CALLS have been made to increase the opening hours at Newport tip.

Members of the Newport Conservative group have slammed the current hours offered by the Household Waste Recycling Centre as “unacceptable”.

It is, they claim, causing long queues and contributing to city-wide problems, such as fly-tipping.

The centre, in Docks Way, is open from 7.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 4.30pm on Saturday and Sunday.

But vehicles are not permitted access to the site 15 minutes before closing time, and the site is also closed on bank holidays.

This is except for Good Friday, when it offers 7.30am to 4.30pm opening hours, according to the council website, which adds: “The site can be very busy on weekends - pre-sorting your waste can help ease traffic congestion and prevent long queues.”

The city’s Conservative group leader, Councillor Matthew Evans, said: “There’s been a real drive on recycling nationally over the last five years, so it’s disappointing to see Newport has one of the shorter opening times.

“A lot of councils now open longer in the summer months when demand is high and then save on costs during the winter by shortening hours.”

He added: “The current situation also doesn’t help to deter fly-tipping and you also have to consider the traffic queuing on the SDR to get into the tip - better opening hours would help to reduce this”.

Conservative activist Michael Enea, who said he was among those forced to wait in long queues at the site on Saturday, said the tip in Newport has one of the shortest opening hours in Wales.

He said: “Newport ranks 16th out of the 22 Welsh councils by having one the shortest opening hours across the week. It can’t cost that much to open the tip on a Bank Holiday Monday. The council can’t keep blaming austerity when every other council tip is open.

“Newport tip only opens 60 hours a week. Neighbouring Cities like Cardiff and Swansea both open for 74 hours a week until 6pm. “

He added: “We’d like to see the tip open from 8am to either 6pm or 7pm.”

In response, a Newport City Council spokeswoman said: “Residents in Newport have access to the Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) in Docks Way seven days a week.

“Congestion around the site has been reduced after the cabinet member for Streetscene Councillor Roger Jeavons agreed to reversing the traffic flow to reduce vehicles backing up on the approach road.

“If opening hours were to be increased this could result in possible charges to meet overheads.

“No formal complaints relating to the opening times of the HWRC have been received.”