River towpath waste mystery cleared up

We reported last week on a mysterious outflow that was poisoning vegetation along the River Aire towpath, following investigations by Leeds City Council the culprits have come clean and the sludge has been stopped.

Campaign group Friends of the Aire reported that their had been discharges since November 2022 from two industrial pipes on land owned by GB Railfreight. The affected path is part of the Trans Pennine Trail, and is a popular route for walkers, runners, and cyclists, with hundreds of passers-by each day.

A spokesperson for GB Railfreight said:

“We are aware of the issue at Leeds Hunslet depot and are working with our tenants to identify the source of the discharge. Remediation is already underway and rainwater that washes across the site will no longer be channelled towards the footpath.”

Cllr Ed Carlisle (Green, Hunslet & Riverside) commented:

“By accident, neglect, or malice, our communities are undoubtedly subject to a wide range of pollution, like this, or flytipping, noise nuisance, or any number of things. But it’s crucial we speak out, get organised, and fight for a cleaner healthier city. Thanks again to all those who got involved with this case, it looks like we got a good result this time – but there’s still a lot to do elsewhere.”


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