FRA Calls for urgent action over ‘pigeon bridge’

There are renewed calls for action to sort out the long standing problem of nesting pigeons fouling the pavements beneath the Guildford Road railway bridge.

Every day pedestrians are having to run the gauntlet of falling excrement when walking under the bridge close to the Leatherhead Leisure Centre.  With the hot summer weather now upon us, and the nesting season at its height, the stench is becoming overpowering.

Fetcham Residents Association Chairman Tim Waller says the conditions faced daily by people using the narrow pavements under the bridge are now intolerable.

Fetcham Councillors are also venting their frustration at the lack of action over several years, caused by the failure of Network Rail to ‘pigeon proof’ the underside of the bridge.

There is nothing to stop pigeons nesting in large numbers under the Guildford Road bridge which is the property of Network Rail.

Mole Valley District Council is left with the task of regularly cleaning the pavements and has been unable to bring sufficient pressure on Network Rail to fix the problem.

The latest position was outlined in an answer given to Fetcham West Councillor Paul Kennedy, after he put a question to the June meeting of MVDC’s Cabinet.

You can read the full answer here on the MVDC website (Question 3).

In summary, Network Rail installed extra spikes last December to deter pigeons roosting above the pavement, but after an improvement conditions on the pavements have worsened once again.

A Network Rail representative visited the site on May 4th and has ordered repairs, but “non-essential” works have been delayed because of the Covid crisis.

In the meantime, the Council’s Environmental Health Officers will be inspecting the site this month to decide whether or not the pigeon problem represents what’s known as a “statutory nuisance” under the Environmental Health Protection Act 1990.

The Council is promising to publish its decision by the end of July.

Fetcham East Councillor Lynne Brooks has also been in regular contact with MVDC officials over the state of the bridge and says she is “staggered by the lack of action”.

In a letter to the Council following its latest response she says: “Can I call upon MVDC to finally take some action in this area. 

“The fact that over almost a year since (discussions with councillors), MVDC still cannot work out that this is an environmental health or public nuisance, or collected any evidence to support the claim, shows a lack of care.”

She would like MVDC to begin legal action against Network Rail, if the rail operator persists in its failure to stop pigeons roosting.

If residents wish to make a complaint about this issue you could contact the MVDC direct at https://molevalley-self.achieveservice.com/MyServices

Or contact Fetcham East Councillors Lynne Brooks or Tracy Keeley to make your views known.

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