Roadworks mean early wake-up call for residentsBy Nick Edmondson
October 15, 2012
RUBBISH workers keen to avoid the traffic chaos surrounding Aldershot's road works are waking residents with 5:30am collections.
Households in the roads surrounding the water main works on Ash Road have seen their roads clogged with traffic as drivers follow diversions or look for their own short cuts.
Now residents are being routinely woken before 6am by early rubbish collections, as waste disposal staff attempt to dodge rush hour traffic.
Tanya Gower, of Chrismas Avenue, said she has routinely been woken by the noise of collections.
"The bin lorries are very noisy, big vehicles," she said. "There is no need for them to be out so early and considering how horrible the traffic is around us all of the time, being woken up so early is not good.
"We have been woken well before 6am by these collections and they are telling us that the roadworks will be going on until March. It can't carry on like this."
Miss Gower, who works as an accountant, added: "The problem isn't the roadworks themselves. People here know that they have to be done. It's the terrible diversions that are causing the real problems. They are just completely inappropriate for what is needed.
"It's understandable that the bin men would want to avoid the traffic, but it's just not going to work. One time a load of houses in Chrismas Place didn't get their rubbish collected because the lorry couldn't get down there.
"This was because everyone's cars were still parked on the road because they weren't even out of bed yet, let alone ready to leave the house."
Miss Gower's complaint was taken up by the council, who explained that Veolia, the company contracted to carry out waste disposal, had agreed to start collections an hour earlier than the usual time of 7am.
Contracts manager James Duggan wrote: "I can see from our vehicle tracking data that they have started considerably earlier than this, for which I sincerely apologise."
He added: "As you will be aware, the road works in Ash Road have caused some problems with the flow of traffic around the area. The waste collection service has suffered in particular as when we enter a side road such as Chrismas Avenue, vehicles are guided in behind us, where they become stuck fro several minutes whilst we empty the bins.
"The level of traffic starts to increase at around 7am and our presence in these roads becomes too much of a risk.
"Additionally, during the first week of the diversion, our crews experienced a great deal of abuse from frustrated motorists and ended up having to leave for fear of their safety."
Councillors met with representatives of South East Water on Thursday to discuss the works and the residents' complaints.
Hampshire county councillor for Aldershot East Eric Neal said: "We were told that the Ash Road works are on time.
"I expressed my view, which is that the duration of time for these works of 29 weeks is unacceptable."
South East Water explained that there was not enough room on the site to increase the staff numbers, which BT was also using the trench to install a fibre optic cable.
"South East Water sent along a team of seven people, no one can say that they are not taking this seriously."