BARNSLEY’S dump-it sites will open for longer to ease demand which has seen police attend centres due to ‘dangerous’ queues of vehicles clogging nearby roads - but residents have been told to behave after a series of spats.

Tempers have flared at council-run venues in Goldthorpe, Worsbrough, Smithies and Penistone in recent weeks, which saw workers complain about verbal abuse dished out by angry motorists.

Police ordered early closures when queues backed up too far, and officers are working alongside to local authority during busy periods.

However, the council revealed all four sites will now be open until 5pm to combat growing demand.

Coun Chris Lamb, cabinet spokesperson for environment and transport, said: “We’ve decided to extend the opening times of our centres for the rest of this month to help reduce excessive queuing and the impact on residents living near the sites.

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“We’re seeing much longer queues at these sites due to Covid-19 restrictions, including the number of vehicles allowed to unload at each site being reduced, and only one person being allowed to use each ramp and skip at a time.

“On request from South Yorkshire Police, we’ve had to take the difficult decision to close the sites temporarily whenever the queuing space on site is full, because police will not allow queues to back up onto main roads.

“Where this has happened, staff have been subjected to verbal and physical abuse, which is not acceptable under any circumstances.

“To ease the strain, we’re now opening the sites for slightly longer. All four sites will be open until up to 5pm, and this will continue until the end of March when they are due to switch to summer opening hours.

“Residents should also note that we may need to close gates earlier if the queue is full in the run-up to closing time.

“We thank the vast majority of residents for their patience and understanding through this difficult period.”

Inspector Rebecca Richardson, who heads up Barnsley’s neighbourhood policing team, said road safety was the priority.

“We recognise people are spending more time at home and perhaps generating more waste than normal, either through doing home improvements, gardening, or just by being at home,” she added.

“We have asked Barnsley Council to make sure queuing does not back up onto the highway due to the dangers presented by other road users attempting to overtake the queue.

“Road safety is our priority and we have requested that the council close the sites whenever queues cannot be contained within the sites.

“Anyone visiting the sites should follow any signs or guidance from staff on the site and should refrain from queuing on the highway.

“I know it is frustrating to visit a site only to find it is closed, but verbal and physical abuse is simply not acceptable.”