OUTRAGED residents have criticised the webcam service of council recycling centres after being hit by long queues which they claim they were not made aware of.

People slammed an online ‘checking’ service encouraged by Buckinghamshire Council, which enables residents to see how busy their local tip is using a series of webcams.

Shortly after the authority promoted the webcams on social media, on December 29, a series of complaints came back claiming the images only show the inside of the site making it impossible to know how long queues outside might be – and that one site’s camera was not available.

READ MORE: Hundreds in Bucks back call to close schools in Tier 4 areas

The tip in Beaconsfield received the most complaints with one resident saying it was “chaos” on December 29, demanding traffic measures be installed.

Another resident said “tens” of vehicles had been turned away 20 minutes before closing time, having queued for the best part of an hour.

Bucks Free Press:

“Our household recycling centres are extremely busy at the moment with seasonal recycling,” read the council message. “If you do need to take extra recycling to your local HRC, please check the site’s webcam before you go so you can avoid queuing.”

“This isn’t very helpful,” replied one person. “The webcam at Beaconsfield tip shows the inside, not the queue, so you can’t tell.

“The note under the webcam image refers you to the ‘waiting time’ on the web page, but that’s not shown, so there’s no way to know in advance how long the wait will be.”

READ MORE: ‘Huntsman fed fox carcass to dogs by hand moments after illegal pack kill’

Another resident tweeted: “Beaconsfield tip today [December 29] waiting for 45 mins to be told to go away at 3.40.

“Tens of cars on both sides of the road turned away. Why was we not told earlier for f*** sake – absolute joke.”

Bucks Free Press:

“Beaconsfield tip needs traffic control this is chaos @BucksCouncil @tfb,” wrote another person.

Meanwhile, in Buckingham, one resident highlighted the fact the webcam service was “temporarily unavailable”.

The council website for Beaconsfield tip states December is an “extremely busy” time, that it has 11 spaces for vehicles to unload, that its peak times are weekend afternoons, and that the facility runs from 9am-4pm most days.

It also says: “This webcam shows the parking area inside the site when it is open, so does not show any queues outside the site.”

A spokesperson for Buckinghamshire Council said: "The Christmas holiday has always been a time when our household recycling centres are very busy. This year, however, there have been other factors which have made the situation worse and have led to queuing at many sites. Firstly, social distancing restrictions are in place at all sites, meaning that site capacity is greatly reduced. Secondly, the disruption caused to normal seasonal activities by Tier 4 coronavirus restrictions has meant that visiting patterns appear to have changed, with a greater focus than usual on the immediate post-Christmas period.

"Because the sites are so busy at present, visitors will unfortunately have to queue if they cannot put off their visit until a different time. However, people will only be turned away from sites if staff estimate that they will not get to the front of the queue before the site is due to close for the day."

For more information, click here

We’ve launched a new Facebook group for local news junkies, politics fans and everyone who wants to keep up to date with the latest issues affecting Buckinghamshire. Please join the conversation over at Buckinghamshire Politics