Jobsworth council chiefs have told an elderly couple they must drag their wheelie bins HALF-A-MILE down their private lane – because potholes on the road pose a health hazard.
Graham and Patricia Patton, both 73, take up to 30 minutes to haul either their domestic waste or recycling bins to the end of their road for collection every week.
The couple, who live on Gossett Lane, Brandon, Warks., have responsibility for the road which is not classed as a public highway.
Bin lorries have driven up and down the lane every week without incident until Rugby Borough Council ruled in January that the road was in a “poor state of repair”.
Incredibly, the council also say the road posed a “health and safety” risk to bin men.
The couple, who have lived at their three-bedroom detached home for 53 years, filled in most of the potholes themselves but the council still ruled it was unfit for lorries.
Instead of collecting the bins from outside their £200,000 home, called Green Acres, they were told to leave them at a junction at the bottom of the lane.
Every Monday night the couple wheel either their grey domestic waste bin or their green recycling bin a quarter-of-a-mile from their home to ensure the bins are collected the following morning.
The couple, who have one grown-up daughter, then make the same journey back on either Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning after the bins are emptied.
Retired assembly line labourer Graham, 73, who suffers back pain caused by sciatica, said: “We’re really struggling and don’t know who to turn to.
“There are a few bumps in the road but it is not that bad, we drive our own car up the lane so I don’t know why a huge bin lorry can’t cope.
“I’m a pensioner with a bad back and sciatica so dragging heavy bins down the lane certainly isn’t ideal.
“I tried to fill in some of the potholes myself, because that’s what a letter from Rugby Borough Council suggested, and I really had a go at it but had to stop because of my back.
“I think they ought to be ashamed of themselves to get two pensioners to drag heavy wheelie bins a quarter-of-a-mile each way down a road.
“So we don’t miss the collection on the Tuesday morning we take the bin down on Monday night but this can be dangerous because it’s so dark so often go together with one of us holding a torch.
“They just have no sympathy at all from the council.”
Most of the other houses on the lane back onto another public road where they leave their bins.
A builder offered to tarmac the lane for #2,400 meaning each of the six properties using it paying #800 each but this was too expensive for the residents.
Mrs Patton, also a retired assembly line labourer, said: “We get our weekly pension and have some savings but we would like to spend them on something better than tarmacking a road so the bins can be collected.
“The road is not perfect but it’s only a few bumps and holes.
“As long as the bin men drove fairly slowly I don’t think there would be an issue. They’ve done it for decades already and have probably contributed to causing it to fall into disrepair.
“It would be a real shame to tarmac over it as we want it to look like a bridle path and keep its character.”
A Rugby Borough Council spokesperson said: “We requested suitable repairs were carried out and, as an interim measure, for the residents to place bins at the bottom of the lane.
“When Mr Patton informed us the repair work had been completed, we inspected the lane but found it was still in a poor state of repair.
“Despite being a private lane, the council had agreed to collect the bins from Gossett Lane.
“Earlier this year we informed residents the poor state of the lane, including numerous potholes, presented a health and safety risk to our crews and also risked damaging the collection vehicle.
“We informed Mr Patton of our decision and have yet to receive a response.
“We’ll happily review our decision once repairs have been carried out by residents.”