EXCLUSIVE: COUNCIL HAVE NO CURRENT PLANS TO REMOVE BOOKING REQUIREMENT AT LOCAL TIPS

The Isle of Wight Council has not yet decided when, or if, it will remove the booking system at Lynnbottom and Afton Marsh tips – despite there being no legal reason to keep the system in place.

Before COVID struck, Islanders could visit either of the household waste and recycling centres without prior arrangement. However, when the tips re-opened in May 2020 the Council decided to implement a booking system to restrict numbers – a sensible decision at the height of the pandemic. Every other bay was closed off and for a time no general waste was being accepted.

Over the past 18 months, the booking system and on-site restrictions have been relaxed but Islanders are still required to log on and book a timeslot at least 24 hours in advance. This is despite the vast majority of people being vaccinated and there being no legal restrictions on social distancing – the whole reason for bringing in the booking system in the first place.

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Spontaneous or last-minute trips to the dump are impossible and even those who plan a visit have to remember to book online in advance and stick to an appointment. Some cynical online commentators suggest the plan is to reduce the amount of waste being dumped altogether.

Since May 2020, a total of 221,554 booked visits have taken place at Lynnbottom with a further 46,025 at Afton Marsh. Based on approximately 80 weeks of operation (8 hours a day, 7 days a week, 56 hours a week), an average of 50 visits an hour have taken place at Lynnbottom since re-opening – despite it being ghostly quiet at times.

The Council say that the risk of staff being ‘pinged’ is a consideration when it comes to removing the booking system, although there being no requirement for anybody to have the COVID app and no requirement to self isolate if they are pinged. The build-up of traffic on the public highway is said to be another consideration.

A spokesperson for the Isle of Wight Council has told Island Echo:

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“The council has received numerous compliments on the booking system with significantly reduced waiting times for visitors. Further, a recent email from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary Road Traffic Enforcement Advisor who has written to the council praising the reduction of traffic issues on Briddlesford Road and noting there have been no adverse reports to the police regarding the Afton Marsh Site since the introduction of the booking system”.

“Whilst a formal decision is yet to be made on the retention long term of the booking system, the health and safety of our residents and staff remain a priority. The high transmission rate of the Delta Variant and risk to service delivery if our staff are all ‘pinged’ are of concern, further the lack of queuing and dangerous overtaking on the highway is a key consideration.

“It is appreciated that it is possible by law to remove the booking system, however, we do not feel that it is the right time to do so as the pandemic is not over. We will continue to review the situation as the pandemic continues”.

All of the information required to book is available at www.iow.gov.uk/recyclingcentres and booking can also be made over the phone by calling 01983 823777.

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The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Know it all
Know it all
6 days ago

Booking system works fine for me. No more traffic hold ups

Sunnydaze
Sunnydaze
Reply to  Know it all
6 days ago

Totally agree

Island Girl
Island Girl
6 days ago

Yes, please keep the booking system. It makes the whole process so much easier. No cars blocking road. Staff are most helpful. The system works as it is now.

Very Old Bill
Very Old Bill
Reply to  Island Girl
6 days ago

Totally agree

Bojosays?
Bojosays?
6 days ago

Let’s have a booking system for transport, then no one will have to stand on a bus or a train

Mark
Mark
6 days ago

If safety is their concern what about the increased risk of traffic accidents due to people rushing to make their brief slot having got delayed in traffic?

Or the health issues arising from increased fly tipping from people who are unable to get a slot in the limited period ?

Or the risk of aggression to workers turning those without appointments away?

In an ideal world people wouldn’t do this but sadly we do not live in an ideal world.

The lack of queues is a bonus but those long queues were a direct result of the council massively reducing the opening hours forcing those who work to come at the already busy weekend period increasing cr

Busy man
Busy man
6 days ago

Booking system doesn’t work for me. Having to make appointments for everything including haircuts now days and trying to plan my weekends with military precision.
Things don’t always go to plan for busy people and all the flexibility has gone.
Probably great if your retired or not got a lot to do.
Gone are the days of finding a spare hour in the day and thinking, I’ll use that to nip up the tip.

Sammy
Sammy
Reply to  Busy man
6 days ago

Don’t book then babe, risk it for a biscuit?! I’m sure you’d find a way to moan if there wasn’t booking

David Ford
David Ford
Reply to  Busy man
6 days ago

So you would rather queue for half an hour on the road and waste more of your precious time booking works in and out in minutes

Organised busy man
Organised busy man
Reply to  Busy man
6 days ago

We’re all busy “Busy Man”. But some of us are also ‘organised’.

Prior to the booking system, traffic backing up entering Lynnbottom HWRC was extremely dangerous and likely a deadly accident was imminent.

I am happy to be organised and book a slot. Rather than a possibility someone I know, or myself be involved in a serious car crash, queuing on a busy road to fulfil a task that essentially could wait a day or two.

In my option, let’s keep the booking system.

Just mundane
Just mundane
Reply to  Busy man
5 days ago

Get a life and stop meeting.

Proud Overner
Proud Overner
6 days ago

Keep the booking system but return to every other bay to park in as islanders seem to have trouble reversing into a single bay.

ian johnson
ian johnson
6 days ago

The booking system works great for me. Are there many people on the island without phones who can’t pre-book? No other reason to moan about the current system.

Bansko
Bansko
6 days ago

I think the booking system works very well but I wish we did not have to have a gap of 24 hours. I only have the weekend available to go to the tip but can only go one of the two days which is a nuisance at the moment as I am bulk clearing a property. So I ageee it is probably about reducing the amount people can take in terms of the 24 hour break enforced.

Common sense
Common sense
6 days ago

It’s very limiting not being able to take up spaces on the same day you are booking,
It’s not rocket science to change that.

 

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