North West rail workers have been working through the night to tidy up tourist routes in the Lake District and Blackpool.
The big clean up began over five nights at the end of May and also early July.
Rail staff managed to collect 16 bags of rubbish from St. Annes and Squires Gate in Blackpool, whilst the Windermere branch line including Windermere, Staveley, Burneside and Kendal litter pick amassed 20 bags.
Network Rail took action in the form of a litter blitz to remove unsightly rubbish and to create a pleasant view for the travelling public making them feel more comfortable and helping them to enjoy their journey.
Litter, graffiti, and fly-tipping cost the railway millions of pounds each year, money that could be spent on improving infrastructure and customer experience.
A litter-free and clean environment does make passengers feel safer which is a vital part of customer service.
Other routes across the North West are also getting a big clean up with routine litter sweeps taking place to keep embankments clean and tidy and also keeping the track clear of obstacles to trains.
To keep rail workers safe the raids on rubbish take place through the night, this also means that there is no disruption for passengers and also freight services.
Nigel McCann, North West railway planner for Network Rail said: “Litter is a big problem for the railway. It’s regularly reported to us by community rail groups, residents and politicians.
“Recognising passengers enjoy the convenience and views when travelling by rail to Blackpool or the Lakes for their holidays, we’ve used a hit squad to litter pick these key routes overnight, so we don’t disrupt vital services in the day.
“But our message to fly tippers is: the railway is not a dumping ground for litter and costs taxpayers’ money to remove.”
Gill Haigh, managing director of Cumbria Tourism, said: “As restrictions continue to ease, we know more people will be returning to rail travel in the coming weeks, as an accessible, eco-friendly way to get around. Those all-important first glances at the stupendous Lake District views outside the train window set the scene for the holiday to come, so this large-scale litter pick is a credit to the hardworking rail workers who have been busy tidying up these key routes – enabling rail passengers to appreciate our world-class landscape at its very best.”
Cllr Lynn Williams, leader of Blackpool Council, said: “We really do appreciate the efforts made by rail staff. Litter collection is vitally important in a seaside destination and particularly at key arrival points such as car parks and railway stations.
“We hope that visitors will see the difference that has been made and will play their part by disposing of their own litter in a responsible way.”
Rail Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris MP, said: “As we build back better, we are committed to making our stations and services pleasant, comfortable and safe for passengers ensuring it’s ready for the return of passengers as people venture to UK holiday destinations.”
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