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Confirmation again that motorists come first…

18 May

Having been rebuffed by the council waste team in relation to my request that bins are not left after collection where they obstruct pedestrians in what I consider to be an illegal manner I decided to ask one of the bin men themselves why they left them on the pavement rather than within the property. He was initially a bit defensive but then said ‘the first thing we are told is not to block driveways because otherwise motorists will have to stop in the road to move them and it will cause havoc‘. He also claimed that they never obstruct the pavement, by which I assume he meant ‘totally block the pavement’. He acknowledge that they did also leave bins on the pavement even where there was already a car on the driveway so it was unlikely that it would ’cause havoc’ to put them back where they got them from!

I then took a walk up the pavement to see how usable it was and it didn’t take long to find this example where there was only 400mm between the edge of the bin and the kerb, which is about half the width of a typical external door to a house! Two photos, one where the binmen had left it and another where I consider that they should have left it.

400mm remaining

Where they should have left it

Challenging the local bin policy

5 May

I have now had a response to my query to Ipswich Borough Council in regard to why bins are left in just about the worst place they could be for pedestrians by their contractors after they have been emptied. The council confirmed that their contractors are instructed to leave bins “on the curtillage of the property… not obstructing residents’ driveways, preventing usage of drop kerbs etc” which they described as being the ‘safest position‘ as it didn’t risk damage to cars which she considered would be the case if the bins were left in line with the parked cars as I had proposed. Not a single mention of the needs of pedestrians in general and the blind and wheelchair users in particular. Not exactly what seems to be  required under the Equalities Act 2010 which came into force in October 2010 and provides ‘A basic framework of protection against direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation in services and public functions; premises; work; education; associations, and transport‘.

As it happened it was bin-day today and also polling day today so I was able to sample a few pavements on the route to my local polling station just after the bins had been collected. As you can see from the pictures below (on the left ) the bins were generally left in a position where they were obstructing the pavement. I moved them to a more sensible pave where I proposed that they should be left (on the right) which was often on the relevant driveway only a very short distance from where it had been left by the binmen.

Bins after collection (as now on the left, and as proposed on the right)

Update: Since making the above post I have noticed that the contractors leave bins in a much more obstructive way than the householders did. Check out the pictures below – the images on the left were taken just before the bin collection showing that the householders left them on the edge of their property sensibly, the images on the right show how to binmen then left them all over the footway.

Before bin collection on the left and afterward on the right

More bins on the pavement and silence from the council

3 May

I have been writing to my council and my local councilor and have been leaving reports on FixMyStreet since October 2010 in relation to bins left on pavements. I am writing to the relevant officer again today.

Here are some new photos from over the weekend from one housing area in Ipswich. The first two pictures show the way that the pavement is being used for the permanent storage of bins by some, but not all, residents; the last one shows bins left scattered all over the only part of the pavement available for pedestrians after they have been emptied by the council contractors in a way that I believe is illegal under the Equality Act 2010

Bins along a very narrow pavement

More bins on the pavement

Bin assault course on collection day

Update: The council have now responded and said that they do follow up complaints about bins being left permanently on the pavement and get them moved. Lets now see what happens. They have however said they won’t change the instructions to their binmen on where to leave the empty bins which I am going to challenge them on.

Getting bin collections compliant with the Equality Act 2010?

30 Mar

Our blue and brown bins were emptied today and it occurred to me that the bin men have a choice about where they leave the empty bins. Their can leave them on the pavement close to the property (which is what they normally do), or in line with parked cars at the edge of the pavement close or on the carriageway as appropriate.

I note that the Equality Act 2000 says that disabled people “should not be discriminated against or harassed in relation to the use of transport services. This also covers access to travel infrastructure such as railway stations and bus stations. You also have a right to reasonable adjustments.”

Personally I think the current situation does constitute discrimination and that ‘reasonable adjustments’ are in order and that bins should be left in line with the parked cars rather than at the back of the pavement where this is required to maintain a usable pavement. I will email the council and ask them to comment on this suggestion and to review their guidance with regard to bin collections.

Bins left where they cause unnecessary inconvenience

Brown bins this time

Leave these ones on the carriageway please

Too much stuff!

19 Oct

Outside this house on Burrell Road in Ipswich there is a parked car and 5 large wheely-bins. Some attempt has been made to keep them off the pavement but it has not been 100% effective. Interestingly no 99 next door is boarded up so this person appears to have the use of all of these bins.

This is on a major pedestrian route to the Railway station and much of the rest of the street is lined of wheely bins.

To much stuff!

This pair of houses (below) on Burrell Road have 6 bins on the street between them. The one this end could keep them on their driveway. What about the left hand house? Well they do have off-street space.

Convenient but not necessary – bins could easily be kept off the highway

Finally, this terrace. The houses have no front gardens and no alley-ways obviously visible to get to the back of the houses. Do they really need such large bins? Could other provision be made or has part of the highway been permanently ‘privatised’ for storing household rubbish?

Lines of bins narrowing the pavement

I am going to ask for clarification from the council as to the rules about leaving bins in the street at all, and in particular of having 5 bins and a car outside a single house.