Pensnett man dumped out of council tip after van measures up two inches over limit

3:56pm Monday 12th May 2014

A PENSNETT man discovered size does matter after he fell foul of council tip regulations by two inches.

Ian Macaulay had made an appointment to take hedge cuttings from his son’s house to the Stourbridge Civic Amenity site using a borrowed transit van.

When he arrived at the Birmingham Street site, on April 30, eager officials measured his vehicle and found it shaped up at 18 feet two inches – slightly more than the regulation 18 foot maximum.

Mr Macaulay, aged 73, said: “We were told 18 feet would be ok when we made the appointment. When they measured it and it was 18 feet two they said we would have to drive though – I said ‘you must be joking’.

“He said he would check and then said it was 18 foot six, we said ‘has it grown four inches then?’

“The next day we checked and it is 18 foot six with the tow bar, I accept there have to be rules but we were just trying to clear a garden.

“They just kept saying no – I thought they were taking the mickey.”

The put out pensioner, from Tansey Green Road, took his complaint up with senior council officials and was told “rules are rules” despite his Transit van being just a fraction over the permitted length.

The council is standing by their regulations and claim their systems for larger vehicles are fair for everyone.

John Millar, Dudley director of urban environment, said: “The system is also more open than many other councils as we provide a booking service for people to make an unlimited amount of appointments, where people are clearly advised of the restrictions on the vehicles entering the site.

“When it comes to the 18 feet long limit, we have to draw the line somewhere to ensure the site is safe for other people and the tip can cater for all residents' waste and recycling.

“Mr Macaulay's vehicle measured 18-and-a-half feet which is longer than the permitted length which would have been made clear at the time of booking."

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