‘DANGEROUS’ traffic queues caused by the temporary shut down of Barrow’s tip must be sorted out, councillors have demanded.

At a meeting of Barrow Local Committee on Monday, members strongly criticised the recent delays which left traffic at a standstill on Walney Road.

The household waste and recycling centre temporarily closed to the public to allow for large metal waste containers to be emptied.

The reason was to avert an on-site health and safety risk – but councillors complained that the move transferred the ‘hazard onto the highway’.

Tip-bound cars could not enter for up to 25 minutes – leading to queueing traffic, while other motorists drove up the middle of the road to get past.

Cllr Frank Cassidy said the site had operated perfectly well for years without a problem. Cllr Cassidy said: “I got snarled-up in these cars backing up on the A590. My daughter was with me and I felt really unsafe. I felt exposed – stuck in a car on the A590 with cars whizzing up behind you – it was a very worrying experience.”

Cllr Anne Burns called for a commonsense solution rather than pushing traffic on to ‘one of the most dangerous roads in Cumbria’.

“It’s because the tip has done this that this has happened because we have never had it before,” said Cllr Burns.

However, the meeting heard that it was not possible for the tip operators to guess when a container would be filled and in need of replacement – leading to a ‘catch 22 situation’.

Dawn Roberts, the council’s director for corporate, customer and community services, also said it was ‘critical’ that health and safety was followed on-site.

She said: “There have been some horrific incidents in other places as a result of health and safety not being followed on such sites. It’s absolutely critical but equally important is the impact on the highway.”

The county council has planned some short term measures to stop the problem and has launched a feasibility study to look at changing the site layout or moving the tip elsewhere.

The meeting was told that any temporary closures could lead to a reduction in rubbish being taken to the tip and more being fly-tipped.

The findings of the feasibility study are due to be reported back to councillors in September, including indicative costs for a site layout.

However, the committee was told there was not any current funding available to fund a new site layout.

Cllr Mel Worth said any ‘cost implications’ should be met by the contract holders of the site, rather than the county council.