Rats seen at fly-tipping hotspot near Sheffield station
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The subway beneath Darnall station has become a dumping hotspot, with a shocking video showing a fridge freezer, child's bicycle and sofa discarded there.
Elizabeth Middleton, who highlighted the appalling state of the underpass between Creswell Road and Staniforth Road, also photographed a dead rat at the site, which she says is infested with the rodents.
The 41-year-old, who walks that way to and from work each day, claims the subway is in such a state that other people are using alternative routes.
"It's been a mess since I moved here around six months ago, and it's getting worse," she said.
"It gets cleaned up every so often but within a few hours it's back to the same state. There are rats down there, and it’s just vile.
“There’s rubbish where I’m from, in Almondbury, Huddersfield, but it’s nothing like this.
“There are people I know who won’t use the underpass, especially at night.
“I’ve reported it the council and it does get cleared eventually but more needs to be done to stop people dumping rubbish in the first place.
“Without cameras and more resources to catch and fine those responsible, I don’t know what can be done.”
When litter is left for a lengthy period in a public space, people can take court action to get it cleared by the authority responsible for maintaining that site.
Members of the public can seek a litter abatement order, via a magistrates’ court, to get them to clean up the mess, and the Campaign to Protect Rural England provides advice on how to do this.
Ms Middleton said this is a step she’s considering, as she believes it could be worth giving the council a ‘little kick into action’.
Sheffield Council insisted the subway was checked routinely and cleaned when necessary, and said it aims to clear dumped waste from any site within 14 days of it being reported.
Ian Ashmore, the council’s head of environmental protection, said there were no outstanding reports of dumping at the underpass.
“However, we can see from the video shared that it looks in a bad state and will go out and check the area, removing any waste,” he said.
“We will also review whether there is anything we can do to make it more difficult for people to dump waste here. This is really not acceptable and if evidence is found among the waste we will look at prosecuting those responsible.”
He added that a litter abatement order could be applied where local authorities were failing to meet the government’s code of practice, but he claimed that was not the case here.
He urged people to report fly-tipping as soon as possible and said the council would always investigate and take action if evidence of the culprit is found.