In a giant, dark concrete bunker below the retail stores at Bournemouth’s Castlepoint Shopping Park, a small dedicated team perform the equivalent of an MOT every 6 months on the 2500 shopping trolleys provided for the larger stores to use.
The fight against annoying wobbly wheels, much hated by shoppers, is led by Sean Page the trolley service manager. Much of the damage to the wheels is caused by shoppers taking the trolleys ‘off road’ and along pavements when people live within walking distance.
Bill Riddle, operations manager at Castlepoint says that whilst they do not want to make life inconvenient to those who walk, the removal of the trolleys inconveniences others, “When trolley taken off site it is more likely to be damaged and then cannot be used by other shoppers. We also then get complaints from local residents who find trolleys abandoned outside of their home. Fortunately we have our own trolley patrol van that searches the area looking for strays and the team responds fast to reports phoned in with a location given.”
Each trolley costs £100 to replace.