It’s becoming an all too familiar sight – a sea of litter dumped all over the floor of Alnwick Bus Station.
This picture, taken at 6.30pm on Saturday, has prompted much anger on Facebook, with horrified social-media users branding the situation disgusting and a disgrace.
Just last month, the Gazette reported how an 87-year-old holidaymaker carried out an impromptu litter-pick while she was waiting for a bus, because she was shocked at the state of the area.
Yet, here we are again. Cans, wrappers and boxes just shamelessly strewn everywhere – and at a time when the town is welcoming visitors for the Alnwick International Music Festival.
The ongoing problems have led to fresh calls for action at the site, which is owned by Morrisons and operated by Arriva. The bus company has said that it is ‘working hard’ to improve the situation.
Alnwick county and town councillor Gordon Castle has said that he has spoken to Northumberland County Council’s civil enforcement officers, who will target the site as part of the authority’s anti-litter campaign. The team can issue fixed-penalty notices.
The police have been contacted about stepping up patrols around the station and Coun Castle suggested that upgraded CCTV could be installed at the site. He said: “I recognise people’s concerns about the bus station and these are legitimate.”
Fellow Alnwick county councillor Heather Cairns said that it was an education issue – although felt it wasn’t just youths to blame – and said that some people don’t respect the environment. She added: “I will encourage the town and county council to push for an increase in the number of cleans.”
Arriva said: “We understand that Alnwick Bus Station has not always been as clean and tidy as it should be, especially during the evenings when there are fewer people around, however we are working hard to improve the situation. The marketing team has been looking in depth into this issue. The bus station is cleaned by Mitre on most occasions. Unfortunately, at the moment, we have no plans to revamp the bus station, but we are replacing the windows of the shop that we do own.”