there is an issue with cigarette butts strewn all over the floor then Tesco need to put a container on the wall (if there isn’t already one) and instruct their staff to use it.

    I acknowledge that secondary smoke is a concern when in a confined space but do not believe that there is any evidence to suggest that when in an open space it is anything other than anti-social (to those that wish to make it so).

  21. We refer to this spot as “cancer corner” at home! The second hand smoke doesn’t bother me but it is always a real mess along there with the discarded cigarette butts. I just hate litter!

  22. People feel the need to complain about anything they dislike these days. You are angry that you choose to walk on a path which smokers frequent, whilst you remain perfectly ignorant of the traffic fumes inhaled along your journey. Perhaps we can ban cars from driving on roads that interfere with your walk route?

  23. For goodness sake… I use the path to access the shop, it stinks walking past the corner.

    Tesco ask staff to smoke in a different area where CUSTOMERS are able to take a wide berth = problem solved, customer satisfaction achieved and a new “you said we did” card for their wall.

    A debate is really not necessary.

  24. after speaking with some of the guys in the tesco last night, it turns out that the spot they smoke in is the furthest from the entrance that has access to the tesco building, so not much else they can do…

  25. On a light hearted note, what about the unused garage in the corner of the car park – this could be made into a smoking shelter 🙂

  26. Seems to me people are complaining because these people are Tesco staff and so there is a perception that someone is at fault(Tesco). Should a group of general members of the public be stood around in the open air smoking there would be no complaint, you would just tut and carry on about your day. I don’t feel Tesco have any responsibility regarding their workers partaking in a legal activity which anyone is free to partake in. They probably should get on top of the littering though. However this may actually be the responsibility of Willow Brook Centre(to litter pick the grounds).

  27. I thought littering is the responsibility of the person that’s dropping the litter and is infact an offence that you can be fined for.

  28. Is it not bad enough that employees have been pushed out of segregated smoking rooms and forced out into the usually pouring rain? Employees have rights too and if you don’t like it, I suggest you lump it…..

  29. Whilst I do feel sorry for the constant persecution smokers seem to suffer maybe it’s a good time to promote e-cigs in the workplace.
    Tesco don’t allow staff or customers to use e-cigs in their stores, maybe if they promoted a culture of encouraging their staff to use less harmful alternatives smokers “polluting” general public wouldn’t be such an issue and the e-cig users could stay inside the building i.e. in the staff canteen during smoke breaks.
    Obviously not all smokers want to use e-cigs but if even a few of them did it would improve company image with less smokers outside, improve the health of their staff and improve the litter situation that plagues all smoking areas.
    With e-cigs there’s no smoke at all let alone second hand smoke, much less harm to the user and no “fag ends” littering the area.
    It’s at least a step in the right direction.

  30. Just read thru some of these comments and to be honest what a load of rubbish. Moaning about moaning. People get a life and stop moaning about something out of your control.