Recycling Centre changes for vans, pick-ups and trailers
vehicle permits scheme at recycling centres across Somerset - including
Highbridge - has proved so successful that councillors have, after
carefully listening to the views of users, decided to relax it to
allow vans, pick-ups and car-towed trailers access whenever recycling
sites are open.
Established last year, the scheme allowed permit vehicles to use
open recycling sites at any time on weekdays but only 1pm-4pm on
Saturdays at weekends. Those time limits have now ended.
Other simplifications include a clearer way to identify vehicles
requiring permits by using their 'N1' registration category, and
adding all campervans and minibuses to the permit system due to
their van-like size and carrying capacity.
Somerset's permit scheme began in October amid growing congestion
and queues caused by large, heavily laden and hard to manoeuvre
vehicles, often with trailers, and after recycling site visits soared,
in part from out-of-county traffic when nearby councils began tough
report on the permit schemes first six months said it had
achieved its aims: to cut congestion, control illegal commercial
users, bar out-of-county visitors from holding permits, maintain
safety and improve services.
The vast majority of users who take their waste to recycling
sites in their cars have never been affected by the scheme,
which also barred the largest vehicles with the heaviest loads.
Some 22,000 Somerset residents with vans, pick-ups and car-towed
trailers have taken a minute to order their free permit online,
and the first six months saw a marked improvement at sites.
Recycling staff have seen fewer commercial users trying to sneak
in waste they must legally pay to dispose of, while out-of-county
visitors cannot get permits.
The amount of waste brought in by illegal and out-of-county users
has been cut significantly, but forecasts of a rise in fly-tipping
proved wrong, with overall dumping figures for Somerset falling.
Just over 500 permit comments were received, most of which wanted
greater weekend access time, which was agreed by councillors on
Somerset Waste Partnerships (SWP) governing board.
Details of the changes will be communicated via SWPs website,
leaflets and signs at recycling sites, and directly to permit holders
who registered their email address.
A SWP spokesman told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "Action was essential
and permits have proved very effective by targeting those vehicles
and trailers that were creating the greatest congestion."
"Councillors listened to permit users and have reviewed the
permits scheme to make these changes. Its success makes the weekend
access changes possible."
All recycling site users except those using cars without
trailers are urged to check the details of the changes at
Pictured: No limits: permit vehicles can now use recycling sites
whenever they are open