Thousands of pounds have been spent clearing illegal fly tipping dumped metres away from live railway lines in Tameside.
Several tonnes of rat-infested, stinking rubbish was left beside tracks in the village of Heyrod near Stalybridge.
Network Rail used specialist waste disposal contractors to remove the garbage which included old duvets, suitcases, plastic and camping equipment.
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Three lorry loads of rotting waste was removed from beside the major rail route between Manchester and Leeds using a special grabber.
So far in 2021 more than £100,000 has been spent removing illegally dumped waste in the Manchester area alone.
Nationally, millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money is spent clearing up after criminal dumpers each year.
This money would otherwise be used to improve stations and track, providing better journeys for passengers and freight in the North West.
Andrea Graham, Network Rail head of security and crime, said: “We won’t tolerate anyone using the railway as an illegal dumping ground and we do everything we can to catch those responsible and bring them to justice.
“Not only is waste like this a health and environmental hazard, but when dumped so close to railway lines it can endanger trains and the staff and passengers on them. Anyone who sees fly tipping happening on the railway should immediately contact the British Transport Police.”
Chief Inspector Lorna McEwan, from British Transport Police, said: “Fly tipping is an eyesore and a hazard for those who use the railway and the community itself. As well as the environmental hazard there is also a hefty cost to remove the rubbish.
“Partnership work like this with Network Rail ensures that people continue to feel safe and secure on the railway and we will continue to work together to prevent fly tipping. It is worth reminding offenders that fly tipping is a criminal offence and we urge anyone who witnesses incidents or has any information to report it to us on 0800 405040.”
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.
For more information on how Network Rail tackles fly tipping visit https://www.networkrail.co.uk/communities/living-by-the-railway/litter-and-fly-tipping/
Incidents of fly tipping can be reported to Network Rail’s 24-hour national helpline on 03457 11 41 41. If you have information or see anyone fly tipping contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40.
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