By Denna Bowman
THE cost of dealing with tyres dumped in a Surrey town has more than doubled to £80,000.
The news comes after council bosses decided to put up fencing to thwart criminals dumping the tyres off St Peter’s Way in Chertsey.
Thousands of tyres had been dumped on an embankment beside the dual carriageway in Chertsey, and Runnymede Council had put aside £40,000 to clear them.
However, at a meeting with Surrey County Council highways officers on Friday, it was agreed that fencing should be put up along the road – doubling the cost.
Stephen Child, highways manager at Surrey County Council, said: “There is a problem with tyre dumping off St Peter’s Way, which is an issue for Runnymede Council.
“If the tyres were to go up in flames that close to the motorway, there would be issues with the airport, and I think we’d find national newspapers involved. We need to put fencing in around the sides of St Peter’s Way to try and stop this tyre dumping from happening again and causing these problems.
“Between us and Runnymede we need to find a way to come up with the money.”
Last week, firefighters from Chertsey visited the scene to assess the risk, and warned that a fire could burn for several days, lead to road and motorway closures, and even interfere with flight paths at Heathrow.
Steve Fuggles, head of engineering at Runnymede Council, said: “We have provided a ballpark figure of £40-50,000 for clearing the dumped tyres, and it is essential we find a way to solve the problem before we have a worst-case scenario with a massive fire on our hands.
“It is now a priority of ours to get these tyres cleaned and get some fencing up.”
Work will start in the coming months.