A taxi firm in Tonbridge has announced that it will offer free rides to Sainsbury’s for elderly and vulnerble people. This is to co-incide with supermarkets reserving a special hour for these groups of people to shop alone.
Castle cars will pick up customers from their house and take them to the Tonbridge and Hildenborough stores between 7am and 9am. It is unknown how they will get home with their shopping, but we hope the taxi drivers will come back for them?!
Terry Hill, owner of Castle Cars said: “We’re pleased Sainsbury’s is offering a designated time for vulnerable shoppers. We want to offer our services so those who need to visit during this time don’t have to worry about taking their shopping on the bus”.
The story, which was first reported on KentOnline’s website has also got conspiracy theorists wondering if there is more to it. The original article, which was posted on the 18th March was written by ‘Liane Castle’. Now does she have any connection to the company which shares her name or is it just a co-incidence?!
Elsewhere in Kent the ‘special hour’ of shopping has created additional problems. Hoards of elderly people have been seen queuing outside many supermarkets until they open. This creating a larger gathering of people than would usually happen during normal opening, at a time when social distancing is recommended.
Another issue is that there do not seem to be any formal checks for people’s ages or vulnerability. Whilst it is hoped that people will be honest, there will be some people who will look to manipulate the situation – which could create further issues. This will need to be controlled if this solution is going to work.
The people who visited the shop today told us that they still struggled to purchase al ltheir essentials. Although supermarket bosses are saying there is ‘plenty for everyone’, the sight of empty shelves is not a reassuring one.
We spoke to one elderly person as they were leaving the shop “There was hardly anything in there and it was a struggle to get what I needed. Someone in front of me was going to grab the last pack of toilet rolls, until I swung my handbag at him!”.