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Call for Carlisle council to clean up 'health hazard' underpass

Filth, mould, broken glass and crumbling steps have left a Carlisle underpass a “health hazard”.

John Bird photo
John Bird

The claims have been made by a couple who called on the  council to clean up the subway, which links Victoria Viaduct to the baths.

Liz and John Bird, who live in Morton, Carlisle, frequently use it to get to the swimming pool, but claim it has been getting progressively worse.

“It has always been grotty,” Mrs Bird admitted, “but it seems to have got rather worse. “There is broken glass, pigeon excrement and sometimes even a dead one (pigeon) lying about.

“Sometimes there is human excrement down there and pools of urine, so it pongs a bit. The edges of the steps are slightly broken as you go down, and they are covered with green mould because there seems to be something dreadfully wrong with the drains.”

Her husband says he has on occasion seen street sweepers attempting to tidy the underpass, but the walls are covered with graffiti and Mrs Bird believes the dim lighting adds to its feeling of creepiness. “I use it in winter when it is pitch dark at 7am,” she said, “and I walk around there thinking I’m going to find a body or two! It’s just a bit grimy and dark.”

While Mrs Bird is not frightened of using the pass – she insists she could probably scare anyone more than they could scare her – it is not an inviting place for families wishing to get to the swimming baths.

She added: “If you go down there hold tight onto the hand rail. Parents taking children would need to be careful how they went, it wouldn’t be safe.”

A city council spokesman said: “Mr Bird’s original complaint was logged and passed to the cleaning team for action. Working to a prioritised programme the team have been kept busy elsewhere during the past week or so but their schedules are now returning to normal and we will get the underpass cleaned as soon as possible.

“We are sorry that on this occasion, we did not respond earlier but we would like to assure Mr Bird that we will do our best to clean up the underpass to an acceptable standard.

Have your say

I agree that this subway is actually surplus to requirements but i can't see how it could be just closed off without some major structural work to remove the high walled end to the steps on ther one side, and close off the other, otherwise missuse of it could lead to serious damage making it dangerous as a busy road goes over the top. perhaps the cheapest and best solution would be a coat of paint, better lighting and have a street cleaner go through it on a regular basis.

Posted by steve on 29 June 2012 at 14:29

If the users of this subway are so disgusted why dont they use the traffic light controlled crossings on street level, to cross the roads, it much brighter and easier to reach either side of the viaduct.

Posted by Paul Metro on 29 June 2012 at 09:11

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