Litter louts have once again left Alnwick’s much-maligned bus station in a sorry state – and a town councillor has called for action, including a naming and shaming campaign.
Fed-up Coun Sue Allcroft took the picture, right, at the start of the month to show just how untidy the well-used terminus can get, describing the situation as an absolute disgrace.
It isn’t the first time that the station’s shoddy appearance has come under the spotlight, and Coun Allcroft wants something done, including closing in the bus station and using CCTV to name and shame offenders.
Towards the end of last year, the Gazette reported that Arriva had invested in a high-definition camera system at the bus station, which went live before Christmas.
We also reported that other steps – through a partnership approach involving a number of organisations – would be taken to try to solve the issue, such as monitoring the cleaning of the bus station and ensuring the bins are emptied regularly.
But on the evidence of Coun Allcroft’s picture, it appears that litter louts are still plaguing the area. She added that there has been quite a lot of litter around the town.
In an email to the Gazette, she wrote: ‘This situation at the bus station is an absolute disgrace. What pressure can we put on Arriva – perhaps to invest some money in closing the bus station like at Morpeth – and the county council to sort out the litter control?
‘The town’s new CCTV system will be up and running before long, but Arriva has its own system already. I would love to see some naming and shaming as I think the word would soon go around and the people doing this might actually use the bins provided.’
She has also contacted the police, adding: ‘I know litter is minor in comparison with the stuff they have to deal with, but the odd patrol might curb this.’
Sergeant Sharon Wilmore-Greaves said that Arriva is responsible for the bus-station cleaning. She has asked the company to consider reviewing the cleaning times, particularly at weekends, and said Arriva responded by saying that it will review the matter.
A county council spokeswoman said: “There has as been no reduction in staff working hours or in the number of staff dedicated to covering Alnwick town centre.
“In Alnwick, the litter bins are emptied and the centre is mechanically swept on a daily basis and also litter-picked twice a day, first thing in the morning and mid-afternoon.
“There are some people who don’t clear up after themselves, but we provide bins and try to ensure the area is tidy.”
We contacted Arriva, but did not receive a comment.