A WEBSITE for Hampshire residents to register their vehicle to use the Household Waste and Recycling Centres for free has been hit with “intermittent technical issues” after thousands of people tried to access it.

Hampshire County Council launched the website on December 18, which can be used by residents to register their vehicles for continued free access to the centres from spring, or face a £5 charge.

However, more than 45,000 vehicles were registered within 24 hours of going live, resulting in problems for some.

The council said: “We are aware that the level of activity has caused some intermittent technical issues with the website resulting in some residents not being able to complete the process, and we apologise for the inconvenience this has caused.”

They advised that there is still plenty of time to register, with the new system launching in the spring of 2020.

It will mean non-Hampshire residents, or those who haven’t registered their vehicle, will be charged £5 per visit, to off-set the waste disposal costs incurred.

Hampshire County Council is planning a rolling programme of communications with residents over the next few months, ahead of the launch of the new system.

They said: “We are introducing this new system – using the existing ANPR systems on the sites – so that residents from outside the county can continue to access Hampshire HWRCs which we recognise may be more convenience and involve less travelling in order to dispose of their waste, but in a way that is fairer to Hampshire residents who pay for the cost of the service through their council tax.”

They added: “A number of neighbouring councils have already chosen to ban non-residents from using their facilities, however we recognise that this is not the most effective and environmentally practicable options for residents who live close to county borders.”

Residents were divided in opinion over the change.

One woman said: "If it stops people who aren't from the local area causing longer waiting times, then I'm all for it."

Another said: "It is Big Brother like and it's another way for the council to keep tabs on residents."

To register, visit https://www.hants.gov.uk/news/Dec19HWRCcarregistration.