Anger over rubbish in Norwich street

Mary HamiltonA popular cycle route and footpath has been made a health hazard by thoughtless litterbugs and vandals, according to fed-up families.Mary Hamilton

A popular cycle route and footpath has been made a health hazard by thoughtless litterbugs and vandals, according to fed-up families.

Lakenham Way, which runs from Brazen Gate beside Sainsbury's in Queen's Road to Old Lakenham, is so badly littered with dog mess, takeaway boxes and other trash that it attracts rats, say people who live nearby.

John Paston, 48, from Latimer Road, regularly walks his dog Bouddicca along Lakenham Way and says she has been injured several times because of broken glass on the pathway.

'It's a health hazard for wildlife and for the children at Cavell Road primary school,' he said. 'There's broken glass on the path, takeaway wrappers, food rubbish and things everywhere.

'You get dog mess that hasn't been picked up and then you get dog mess that's been put in a bag and just left by the side of the path. Quite often you'll see rats running along and where there's one rat there are usually more.'

Stephen Little, Green city councillor for Town Close ward, set up a group dedicated to cleaning up the footpath just over a year ago, and the group has recently been granted �2,500 to help get local schools and householders involved in tackling the problem.

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The Friends of Lakenham Way already carry out litter picks along the path, but Mr Little, said they now plan to go litter picking once a month, on alternate fortnights to the council's own scheduled monthly clean-up.

'You could clear every week and the rubbish would still be bad,' he said. 'It only takes a couple of days to build up again.

'The problem is that it costs money to sort out and we all know how strapped for cash the city council is at the moment. They are making cuts, not extending services.'

A spokesman for Norwich City Council said: 'Lakenham Way is litter picked once a month. The litter bins are emptied on a weekly basis, but if we receive a report of a full litter bin, then we arrange with CityCare for it to be emptied.

'Actions such as fly tipping and littering are thoughtless and unnecessary. They are illegal and can be dangerous, causing upset for people living nearby, as well as to the wildlife in the area.

'We and the groups we work with are determined that a few people will not spoil the city for everyone.'

Are you fighting to clear up an eyesore where you live? Call Evening News reporter Mary Hamilton on 01603 772418 or email