Campaign launched to clear cycleway eyesore
A major clear-up is planned to remove large amounts of waste dumped along Leicester's Great Central Way.
Stretches of the former rail track, now a footpath and cycleway through the city's West End, are blighted by fly-tipping and litter.
One of the worst affected stretches lies between Upperton Road and Aylestone Meadows, where tyres, furniture, paint pots, toys and clothes have been illegally dumped.
Residents have described the Great Central Way as an eyesore and called on Leicester City Council to clean it up.
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In response, officials have promised a large-scale clean-up of the area.
They were set to remove much of the heavier waste yesterday afternoon or this morning and the council's riverside rangers are to return on Monday to carry out a thorough-clean up.
Yesterday, people living in the area said they were both angry and saddened by the state of the Great Central Way.
Angie Toone, 53, of Evelyn Drive, walks down the footpath daily to get to work in the city.
She said: "It's a grim sight to see all the rubbish piling up. You expect a bit of litter because a lot of people come up and down here but someone's made an effort to get mattresses and all that other stuff down here.''
Marius Kovaks, 25, of Heyworth Road, said: "It is a shame to see it looking so messy because there is such a lot of wildlife down here such as squirrels and birds. It can't be good for them to have it like this.
"I hope it does get properly cleaned up, but I think it won't be long before more rubbish is tipped. That is a shame."
Another resident, who did not wish to be named, said: "I think the worst of the stuff has been there for a while and I have to admit I have often walked past it without reporting it. I think most people do."
The city council is seeking volunteers to help with litter- picking and reporting tipping.
Coun Sarah Russell assistant city mayor for neighbourhood services, said: "It is frustrating, because it is a lovely part of the city for walking and cycling. Our riverside rangers are responsible for it but they have a heck of a lot of space to cover and it can be a challenge to keep on top of it.
"We would like people to contact us when there is a problem and, when they do, we will sort it quite quickly. There is absolutely no reason to tip big items because the council will come and collect them for free.
"Where possible, we will always seek to prosecute fly-tippers."
A city council spokesman said: "Fly-tipping is an offence. We will investigate all dumped items and continue to monitor the area.
"We will also be writing to residents and landlords of properties backing on to the Great Central Way to ask for their support in tackling this problem."
To report any fly-tipping call the council on 0116 252 7000.