IT is a year since Herefordshire’s tips started operating a booking system in a bid to continue operating safely during the coronavirus pandemic.
Herefordshire Council announced in September 2020 that the sites in Chapel Road, Hereford and Bridge Street, Leominster, which were at the time open as they were before the coronavirus pandemic, would be following a similar system to those in place at Bromyard, Ledbury, Kington and Ross-on-Wye tips, which were already using a booking system.
The news came after queues of over an hour were seen at the tips after months of closure during lockdown.
The system requires all visitors to pre-book a timeslot for their visit, either online or by phone.
And, 12 months on, we asked you what you thought of the system.
Of those who responded to our question on Facebook, the majority were in favour of keeping the booking system.
“Love it, never any queues now and can get a slot the same day usually,” said Catherine Strangwood.
Stacey Knill was among the many who agreed. “Booking is good for us and when it’s been full I’ve been happy to book and travel to other sites,” she said.
“I’d rather that than sit in a queue.”
And Donna Walker said she thought it was marvellous. “Much better than the old system,” she said.
But others were less convinced by the system.
“Would rather just turn up when I need to as you can never really ‘plan’ when you need to go to the tip sometimes and especially with weather etc,” said Emma Louise Riley.
“Just let it go back to normal and you won’t have queues,” said Alan Mills.
“When I want to I want to go, not when they tell me.”
Others voiced concerns that the system was encouraging flytipping, with some suggesting a hybrid system of pre-booked and walk-in slots.
“Booking has been so easy and simple, but if it stops fly tippers, time to go back to normal maybe,or just be able to book a slot on certain days,” said Andrew Leighton.
“Just turn up should be available, ” said Ann Lloyd.
“They could operate a system where you can book a slot so you don’t have to wait, but also allow so many slots for those who just want to turn up and take their chance.
“A good balance would be half can be pre-booked, the other half are for those who are prepared to just turn up and wait until they can get in.”
And John Walker said: “The booking system is fine for well-organised and conscientious people but just means everyone else fly tips in the countryside.
“It’s supposed to be a public services like bin collections. It should be easy to use as the alternative is social damaging and much more expensive to deal with.”
In July, Herefordshire Council said it had no plans to scrap the system.
The council said it the system would stay in place after “proving to be successful at reducing queues and crowding at peak times”.
Only residents of Herefordshire can book a slot, and people must provide their address and vehicle registration number.