THOUGHTLESS litterbugs put lives at risk after dumping piles of rubbish on an emergency access route – waste that firefighters were forced to clean on their way to a major crash.
West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has hit out at the incident, branding it ‘unacceptable’.
Fire crews made the discovery while heading to a five-vehicle crash in Southwick tunnel, near Shoreham, West Sussex.
The fire service lashed out at the yobs on Facebook, where a spokesman said: ‘When firefighters from Shoreham Community Fire Station attempted to use the emergency access route on the A27 slip road, they were met with a large amount of fly tipping.
‘Crews had to physically remove the abandoned waste in order to gain access, causing a delayed attendance time.
‘This is unacceptable and Highways England have been informed.
‘Please report large scale illegal dumping to help us avoid a similar situation: gov.uk/report-flytipping.’
Fly-tipping is illegal and can result in a heft fine or prison sentence in the most severe cases.
There were 1,602 prosecutions for fly-tipping in England in 2016-17, down from 2,135 the year before.
In total, 98 per cent of prosecutions resulted in a conviction.
Councils also handed out 56,000 fixed penalty notices with a maximum fine of £400 in 2016-17.
Fareham Borough Council recorded on of the largest rises in fly-tipping from 2015-16 to 2016-17, with reported incidents surging by 327 per cent.