Fly-tippers have been urged to stop dumping waste on railway land or face criminal consequences, including fines of up to £2,500.

Network Rail has joined forces with Lancashire's deputy police and crime commissioner, Andy Pratt, in plea to reckless fly-tippers.

Several tonnes of stinking household rubbish, a selection of old sofas, mattresses and bikes have been illegally deposited along the disused Preston to Longridge railway line near Skeffington Road in Deepdale, Preston.

Nationally, millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money is spent by Network Rail clearing up after criminal dumpers each year.

This money would otherwise be used to improve stations and track, providing better journeys for passengers and freight in the North West.

Mr Pratt said: "Local residents have seen this historical railway track as a convenient spot to throw bags of household waste, broken items, old toilets and even mattresses.

"This not only causes problems for Network Rail who have to foot the bill for the clean up operation but also significantly degrades the environment for the whole community.

“I would urge people to think again - fly-tipping is a criminal offence and those responsible face prosecution and a fine of up to £2,500.”

Ian Croucher, Network Rails’ maintenance protection coordinator in Lancashire, said: “We won’t tolerate anyone using the railway as an illegal dumping ground and we do everything we can to catch those responsible and bring them to justice.

“Unsightly waste like this near Skeffington Road is a health and environmental hazard for the local community and we encourage people to report anything they see to Network Rail’s 24-hour national helpline on 03457 11 41 41.”

For more information on how Network Rail tackles fly-tipping visit:

Incidents of fly-tipping can be reported to Network Rail’s 24-hour national helpline on 03457 11 41 41.