BACK LANES: Bollards to stop back lane fly-tipping
Bins and mess in the back lane of Croydon road, Newcastle, Image: NCJ Media
Vehicles will be banned from back lanes in Newcastle’s West End in a bid to stop huge piles of disgusting rubbish being dumped.
Locals have long complained about the filthy state of alleys in areas like Arthur’s Hill, Benwell, and Fenham, where overflowing bins and rat infestations have become all too common.
Dozens of streets had ‘communal’ bins installed five years ago as Newcastle City Council tried to cut back lane clutter.
But residents have been left furious as the bigger bins have become a prime location for thoughtless fly-tippers to abandon their waste, meaning that local household rubbish is then left in stinking piles dotted around the back lanes.
Council bosses are now set to launch a 12-month trial this autumn which will block vehicles’ access to three rubbish-dumping hotspots, with bollards to be installed at the back lanes of Brighton Grove, Croydon Road, and Wingrove Road.
Civic centre officials say the pilot scheme, in which only bin wagons and bikes will be able to get down the back lanes, will allow them to test which measures are most effective in putting an end to the blight – with further experiments set to include installing more CCTV and bringing back individual household bins in some areas.
A council spokesperson said: “As we all know there are some long-standing issues in the Arthur’s Hill terraces and lanes, including rubbish dumping, bin raiding, and fly-tipping.
“We’ve a dedicated clean up team who on a daily basis are tackling those problems, as well as undertaking regular deep cleans, and wherever possible we take action against those responsible – we’ve issued 360 fixed penalty notices and carried out 460 prosecutions Arthur’s Hill in recent years, and the courts have issued £552,000 in fines for environmental offences.
“Councillors and officers have, with the input of residents, also developed an action plan and this autumn we are going to begin a series of 12 month long pilot projects, to see whether measures such as making back lanes inaccessible to vehicles or reintroducing individual bins improves the situation.
“That is coupled to more CCTV to help with enforcement action, education for landlords, work with Northumbrian Water around pest control, and a scheme that could see property owners held accountable for the anti-social behaviour of their tenants.
“Hopefully together these measures can address the problems seen, for the benefit of all.”
Tay Pitman, a Green Party campaigner in the West End, suggested installing bollards as one potential counter measure when she accused the council of “inaction and broken promises” over the fly-tipping nightmare earlier this year.
Ms Pitman welcomed the new pilot scheme but expressed fears that it could simply divert tradespeople looking for a spot to dump their rubbish onto other streets without any protection.
She said: “I like the idea, but I fear that only doing this on a few roads could just shift the problem elsewhere.
“I have read comments on the local Facebook groups saying that where CCTV cameras have been installed there has been less fly-tipping, but other lanes that didn’t get them are seeing a lot more.
“I do worry about having some areas covered by CCTV, some with bollards, and some with nothing at all.
“The pilot is welcome but I think it needs to be broader, so that the problems aren’t just moved to other parts of Arthur’s Hill or elsewhere in the West End.”
Words: Daniel Holland, Local Democracy Reporter
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