Even crisp packets from the 1980s - what fly-tippers have dumped on Hartlepool's railway lines
Railway clean up teams had to call in machinery to deal with decades of fly-tipping in Hartlepool.
Shopping trolleys, old car tyres – and even crisp packets dating back to the 1980s – made up just some of the ten tons of rubbish that Network Rail collected during a major clean-up operation on land near Lancaster Road.
Rail chiefs say the area has become a hotspot for litter and fly-tipping and have appealed for people to stop – on both environmental and safety grounds.
Thomas Brand, infrastructure maintenance protection co-ordinator for Network Rail, said: “Fly-tipping and littering are ongoing national problems and I’m proud of our teams in Hartlepool for tidying up the area.
“The railway is not a dumping ground or a place to illegally leaving rubbish. It makes the area an eyesore for passengers and people in the area."
He added: “We really need people to do their bit and help us keep areas around the railway tidy so passengers can travel with confidence.”
The finds were made as Mr Brand’s teams set their sights on the area in preparation for the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
The workers quickly found that the amount of rubbish which people had dumped over the years was too much to simply litter-pick.
After moving some of the litter hidden under and in trees, and behind fencing, they had to call machinery to get over ten tonnes of rubbish into skips.
The rubbish also contained traffic cones, concrete blocks and drainage pipes.
Network rail say dumping rubbish near railway lines can be dangerous or cause major disruption to train services if it blows onto the tracks or the overhead lines.
Clearing it also costs millions of pounds every year, which could have been invested in improving the railway for passengers.
Fly-tipping on the railway is illegal and carries a fine of up to £50,000.
If you see someone fly-tipping near the railway, please report it to the British Transport Police by calling 0800 40 50 40 or texting 61016. You can also call Network Rail’s 24-hour national helpline on 03457 11 41 41.