An answer has finally been given on the result of a trial of introducing a smaller bin lorry to navigate down narrow streets in Reading.

Residents and councillors have repeatedly complained about missed bin collections down narrow streets, particularly in East Reading, such as Cardigan Road, Foxhill Road, Francis Street, Hatherley Road and Stanley Grove.

Although the council’s existing bin lorry can negotiate these streets, it cannot collect waste if there is poor parking or an obstruction, something that is becoming more common according to councillor Will Cross.

That’s why a limited trial of an ultra narrow bin lorry was undertaken this summer.

Cllr Cross (Labour, Redlands) asked for an update on how the trial went and whether an ultra narrow bin lorry would be added to the waste collection fleet.

This new lorry could be added in September 2023.

READ MORE: Small bin lorry could hit streets of Reading blocked by parked cars

Cllr Cross’ question was answered by Karen Rowland (Labour, Abbey) lead councillor for Environmental Services and Community Safety.

Cllr Rowland replied: “Over the summer we completed a trial of a 12 tonne ‘ultra narrow’ waste collection vehicle.

“This is something that Labour has trialled before but due to multiple considerations, it was not the right answer at the time.

“Despite exaggerated rumours to the contrary, the results of the trial of the new narrow road bin lorry were successful this year in its final analysis.

“It was determined that the vehicle has the potential to realise its role on the fleet, not only to collect on these roads, but also to be utilised for other street cleansing throughout the town – a critical component of its financial justification.

“As such, the purchase of the vehicle has been submitted as a capital funding bid.

“Given our priority to service all residents across the town equally and the on-going detrimental impact of failed collections in these streets, I’m hopeful that the bid will be successful and we’ll be able to introduce such a vehicle in late 2023.

“But I’m also conscious that the council budget will be under significant strain as a result of inflationary pressures and that all spending decisions will have to be properly considered in a holistic way across the council.

“If successful, it will enable the service to add the vehicle to the fleet from September 2023.”

The question was answered full council meeting on Tuesday, October 18.

Cllr David McElroy (Green, Redlands) was keen to stress that the Green party has repeatedly lobbied for such a vehicle, after he raised the issue at a council meeting earlier this year.

READ MORE: Push for smaller bin lorries in Reading as drivers struggle to get through narrow streets

Cllr McElroy said: “We’re pleased to see that the continued and persistent pressure from residents and Green Councillors has led to the council backflipping on a raft of suggestions and ideas that we have been asking for for a long time, not least our petition for the smaller bin lorry.

“Green councillors will continue working hard to get the council to proactively approach the mess that happens like clockwork at the end of every student term.”