LETTER: Our railways need some TLC


Boston Labour councillors fully support The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) which is spearheading a campaign to force Network Rail and the train operators to clean up their stations, sidings and approaches, as they are legally obliged to do.

Members of the public can use a legal mechanism called a litter abatement order to compel public land managers to remove rubbish.

CPRE said “This is not a complicated or controversial issue. Organisations responsible for public land are required to keep it clear of litter. If they are not taking this responsibility seriously, we all have the power to compel them to do so.”

CPRE has written an online guide to the orders.

For one to be granted, the complainant has to show that litter was persistently left uncleared, and a request to the land manager to clean it was ignored.

A photograph of the problem is the best way to start, along with a letter or email to the station manager.

If this is ignored, it should be followed up with an email or letter to the chief executive of the station operator – such as Network Rail – declaring the intention to apply for a litter abatement order.

At this stage, according to CPRE, most managers will respond and clear up.

Applying for an order costs about £80 to £200, but if a magistrate decrees it is valid, the costs are returned.

We have recently had a big cleanup in Boston and were concerned about the amount of litter along our railway lines and at the railway station.

The first impression for a visitor arriving in a town is often formed by their view from a train carriage, and it is a disgrace that the view is so often a degraded and dirty one that suggests a lack of care or pride in the area. We would urge Boston Borough Council to take up a litter abatement order in Boston.

Boston Labour councillors