Tesco plans to restructure its distribution network, closing three depots and reducing its workforce at two sites to improve efficiency.

After reviewing its distribution operation, the supermarket intends to close three regional DCs at Harlow in Essex, Weybridge in Surrey and Chesterfield in Derbyshire. The number of staff at its sites in Magor, south Wales and Welham Green, Hertfordshire will be reduced.

In their place, the own-account operator plans to open two new DCs in Reading and Dagenham.

A Tesco spokeswoman said: “We’ve been reviewing our distribution network and have confirmed plans to close some of our DCs and open new ones, which will give our customers a better service and improve working conditions for our colleagues.”

Tesco estimates the remodelling of its network will reduce store delivery mileage by 46,000 per week nationally.

The spokeswoman confirmed that 318 driving jobs are at risk, including staff and agency drivers.

Drivers will be offered any available positions across the group’s transport network, including 422 new driving roles being created at Dagenham and Reading. They will also be given the opportunity to fill warehouse vacancies closer to home.

However, Joanne McGuinness, national officer at Usdaw, which represents Tesco staff including some of the affected drivers, said: “We will be using the 90-day consultation period to consult with the company on behalf of our members who are facing an uncertain future.”

UPDATE: 6 March

David Pickering, Eddie Stobart managing director, has told MT: "The proposed changes within Tesco distribution will affect its Chesterfield site, where the transport is provided through Eddie Stobart's national network, and we are currently working closely with our customer to understand the impact of those changes and ensure we maintain the usual high quality of service during this process."