Lorry blockade man says locals don't like him 'because he's a gobby Englishman'

A man accused of blocking a supermarket truck driver delivering supplies to a shop near his home says he feels victimised for being English. John Thrasher, of Aran Street in Bala has accused locals of racism. He spoke out after a video of an incident last month, in which he verbally abused a Co-op lorry driver and store manager while refusing to move his car so the vehicle could pass, was shared on Facebook.

But the 43-year-old argues he is the victim. He claims the parking ticket he received after the incident was the only one given to anyone on the street, and denied that parking his care outside his house caused any obstruction. Mr Thrasher, who has lived in the area for more than 20 years, said it is not fair that other residents along his street are able to park their cars outside their homes without the same trouble.

He says claims locals dislike him and his partner, because they are English. Speaking to North Wales Live, Mr Thrasher said the problem began around two and a half years ago.

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"My car has only been parked there four or five times, but everyone else has parked their cars down here for many years," he said. "I don't see why it's a problem for me.

John Thrasher said it is not fair other residents along Aran Street in Bala are able to park their cars outside their homes without the same trouble

"I don't block the lorry, the lorry can still get past.

"The lorry has managed to get past so many times before when my car has been there. Other times, they make an issue of it.  "Now, I've got a parking ticket, and I'm the only one who's had one in three and a half years.

Now I've got the hassle of appealing it. "I'm getting victimised for parking my car, like anybody else does." Following the incident, the police were called, and asked him to move the car.

But he refused, because "there was no reason to move it when the lorries could get past." "The police don't like me," he added. "As they say, I cause hassle and I've got a gob.

I speak my mind, I don't sit on no fence, and that's why they don't like me and why I get victimised around here."

Street dispute in Bala as Co-op lorry attempts to drive down road

Mr Thrasher, who does not work because he is disabled, added:  "I previously went into the Co-op shop and one of the workers approached me. "I asked them to move two metres away because they had no mask or gloves on, and I got banned from the shop for asking them to do that. "It's because I'm English.

It's racist round here. My girlfriend is from Liverpool and that's another thing they have a go at. "Everyone else in the street is alright, because they're all Welsh."

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He added leaving his car outside his home also makes the pavement safer for pedestrians after claiming the Co-op lorry has almost knocked down his elderly neighbor in the past by mounting the curb.

"I'm trying to prove a point more than anything," he said.

Lorry blockade man says locals don't like him 'because he's a gobby Englishman'John Thrasher said the Co-op lorry that mounts the curb outside his home every day has damaged the road

"When they do it they get slack, but when I do it, I get everything?" "Every night, we have this lorry coming past our house, mounting the kerb, now it's ruined the kerb.

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"An old lady fell over there, she was on one of those walkers and the front of it went into the hole and she went flying. I went out to help her up, she had scuffed her knees and her arms, but luckily she was ok.

"That's just one issue the Co-op lorry causes coming up on the kerb, let alone the sort of distress it causes us. "We've got to wait for this thing twice a day for it to go in and come out, and mount our curb. "So by putting my car there, it's no longer coming on my curb, and it's safer for pedestrians."

At the time the two incidents were filmed, a local resident said: "He decided to block the road to prevent the Co Op lorry from delivering goods to our only supermarket  in this crazy time  when we need supplies more than ever. "It is happening on a daily basis at the moment. "Other residents are being forced to move their cars from the other side of the street to allow lorries through, but because of the tirade of abuse he's  doled out to the Co Op drivers, they've been forced to deliver to the front of the shop for the past two days.

"Because they couldn't go to the  delivery area  around the back of the shop, they have had to close the shop to get the delivery in through the front. "The emergency services such as ambulance and fire wouldn't be able to pass through either.

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"He has been  reported to the police  every time it's happened. "I thought it's about time the community were told what's going on."

At the time of the incident, the Co-op said: "The safety and security of our store colleagues is of utmost importance and the team at our  Bala store  on Stryd Fawr are working around the clock to ensure the community has access to groceries and essentials.

"We can confirm that the store has been subject to some harassment by a member of the local community and the matter is now being  dealt with by the police.

"Bala Co-op is open as normal to serve customers and members."

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