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Rats are sealed in concrete under Blackburn's old market
RATS which have plagued Blackburn town centre have been trapped underground.
Council chiefs who feared knocking down the old Blackburn Market would disturb rats and push more to the surface, put in place a plan to contain them.
Coun Jim Smith, who oversees environmental issues, said there were promising signs the action plan put in place was working effectively.
Before demolition work commenced this summer Blackburn with Darwen Council implemented an ‘action plan’ to prevent rats fleeing from the demolition site flooding the area.
The plan, to poison rats who left the area with special baited traps and to concrete the remainder underground, has so far been successful according to Coun Smith.
He said: “It’s not been an issue and the plan has worked. There were fears that the rats would flee the market hall demoltion site and just cover the area, but none have appeared in weeks.
“I work in the centre of Blackburn and haven’t seen a single one.”.
The news will be welcomed by traders who have had regular problems with rats.
Last autumn, businesses surrounding Blackburn Cathedral said the pests were increasingly behaving in a bold and friendly way around people.
Reports said rats affected the area near Morrisons, shops and businesses along High Street, the Boulevard and Church Street. They were also seen running across the cathedral grounds, even during the busiest shopping hours of the day.
The problem has been a long-running one in Blackburn because of the miles and miles of sewers and culverted rivers under the streets of the town.
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