600 tonnes of rubbish illegally dumped on Uxbridge to Denham path

All photos taken by Tom Fish All photos taken by Tom Fish

 Up to 600 tonnes of illegally dumped rubbish is estimated to have accumulated on a pathway from Uxbridge to Denham.

Action to arrest further fly-tipping beneath the stretch of the A40 has begun.

Rubbish has built up at the site on an astonishing scale, almost a year after general concerns were first raised over the area and its connecting U56 pathway. The viaduct cuts through Buckinghamshire's Colne Valley Regional Park.

Council bosses were warned last year it was unsafe and ripe for crime.

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Uxbridge resident Anthony Longden flagged up the problem with the authorities and said the route had become 'deeply intimidating'.
Mr Longden, who was The Uxbridge Gazette's Editor in Chief from 1994 to 2002, recently raised the issue again.
Our exclusive pictures show how illegal access to the site via a lay by on the A road was blocked with concrete slabs on Thursday 4 May by Maltaward, a company contracted by Highways England.

A mixture of industrial and residential waste is piled over a metre high in places, almost obscuring the lurid graffiti covering every available inch.

Foul smells and clouds of flies rise from the shadows, while relentless white noise roars from the road above.

And remarkably the site shows signs of inhabitation, despite the paint tins, aerosol cans, and heaps of damaged pallets clearly marking the place as a fire hazard.

Buckinghamshire County Council Media Officer Richard Wells told Hillingdon Is Here: “A vast amount of waste had been fly-tipped last month and was reported. Three enforcement officers have been working at the site to gather evidence. This has resulted in 30 active investigations. On average more than one fly-tipper is caught and convicted every week in Buckinghamshire.

“It's not our responsibility to clear the area. I understand Highways England have planned the clearance and security of the site.”

Highways England Press Officer Richard Starkey said: “Between 500 and 600 tonnes of litter at the site is 100 trucks worth of waste.

“We are working hard to clear this litter as quickly as possible, and have installed temporary 4.5 tonne concrete blocks to restrict further access to the site. Clearing the site will continues to be a top priority.”

Mr Longden: “I’m delighted to see that something positive is being done to tackle this persistent, dangerous and quite awful problem that is blighting what could be such a pleasant country walk.

“The accumulation of flammable rubbish beneath such an important road remains an issue, and I hope the authorities will treat that as a priority. Frankly, I’d like to see that A40 layby closed altogether – it has proved all too convenient for fly-tippers and I doubt whether it would be missed.

“I appreciate it is always difficult to co-ordinate efforts when so many different organisations, agencies and individuals are involved, but seeing tangible progress is very heartening, and I’d like to thank those involved for taking this problem seriously.”

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Ewa Prokop, from community charity Groundwork, said: “Anthony Longden mentioned this issue to us a year ago, and we contacted the Highways Agency to explain this issue to them. As a walker myself, it's not a pleasant experience to come up against that level of fly-tipping along a right of way.

“Groundwork are involved now because we are going for Heritage Lottery funding for Colne Valley regional park, and the pathways which lead there are a key gateway. We want to enhance the route by removing fly-tipping alongside the right of way and adding way-marking, hedge planting or tree clearance along the route, to make it a more pleasant route for walkers from Uxbridge into the park. This will probably cost between £1,000 – £2,000.

“Preventing further fly-tipping is a positive first step."

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