Rail track DIY dumping costs careless fly-tipper £3k

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A fly-tipper has been convicted and ordered to pay £3,000 after his home address was found in illegally dumped waste on railway land in Lancashire.

Piles of rubbish from a home improvement project were dumped at a track access point at Burnley earlier this year.

Railway access points are needed 24 hours a day so engineers can carry out essential maintenance. They also provide emergency access so blocking them risks lives.

The culprit was caught when an invoice for building materials, displaying their name and address, was found among the mess.

The matter was handed to the British Transport Police, and court proceedings began.

After pleading not guilty at Burnley Magistrates in May, a judge found the DIY delinquent guilty after a trial at the same court on July 14.

He was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay court costs and compensation to Network Rail – totalling £3,000 – for illegally dumping floor tiles, planks of wood, and a bed frame on Network Rail property.

Ian Croucher, maintenance protection coordinator, said: “I hope this case shows a strong message that Network Rail will do everything it can to track down illegal fly-tippers and work with the British Transport Police to bring them to justice.

“Not only is illegally dumping waste like this hazardous to our staff who have to clear it up and a risk to railway passengers, it’s also a blight on the environment.

“It costs millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money to clear waste like this every year – money which should be spent improving journeys for passengers.”

Chief Inspector Dave Rams, from British Transport Police, said: “Fly-tipping costs the railway millions of pounds each year which could be invested in the railway network. This offender’s actions have cost him dearly and we hope this acts as a deterrent to others who are thinking of doing the same thing.”

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.

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