Ledbury waste site re-opens Wednesday... Print
Written by A. Cyclist   
Monday, 06 July 2020 11:25

... but not to cyclists (or pedestrians).

At long last, Herefordshire's remaining recycling centres in Ledbury, Bromyard and Kington will be re-opening this week, but bikes and pedestrians will not be admitted.  Herefordshire Council is instigating a booking system for cars just for these sites, ostensibly to ensure users live in the county and, presumably, to reduce queues.  The site at Ross, which opened a few weeks ago, is also subject to these restrictions (including no bikes), but booking is not required for Hereford or Leominster - and there is no mention on HC's website about bikes for either of those sites.

Whilst that might seem reasonable during the early days, bikes obviously would not constitute a queuing problem, so I wonder if their real motive is only to admit sealed Covid bubbles (ie. cars with windows closed) - as was the excuse finally given in this Hereford Times article.  As I live less than 300m from the Ledbury site, it is ridiculous to insist I pollute the local environment (and waste my time) by joining a queue in my car.  Moreover, it goes completely against government measures to reduce car use during the Covid crisis.  HC has received funds to encourage cycling, but it would rather spend them on (eg.) unenforceable 20mph speed limits and one-way roads instead.

Herefordshire Council introduced a booking system for pedestrian entrance to the site in 2009, but this was superseded by installation of a bell push by the gate to summon an attendant.

Before all this nonsense, I was able to visit the Ledbury site by bike, with or without trailer, with no problem whatsoever.  Bike website road.cc picked up the original article from the Ludlow Advertiser (another 'local' paper owned by the American giant Gannett Corp.) and published it here.

The first comment is interesting since it suggests Herefordshire Council is in violation of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 section 51 by failing to arrange..  ..for places to be provided at which persons resident in its area may deposit their household waste and for the disposal of waste so deposited.  By excluding certain vehicle users, Herefordshire Council is plainly denying these residents (and also those who do not have internet access, since booking can only be done online) access to the 'place' defined above by the Act.

Severn Waste Services manages all recycling sites in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.  There is nothing about bikes being refused entry according to its website, nor is there any such statement on that of Worcestershire County Council (though both state pedestrians are not allowed).  Nor is there any booking system in place for any recycling site in Worcestershire, all of which re-opened some time ago.

Comments on the road.cc article indicate some other local authorities are being silly about bikes (eg. Surrey), but others are even waving cyclists past queueing cars (Derby).  This is yet another inconsistency between different councils' waste management policies.

I will be taking this up with Herefordshire Council and will post any reply I receive here.