Trial taskforce aims to rid Southend travel hubs of chewing gum litter

Mick Ferris
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A chewing gum ‘taskforce’ will be blitzing train stations and bus stops in and around Southend High Street and Leigh-on-Sea, jet washing chewing gum off the floor thanks to a £20,000 grant from Keep Britain Tidy.

The six-week trial project, which started on Monday, will see a dedicated Veolia crew made up of two trained operatives with specially designed equipment cleaning the pavements in busy public areas, such as train stations, bus stops and the seafront.

The trial will be covering pre-selected areas including:

  • Leigh Train Station
  • Southend Victoria Train Station
  • Southend Central Train Station
  • Westcliff Train Station
  • Leigh-on-Sea Bus Station
  • Queensway Bus Station
  • Southend Central Bus Station (Chichester Road)
  • East Beach Bus Station
  • The Golden Mile
  • Seafront
  • Parts of London Road and Southchurch Road
  • Westcliff High School and Southend High School bus stops

Cllr Martin Terry, cabinet member for public protection, said: “We are excited to see the results of the trial so that we can understand the resources needed in the longer term. Once the trial period ends, the equipment will be available for Veolia to use in their street cleansing work and to focus on gum removal in other areas of the city, an opportunity which we are looking forward to making the most of in Southend.

“We are hopeful that this trial project will make a difference in making our city a cleaner and more enticing place for residents and visitors. There is no excuse for spitting chewing gum on the floor, as it is unhygienic and poses a serious threat to wildlife.”

Stuart Atkinson, senior contract manager at Veolia, said: “If you see our street cleansing or collection crews out and about, remember to be patient and respectful towards them and always be street kind.”

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: mickferris@yellowad.co.uk