A COUNTY council has revealed residents won't be able to pre-book slots more than 48 hours in advance to visit tips across Hampshire.

Hampshire County Council (HCC) announced more than 3,500 slots are being released every day, however residents can only book one slot a week and dates more than two days ahead are unavailable to book.

This comes after HCC unveiled the pre-booking system from Monday 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.

Now Romsey community leaders have shared their thoughts on the move, with one councillor criticising the booking system for being "very limiting" for residents wanting to dump their rubbish.

READ: Residents now have to book appointments in advance to visit tips >>> 

Cllr Mark Cooper, who represents Romsey Tadburn on Test Valley Borough Council, said it is "very limiting for people who want to visit the tips", adding it could be down to the county council's system struggling "to cope with the number of bookings" being made.

However, he added: "The other worry for the council may be if people book too far in advance they tend to be less reliable when it comes to turning up on the day."

Romsey Advertiser: Cllr Mark CooperCllr Mark Cooper

Cllr Dorothy Baverstock, who represents Romsey Cupernham on the borough council, said: "A lady complained to me she was on the site late one night trying to get a slot, she tried again in the morning and couldn't get anything for all of June, so hopefully this complaint has prompted HCC to put this extra message up to people.

"As the tips were closed for weeks this has meant people have got a big build up and want to throw their rubbish away at the tips, but I would rather people had a build up in their gardens then try to dump it across the countryside."

She added: "I would encourage residents to keep checking the council website as slots are released."

Romsey Advertiser: Cllr Dorothy Baverstock Cllr Dorothy Baverstock

READ: Rules when visiting county tips >>> 

Executive member for economy, transport and environment at Hampshire County Council, cllr Rob Humby, said: “With new COVID-19 safety measures at HWRCs, capacity at each site is reduced but I am pleased see that the new booking system for HWRCs is working well.

"We had to set this up in response to the severe traffic queues we saw in the first few weeks of HWRCs reopening, and it allows for more than 30,000 each week.

"Residents are able to book one slot per week, 48 hours in advance, and while demand has been high, it is good to see that the lengthy and disruptive traffic queues are no longer a problem.

"The website bookings show which slots are available to book in the next 48 hour period, and, as dates ahead of 48 hours cannot be booked, these show as unavailable at that time as well.

"We are currently investigating if the different status can be made more clear; a set number of booking slots are released each day to manage demand."

Romsey Advertiser: Cllr Rob Humby Cllr Rob Humby

He added: "I would still ask residents to consider if their trip to an HWRC is essential, and if it is possible for them to store their waste safely at home until demand diminishes or to make use of the kerbside collection services operated by the district councils.”

The tips continue to be open from 9am to 6pm.