HAMPSHIRE County Council is to further consider trials of pedestrian and cycle access to its Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC).

Initial proposals for a limited local trial were considered following a request through a local deputation to the county council.

A proposed trial, based at the Alresford HWRC, was put forward for consideration to Cllr Rob Humby at his Decision Day to assess the potential benefits of reintroducing pedestrian or cycle access to HWRCs in a controlled and safe way.

Cllr Humby, deputy leader and executive member for economy, transport and environment at Hampshire County Council, said: “When the report was published proposing the local trial scheme at Alresford, it triggered wider interest, and I’m grateful for all those who contacted me or who came along to speak at the meeting today.

“I’ve listened to the community and to my fellow county councillors’ ideas about people wishing to access HWRCs by foot or cycle and it’s clear to me that we now need to further consider how we can set about running a meaningful trial, in a safe and controlled way - as well as during a period when there is likely to be the greatest demand in the spring or summer.

“I have, therefore, deferred a decision on this to allow for further details to be developed into how the trial will be run.

“I would stress that the primary reason people are encouraged to visit an HWRC in a vehicle is safety, so we will need to look carefully at how sites are accessed when we design the trial and whether we should run separate trials to test different options for pedestrian and cycle access.”

Hampshire County Council went on to say all of its HWRCs operate in line with Government guidelines on preventing the spread of coronavirus and in a way that supports social distancing.

In order to minimise social interaction and therefore the number of people on site at any one time, measures have been implemented to keep sites safe during the coronavirus outbreak, including an online booking system.

However, the county council has a duty to maintain the health and safety of staff and customers at its facilities at all times so this will be a key consideration in looking at any variation to access arrangements, even in the event of any changes to Government guidance on social distancing in the future.