A PRE-BOOKING system is set to be introduced at tips across Hampshire this month, allowing for up to 30,000 visits per week.

Hampshire County Council (HCC) revealed the plans in a bid to cope with "very high demand and long queues" that have formed outside of Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) across the county since they reopened on May 11.

This comes as HCC found the queues of traffic has impacted people living in the county travelling to work and has hit businesses trying to get back up and running and deliver essential services.

Drivers who want to use the tips will be able to book several days in advance and the new system is expected to launch from mid-June.

READ: What you can and can't do when visiting the tip >>> 

Now Test Valley community leaders have shared their thoughts on the new booking system, which will limit the number of people visiting the sites amid the coronavirus crisis.

Cllr Mark Cooper, who represents Romsey Tadburn on the borough council, said: "I was one of the people who suggested this before the tips opened up, so it has been in circulation for some time.

"I think the council did not have the technology at the time to have a pre-booking system, but I think they have it now which could be very useful."

Romsey Advertiser: Cllr Mark CooperCllr Mark Cooper

He added: "We were asking for the tips to be reopened weeks ago because we found there was a distinct rise in fly-tipping and we thought if we opened them again it would decrease fly-tipping.

"The council said they couldn't do that because of social distancing, so a few councillors said 'fine, have a pre-booking system' and here we are six weeks later.

"Now this means when we are going to the tip we won't have to wait for an hour in the car."

READ: Community leader slams 'repulsive' offenders after fly-tip blocks road >>> 

Cllr Dorothy Baverstock, who represents Romsey Cupernham on the borough council, said: "I am delighted the tips are open again because we need to get back into some kind of system where people feel they can dump their rubbish.

"The booking system might work for a couple of weeks, but it is not the way forward for the future, because it is a spur of the moment thing I do when I have got 10 minutes."

Romsey Advertiser: Cllr Dorothy Baverstock Cllr Dorothy Baverstock

Cllr Rob Humby, deputy leader and executive member for economy, transport and environment at HCC, said: “We have recently extended opening hours, which has helped, but with very high demand and long queues persisting at a number of sites, we now need to consider other options, including limiting visits with a pre-booking system.

“Hampshire has one of the largest HWRC networks in the country, and we recognise how Hampshire residents value the service which has been both convenient and effective in promoting recycling and managing waste.

“We will be able to confirm later this week when people can start using a new pre-booking system for HWRC visits."

Romsey Advertiser: Cllr Rob Humby Cllr Rob Humby

He added: "Setting up a pre booking system has been an option under consideration all along for reopening the HWRCs; the costs, operational requirements, timeliness and effectiveness of any system clearly need to be weighed up against the demands for re-opening sites quickly to meet Government and public expectations.

"The new social distancing measures and COVID-safe working requirements inevitably means capacity at sites is significantly reduced, and while we anticipated demand would be high to start with, we expected demand would fall to a more manageable level after the initial re-opening.

"Despite our clear messages to residents to consider delaying visits to HWRCs if they could safely store waste at home at the same time as making use of kerbside collection services provided by district and borough councils, we have not seen a reduction in demand and queuing, and therefore we now need to introduce a pre-booking system."