From Monday 5th June, trailers longer than 1.83m will not be permitted on site at the Lynnbottom tip or Afton Marsh household waste recycling centres.
Back in April OnTheWight shared a letter from South Wight resident Andy S-C, who expressed his disappointment at the plans, having just purchased a 2m trailer for the express purpose to taking stuff to the dump.
This was followed last month by a letter from Gordon Payne, who declared Isle of Wight Council a ‘most short-sighted, ignorant and stupid collection of officials’.
Many Islanders use trailers to dispose of household or garden waste at the recycling centres, and with 6.6ft being a common trailer size, they are going to be sorely disappointed come Monday.
Why the change in rules?
OnTheWight got in touch with the council to find out whether they’d reconsider the ban, or at least extend the trailer length allowable to 2m.
Paraphrasing, the response was a categorical ‘No’. Why? Because the layout of Lynnbottom won’t allow for it.
A spokesperson for the Isle of Wight council told OnTheWight,
“Unfortunately, the combined length of a vehicle, hook-up and trailer over 6 foot/1.83m exceeds the parking bays length, and the length of the accessible bay, this constricts the traffic flow within the Lynnbottom site.
“With over 200,000 visits by members of the public each year, to Lynnbottom, it is important that the council and Amey take consideration of the safety of all users, public and staff. This includes ensuring safe vehicle movements and reducing queuing on Briddlesford Road. If users unhooked trailers and used an adjoining bay, this would impede other users from accessing the site and increase congestion on the highway.”
With the promise of an enhanced facility following groundworks at Lynnbottom last year, OnTheWight was curious to understand what research on use of trailers had been carried out by Amey and IWC.
The council spokesperson told us,
“Detailed studies of the site, which included vehicle tracking and swept path analysis have formed the Site Traffic Management Plan. Part of this work has led to the inclusion of an accessible bay (drive in, drive out) for users with mobility difficulties, that can also be accessed vehicles towing a trailer length of up to 1.83cm/ 6 foot.
“The vehicle tracking analysis has identified that the maximum length of a trailer being towed by a vehicle that the accessible bay can safely accommodate without impacting on safe movement of vehicles and other pedestrians around the site, is 1.83cm/6 foot.
“The decision to introduce the new site rules relating to trailers over 1.83m/6 foot was a joint one between the Isle of Wight Council and Amey who both have a legal responsibility for the safety of the members of the public that use our recycling centres and for our staff.”
Based on that response, it doesn’t appear any research was carried out to look at how many people use trailers and what length is the most common – the study appears only to relate to what can be accommodated based on the current layout chosen by Amey and the IWC.
Reverse only safety measure
The spokesperson finished by telling us,
“Lynnbottom operates a number of parking bays all of which are reverse-only to comply with safety guidance and decrease unload times for users. With limited space available at Lynnbottom, the site must provide suitable parking facilities for users while not obstructing exit routes or impede the movements of other vehicles.
“Unfortunately, it has often been the case that vehicles with large trailers can cause an obstruction to other users and be on site significantly longer, impacting on waiting times for other users and impacting on safety.
“This can cause delays for users attempting to enter or exit the site which can cause delays on Briddlesford Road. We have a duty under national health and safety guidance to reduce the risk of road traffic incidents on the highway and reducing traffic delays caused by traffic entering the site.”
Why not consider in redesign?
Some might suggest that given the IWC were aware that trailers larger than 1.83m can cause an obstruction, they should have redesigned the layout accordingly, carrying out the work while Lynnbottom was closed for two weeks, or Afton Marsh was closed for three weeks.
Instead, it looks as though the only option for Islanders wishing to recyle household waste or garden waste, is to attempt to sell their 2m+ trailers and invest in one that is 1.83m or shorter.
Let’s hope it doesn’t result in more flytipping around the Island, as that not only looks bad, but brings a cost for the council each time the rubbish has to be collected.