This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some additions by OnTheWight. Ed
Residents have complained that a trip to the tip could involve two hours of queuing, with one holidaymaker saying they took their recycling back to London, rather than face the tailbacks.
Opening times slashed by 35 hours
As previously reported, to save money the council slashed summer opening times by 35 hours a week.
The tip is now open from 10am to 6pm, whereas last summer it was open from 7am to 8pm.
Cllr Stewart said:
“We are told some people are sitting in their cars from 8.30am onwards — bear in mind it opens at 10am — with their flasks and their sandwiches to be first into the tip.”
Combination of “roadworks and nice weather” increased the pressure
Cllr Stewart said a “perfect storm” of roadworks and nice weather had increased pressure on the shorter opening hours, making tailbacks worse.
In a bid to tackle the problem, the council announced on Wednesday it would be closing the sliproad leading to the tip before 10am, preventing queues from building.
Cllr Stewart, said,
“We do not know if it will work. But the tip can accomodate 40 to 50 vehicles straight away, which will help ease the queue.”
However, he said the council would consider opening the tip at 8am at the weekend if, by the end of May, the problem had not eased.
“Best time” to visit the tip
The council has also advised that the best time to visit the tip is between 4pm and 6pm and is now considering installing a webcam so residents can check congestion levels before they visit.
Cllr Stewart said:
“We don’t want people sitting there for hours and we don’t want people missing ferries.
“We want to find a sustainable approach within our budget framework.”
However, he added:
“I am not convinced that changing to 8am is necessary because you’ll have people turning up at 7am.”