Site deliveries – essential issues to note
Access to Cripley Meadow is tricky for deliveries and unsuitable for large or heavy vehicles, including lorries and cranes. The access bridge has a weight limit of 7.5 tonnes but lorries of this size are generally unable to safely manoeuvre round the site, so may need to offload at the site entrance rather than driving to your plot. Please try to arrange your delivery in a vehicle which will go through the normal car park entrance (e.g. a small transit van) or if this is not possible aim for a light goods vehicle or smaller 2-axle lorry below 7.5 tonnes. You will need to ask for the car park barrier gate to be opened 7 days in advance of your proposed delivery date if the vehicle is taller than 2.1 metres. Please read the notes below before booking your delivery.
Detailed guidance on arranging a delivery
A lot of the information below is based on experience of things going wrong so please read. You are responsible for any problems or damage caused so research, plan, communicate and supervise your delivery carefully.
- There is no precise postcode for the site. If you are asking someone else to deliver, you will need to explain the route to them.
- Vehicles have to pass through Walton Well car park to get onto the site. There is no access via Roger Dudman Way.
- The normal car park entrance has a bar across it at a height of 2.1m. If your delivery vehicle is taller than that, you will need to have the un-height-restricted barrier opened for you. We have a key but only Committee members are authorised to use it. Contact the Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org) at least 7 days in advance of your proposed delivery date and we will confirm as soon as possible whether someone from the Committee can be there at the time requested to open, wait, and close the barrier for you. We will do our best to accommodate your preferred time, but please remember that Committee members are volunteers with lives beyond Cripley Meadow! You must also be present for such deliveries.
- The car park can be busy, especially on a lovely weekend, and cars are not always parked considerately. Even if the car park is not busy, it is quite a chicane to negotiate.
- The bridge between the car park and our gate is narrow and not designed for heavy vehicles.
- Adverse weather conditions may affect deliveries.
- The tracks have Victorian foundations that cannot take the weight of large vehicles, particularly when wet or frozen.
- If it there is standing water anywhere on site, vehicles are not allowed at all. This is because the site and its tracks sit on top of a gravel bed that is liable to shifting when sodden. If the tracks are frozen, vehicles are also not allowed. This is because the track surfaces are more vulnerable to damage when frozen.
- If you arrange a delivery when the weather is changeable, it is at your own risk. Access is at the discretion of the Committee member assisting your delivery and we take no responsibility for problems or extra costs you incur. We appreciate that it is annoying to have to wait, or re-arrange if delivery is agreed and then weather conditions change unexpectedly, but we hope you will understand the need to conserve tracks that were not built for today’s heavy traffic, and are expensive to maintain and repair.
- Difficulty accessing your plot.
- The geometry of the site tracks and plot layout makes manoeuvring difficult. Larger vehicles (particularly long ones) may not be able to reach your plot safely.
- The verges are soft and vulnerable to damage.
For all these reasons, try to use the smallest delivery vehicle possible.
Members have found the following practical solutions to these constraints.
- Speak to the delivery firm or transport/dispatch team where you are buying from and see if they can offer delivery with a small (transit van) vehicle. Although it can cost more, it may be the only practical solution.
- Have your delivery vehicle meet you at the bottom end of Walton Well Road, just outside the car park, or they may be even able to come as far as the bridge (but not cross), and leave your delivery there. You can then transfer your deliver by hand/barrow/boot of your car. Again, make sure they know your plan and that they may have to wait while you do the transfer – so that they do not dump your stuff and drive off (it has been known).
- If you are after manure, one local farmer has been doing deliveries on site for years and knows which vehicle is OK and how to negotiate the site (but will still need the barrier opening, and supervising). Or buy bags of manure from our Trading Shop. See Manure page for details.
- If there has been flooding, a lot of heavy rain or frost, or if it is forecast as a possibility, wait for stable and favourable weather. If you have arranged a delivery well ahead of time, keep your eye on the forecast. If you see adverse weather may be coming, is better to cancel and re-arrange than to risk it, only to find that vehicles are not allowed on site when the day comes.