A BINMAN has been suspended after he was caught on camera allegedly using a mobile phone while driving a refuse lorry.

When shocked Abeda Patel spotted a driver getting out of the bin wagon cab in Poplar Avenue, Horwich, with a phone in his hand he decided to video the scene on his own mobile phone.

Mr Patel, who was parked after delivering a parcel at 11.50am on Tuesday, picked up his phone and captured the man jumping back into the cab and appearing to hold a mobile phone to his ear while driving off, turning the wheel with his right hand.

His colleague is seen smoking a cigarette while loading paper and glass recycling wheelie bins onto the back of the lorry.

"I was quite shocked," said Mr Patel, aged 35, from Bromley Cross.

"If it was me working for a company doing that I would be sacked. I don't think it is acceptable.

"With so many tons of metal you would think he would be driving it with care, but he didn't."

A Bolton Council spokesman said they had acted quickly when the incident was brought to their attention.

The spokesman said: "All drivers of council vehicles are aware it is against the law to use mobile phones while driving and an employee has been suspended, pending an internal investigation.

“Smoking on the job is also not permitted and we will be taking swift appropriate action in line with our disciplinary procedures.

“We would like to thank the member of the public for bringing this matter to our attention.

“We take reports like this extremely seriously and we are investigating this complaint as quickly and thoroughly as possible."

Mr Patel said he he was amazed when he saw the driver get out of the cab, apparently on his mobile phone.

"I couldn't believe it," he said.

"I thought 'you know what, he's going to jump back in with his phone'. That's what happened and then there is another guy having a fag."

Mr Patel says he is worried about safety for other road users and is planning to send his mobile phone footage to police in the hope that they will bring charges against the driver.

"It is dangerous, especially with a big truck as well," he said.

"I use my phone, but I have got hands-free — even then I try not to use it. This guy has broken the law. If he was in an accident it doesn't bear thinking about."