Bill Bryson calls for legal action against railway litter

Author and anti-litter campaigner Bill Bryson has railed against train companies over trash on their tracks.

Mr Bryson, who is also the president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) said he was 'frustrated with the filthy state' of many of England's rail stations, railways and sidings.

The campaigner today (February 14) says he, and other campaigners, will look at taking out litter abatement orders that can force public land managers to keep their land free of litter.

Although Mr Bryson says the rail companies are not the only offenders he will personally be seeking a litter abatement order against Network Rail.

Because, in his view it has 'continually failed' to clear up rubbish along tracks in Cambridgeshire.

Other lines campaigners will be targeting in the action include London Bridge station (London) and its approaches, St Austell (Cornwall), Hersham (Surrey), Ainsdale Station (Merseyside), Clacton-on-Sea (Essex) and Gravesend (Kent).

Mr Bryson: "This is not a complicated or controversial issue, organisations responsible for public land are required to keep it clear of litter.

"If they're not taking this responsibility seriously, we all have the power to compel them to do so.

"Railway operators and Network Rail are not the only offenders, but they are responsible for far too much uncollected litter.

"The first impression for a visitor arriving in a town is often formed by their view from a train carriage, and it is a disgrace that that view is so often a degraded and dirty one that suggests a lack of care or pride in the area."

A statement by Network Rail said: "As one of Britain's biggest land owners we remove thousands of tonnes of litter every year. If reported we aim to remove litter in 20 days."

Luke Walsh



Waste & resource management
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