LOCAL tips may be shut unless demand eases off, the county council has threatened, after residents queued for hours with the sites reopening last week.
Cllr Rob Humby, the council’s cabinet member for economy, transport and the environment, said the authority was already reviewing the status of its HWRCs because up to 4,000 people had travelled to them each day since they reopened last week.
“We are reviewing our traffic management plans on site and will do what we can to try to improve throughput at the sites, but if severe traffic disruption continues at individual sites, we will have to consider whether the sites can stay open,” Cllr Humby threatened.
“Visitors who choose to visit should expect to queue, potentially for some considerable time before entering.”
His comments follow angry motorists reporting huge queues to get into household waste recycling centres at Marchwood and Pennington, which have temporary opening hours of 10am to 4pm.
One said he arrived at Efford HWRC at 9am one morning last week and did not get in until after 11am. Another attended the site twice on Sunday and was turned away both times – the latter at 2.20pm because the queue was already so long he would not get in before it closed.
The queues and frustration felt by motorists was acknowledged by Totton councillor David Harrison, who added: “I would simply say that it is best not to use the HWRC while this issue of “over demand” exists.
“Hopefully, they [HCC] will come up with an improved system for managing the situation (as has been done by other local authorities).”
This morning (Monday), Cllr Humby explained the council had expected demand to be high, so implemented traffic management measures across to help manage traffic flow.
“However, with demand exceeding that in many other parts of England, long queues have been forming so I would urge residents to only travel to our HWRCs if absolutely essential,” he said.
Cllr Humby added: “If you can, please store your waste safely at home, and visit us at a later date.”
HCC estimated 4,000 visits have been made to its HWRCs each day since they reopened, equating to almost 30,000 visits in total.
It said anyone who has had Covid-19 symptoms in the last 14 days, or who lives with someone who has been symptomatic in the last fortnight, should not travel to or enter an HWRC.
After that period, any Covid-19 contaminated waste should be double bagged and put aside for 72 hours before being brought to a site.
The start date for the HWRC vehicle registration scheme has been postponed in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. However, the online vehicle registration system remains open ready for implementation later this year
For more information on social distancing procedures and what to expect if you visit an HWRC, go to www.hants.gov.uk/News/060502020HWRC