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Bury St Edmunds residents demand action over pigeon mess under Beetons Way bridge



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Fed-up residents are calling for urgent action to solve a problem of pigeon mess under a key town bridge.

The residents are worried about a large number of pigeons are roosting under the road bridge which passes over Beetons Way, Bury St Edmunds.

They say the pavement has been covered in pigeon mess for months and it also adds to mud and debris which builds up in the cycle lane - making it dangerous.

Bury Town Councillor Katie Parker, right, with resident Caroline Nunn, at the bridge under Beetons Way. Picture by Mecha Morton
Bury Town Councillor Katie Parker, right, with resident Caroline Nunn, at the bridge under Beetons Way. Picture by Mecha Morton

Caroline Nunn, an NHS courier who cycles the route every day, said: “It’s disgusting, disgraceful, especially for a town that has just held the women’s cycle tour.

“Apart from it being all over pavement, it’s all in the cycle lane which is always muddy.

"Last Friday, it had been raining and my bike started sliding. It was scary.

West Suffolk Council say the pavement is cleaned 'once a week'
West Suffolk Council say the pavement is cleaned 'once a week'

"My niece said the other night how much it stank, and she slipped in it, too.

"It's been this way for months and everyone is just fed up of it. It is dangerous and unhealthy - and an accident waiting to happen.”

The pavement under the bridge is managed by West Suffolk Council, the road and cycle lane by Suffolk County Council, the road bridge by National Highways, and the adjoining rail bridge by Network Rail.

Bury town councillor Katie Parker said: “I get loads of emails and messages about it and have spent hours on the phone trying to get this solved but noone seems to take responsibility.

A mesh panel has been removed
A mesh panel has been removed

"There is mesh under the section of road bridge, where the pigeons roost, but it is broken. If this was mended then that would make a massive difference.

“They do clean the pavement now and again but every time I have seen it, it has been pretty grim.

"I don't want to see the pigeons harmed in any way but the mess is making it very difficult for lots of people who walk or cycle through every day."

A spokesperson for West Suffolk Council said: “We clean this section of pavement every week and we are lobbying the bridge owners to put measures in place.”

Suffolk County Council said the cycle lane wands, installed in September 2020 as part of a Government scheme to make cycling safer, will be removed next Wednesday after 'concerns from residents'.

Beetons Way earlier this month. Picture by Caroline Nunn.
Beetons Way earlier this month. Picture by Caroline Nunn.

Residents say the wands block access to the lane for road cleaners and are dangerous.

Precilia Teeluck, senior project manager for National Highways, which manages the road bridge, said: "We are aware of the situation with pigeons roosting in a [road] bridge under the A14 at Bury St Edmunds and the associated issues that causes to Beetons Way which runs underneath.

"In the past we have removed the birds by hand and fitted mesh barriers to prevent further access.

Mud and debris under the bridge earlier this month. Picture Caroline Nunn
Mud and debris under the bridge earlier this month. Picture Caroline Nunn

"These panels have subsequently become damaged meaning our feathered friends started roosting under the bridge again.

"The safety of those using Beetons Way is our top priority and we will continue to work with the local authority to carry out remedial work which protects the local pigeon population and puts a permanent solution in place."