A BUSINESSMAN claims a road he has paid thousands to upkeep has been ‘plagued’ by fly-tippers since the council took over its care.
Tony Pedley runs Pedley’s Storage on Wilsons Lane, off Coventry Road in Exhall, and says the lane – which is a dead-end – has not been used since the M6 was built across it some 50 years ago.
The 53-year-old told the Observer he has paid some £15,000 for the upkeep of the road since starting a storage unit business on the surrounding land seven years ago. He says he has deterred fly-tippers by installing gates and CCTV to stop them targeting the site.
But Warwickshire County Council recently told the dad-of-two he must remove some of his storage containers and the gates, which he says he only closes at night in a bid to stop rubbish being dumped on the land.
Mr Pedley said: “The council have never touched Wilsons Lane. When I first took on the business here there were syringes lying around, two burnt out lorries, along with an abandoned caravan and car. I had to completely re-drain the place, we were traipsing through six inches of mud.
“I get the whole road cleaned each month which combined with the CCTV I have installed, costs me around £200 monthly.
“Does the council expect the taxpayer to fork out that much money on it instead? I’m happy to carry on looking after it, the same as I have done for the past seven years but I need to keep the gates on to stop flytippers at night.”
Mr Pedley claims since taking the gates off the land has been targeted several times by people dumping rubbish, with someone even leaving a fridge at the bottom of the road.
He added: “When we first started working here flytipping was a real issue. I cleaned the lane up and put a gate on to stop it happening. If anyone wanted to get through for whatever reason then all they’d have to do is ask and I’d open it.
“The council made me take the gate off and immediately we have been plagued by flytippers again – we’ve had four incidents in the past few weeks.
“If the council want to look after this road its their job to remove the rubbish each and every time.”
But Warwickshire County Council says it has a duty to maintain the public highway.
A spokeswoman told the Observer: “We cannot comment on individual cases where there is an outstanding dispute and the possibility of legal proceedings but it is important to understand the county council has a legal duty to protect and maintain the public highway.
“It is not acceptable for individuals or businesses to appropriate part of the public highway for their own purposes and thereby restrict the use of it by others who have a lawful right to use it to access their property.
“Obstruction or the unlawful gating of the public highway also prevents the council from maintaining the surface of the highway and access by utilities companies.
“We work closely with the district and borough councils to address fly tipping and anti-social behaviour and would urge members of the public to report incidents of this kind to the appropriate authorities.”