REGIONAL: Outrage after firefighters forced to clear fly-tipped junk on emergency call

Firefighters struggled to remove the rubbish scattered on the road as they were travelling to an emergency call   PHOTO: West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service e6yTfi-aTyPAvA_5x_Cl
Firefighters struggled to remove the rubbish scattered on the road as they were travelling to an emergency call PHOTO: West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service e6yTfi-aTyPAvA_5x_Cl
Inspector Dave Humphries ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (14988-5587) PPP-141104-142610003

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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.