AN APPEAL has been launched to ask motorists to slow down behind bin lorries after a refuse worker was hit by a car in Preston.
Preston City Council is calling on drivers to be patient and careful behind the lorries after the incident in Fulwood earlier this month.
CCTV of the collision was passed to police and is currently under investigation.
Although the worker was not seriously hurt, the council said such incidents were becoming more common.
Head of waste management Duncan Coward said there was a pattern emerging of motorists getting frustrated behind lorries.
Mr Coward said: “It is extremely fortunate that our refuse collector has suffered only minor injuries.
“There does seem to be a pattern emerging that more and more motorists are getting frustrated about being stuck behind our lorry, causing them to take risks to get where they are going.
“CCTV is fitted to all our lorries and we can see the dangerous manoeuvres that motorists are trying make to drive into small gaps often without any due care and attention, which has resulted in this unfortunate incident.
“There are also incidents of motorists mounting the pavement to drive round the collection vehicles, putting pedestrians at risk as well as our collection staff.”
Mr Coward added that is wasn’t always possible for lorries to move to the side of the road to let cars pass.
He said: “Motorists must understand that our team has a job to do and unfortunately that means occasionally people will temporarily be stuck behind the bin lorry.
“We do get complaints from the public saying that our lorries should move to the side of the road to let vehicles pass.
“This is not always possible: the lorries are very difficult to manoeuvre and cannot drive into the side of the road at every opportunity.
“Also, on some streets our teams work across both sides of the road, it is not safe to move to the side as staff are regularly crossing in confined areas.”
He continued: “Moving aside could increase accidents and slow down collection times, possibly increasing the amount of time people are stuck in traffic.
“We would like to ask drivers just to be patient with us, we understand their frustrations but hopefully people will see that we are just doing our job often in very difficult circumstances.”
Preston Council said that there had been several incidents reported in the past month, including from one person demanding that the council call her son’s school to take the blame for him being late to school, which resulted in a detention.
The council has 22 vehicles in operation including reserves, and 75 refuse collection staff including drivers.
They make 6.6 million collections per year, and collect 258 days a year.
The incident happened on 8.30am on Thursday 3rd October.
A spokeswoman for Lancashire Police said they were aware of the incident.
She said: “Police have been made aware of the collision and are making further inquiries to trace the driver.”