380 tonnes of ‘industrial-scale grot’ cleared from fly-tipping hotspot in Fazakerley

The rubbish completely blocked a 100-metre length of railway access road preventing staff from being able to maintain crucial railway equipment.

<p>Wango Lane before the fly-tipping was cleared away. Image: Network Rail</p>

Wango Lane before the fly-tipping was cleared away. Image: Network Rail

A crackdown on illegal fly-tippers in Fazakerley has started following a mammoth clean-up of 380 tonnes of waste.

Network Rail said £76,000 worth of taxpayers money had to be spent removing the rubbish which included fridges, cookers and mattresses from the Wango Lane area of Liverpool.

The rubbish completely blocked a 100-metre length of railway access road preventing staff from being able to maintain crucial railway equipment.

Clearing up the “industrial-scale grot” also diverted maintenance staff away from other critical work to keep Merseyrail trains running reliably across the Liverpool City Region, according to Network Rail.

To catch the criminals operating in and around Wango Lane, 24-hour surveillance equipment and added security are being introduced.

Any individuals or vehicle registrations captured trespassing will be immediately passed to police.

The big clean-up

The unsightly mess at Wango Lane was spotted by a Merseyrail train driver who reported it to Network Rail.

Railway staff and specialist waste removal firm Reliance Service Solutions then cleared the 380 tonnes of waste from the site, recycling around 42% of it including plastics and wood, before the remainder was sent to landfill.

Fly-tipping being cleared away. Image: Network Rail

The contractor said it was one of the largest cases of illegal fly-tipping it has ever seen, according to Network Rail.

The crackdown

Fly-tipping is a criminal offence and carries a fine of up to £1,000.

Network Rail uses covert tactics and works closely with the British Transport Police to catch criminal fly-tippers.

Hidden cameras are installed in known ‘grot spots’ to gather evidence so those responsible can be taken to court.

Jane English, deputy managing director at Merseyrail, said: “Fly-tipping on the Merseyrail network is completely unacceptable and has a real effect on the safety of our passengers and staff, and the ability for us to run a reliable and safe service across the Liverpool City Region.

“We welcome the introduction of surveillance equipment and added security in the Fazakerley area, and hope that this deters other potential fly tippers from dumping their rubbish on our network.”

Chief inspector Jayne Lewis, from British Transport Police, said: “Fly-tipping is a blight on the environment and the railway. It is an unsightly nuisance which costs money to clear up. Far from being a victimless crime, items dumped on the railway pose a real safety risk to passengers and staff. Additionally, money spent on disposing of the rubbish could otherwise be invested in the rail network.

“We continue to work together with our partners and increase patrols in the area. Action will be taken against those responsible. We urge anyone with information about fly-tipping on the railway to contact us on 0800 405040, or through our text number 61016. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Chris Vermakk, managing director from Reliance service solutions, said: “We have been set many challenges before but nothing like this - it took some real planning and working closely with Network Rail to complete the work. This is one of the biggest fly-tipping jobs we’ve ever had.

After the clean up. Image: Network Rail

“Fortunately, the waste dumped was not hazardous, but sometimes it can contain extremely dangerously materials like asbestos. In some cases, food waste is present which attracts pests. We hope we don’t see fly-tipping on this scale again but will continue to support Network Rail should they need us in future as they continue to fight against fly-tipping blight.”

Incidents of fly-tipping can be reported to Network Rail’s 24 hour national helpline on 0345 11 41 41.

If you have information or see anyone fly-tipping contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40.