A petition launched to fight the potential closure of a Bucks rubbish tip has been backed by more than 2,000 people, as a major council consultation into the plan continues.

Last month Bucks County Council (BCC) announced at least one of its recycling centres could be axed in a bid to save £1.2 million amid huge “financial pressures”.

Councillor for The Risboroughs, Bill Bendyshe-Brown, launched a petition against the closure of the Bledlow Ridge centre, which has now amassed more than 2,700 signatures following an “outcry” from residents.

Writing on the petition, Paula Smith said: “I’ve lived in Bledlow and Princes Risborough most of my life and always used this tip. I genuinely feel that if you want people to recycle you need to provide the local facilities. Taking them away makes no sense at all and will increase fly-tipping.”

Antony Wiles added: “This facility is in constant use, it’s superbly located, and it would be a travesty if it was closed down. Surely it makes sense to keep it going.”

Addressing a meeting of BCC on Thursday, September 20, Cllr Bendyshe-Brown said the extra distance residents will have to travel to a tip will create more traffic and add further damage to the county’s roads.

He said: “Have you taken into account the additional miles made by ratepayers if we were to close the Bledlow site?

“I have made a very rudimentary calculation, which suggests over a year an extra 1.2 million miles will be travelled.

“Obviously it has an impact on road wear and tear and congestion.”

Cabinet member for planning and environment, Bill Chapple, said he “recognises concern” over the closure of the centres, and urged residents to have their say in the public consultation.

However he added the Bledlow Ridge recycling centre “is not fit for purpose” and will not cope with future population growth in the county.

Cllr Chapple said: “We need a reduction of £1.2 million in the next financial year. People have said why consult when you have already come up with your preferences?

“We have come up with an area of preferences and we want people to respond to us to give us some guidance.

“I fully appreciate if you close a household waste site there will be extra mileage. But to get there again it is recognised that most people visit their household waste site do so once a month.”

He went on to urge residents to have their say in the public consultation, which is due to finish at 12am on October 22.

To take part visit democracy.buckscc.gov.uk/mgConsultationDisplay.aspx?ID=7402