Covert crack down on industrial-scale Merseyside fly-tippers: Wango lane fly-tipping composite

Thursday 30 Dec 2021

Covert crack down on industrial-scale Merseyside fly-tippers

Region & Route:
North West & Central
| North West & Central: North West

A huge clean-up operation is complete after illegal fly-tippers dumped 380 tonnes of waste endangering railway lines on Merseyside.

Network Rail is now cracking down on dangerous dumping in the area after £76,000 of taxpayers’ money had to be spent removing the rubbish in Fazakerley.

The huge amount of illegally dumped waste included building materials, white goods like fridges and cookers, as well as mattresses.

It 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.

Allan Gibbs-Monaghan, infrastructure maintenance delivery manager for Merseyside said: “The constant clearing up of illegal fly tipping on railway land significantly reduces our taxpayer-funded maintenance spend which is used to keep the railway in a good condition for economically important passenger journeys across the Merseyrail network.

“Our message to railway fly-tippers is clear: we will hunt you down and apply the full weight of the law to bring your crimes to justice.”

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.”

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.

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.”

The unsightly mess at Wango Lane was spotted by an eagle-eyed Merseyrail train driver who reported it to Network Rail’s Liverpool Delivery Unit.

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.

The contractor said it was one of the largest cases of illegal fly-tipping it has ever seen.

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. 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.”

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.

Notes to Editors

For more information on how Network Rail tackles fly-tipping visit:

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.

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - North West & Central Region
07740 782954

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