A notorious fly-tipping hotspot dubbed ‘The Road to Nowhere’ on an abandoned dual carriageway in Wales has been restored to the wild after activists undertook a major cleanup that included the removal of 1,800 tyres.
The disused M4 road in Newport was so full of rubbish that it was visible by satellite on Google Earth.
Floods of rubbish lay everywhere with fridges, piles of clothes, baths, sofas and doors strewn across the landfill near the A48.
The road, originally built in the late 1990s to provide access to a now closed factory that believed it needed the road for an expansion that never happened, has been a problem in the area for many years .
Locals have branded the site a “rat haven” and urged action against the fly dumps which they say have worsened during the lockdown.
Municipal trucks took away the piles of rubbish from The Road to Nowhere while activists also took part in litter pick-ups to clean up the rubbish.
Some 85% of the rubbish, including suitcases and 1,800 tires, has now disappeared from the site after cleanup by campaign group Friends of the Road to Nature and Newport City Council.
Activists want to clean up more of it and say they also hope to turn it from ‘Road to Nowhere’ to ‘Road to Nature’ after they are cleaned up.
A notorious hotspot for fly dumps dubbed ‘The Road to Nowhere’ where mountains of trash could be seen from space has been restored to the wild after activists undertook a major cleanup, including the removal of 1,800 tires. Pictured: What it looked like
The dumping ground off the M4 in South Wales was so full of rubbish it was visible from satellites on Google Earth, pictured
Trucks carried away heaps of waste such as suitcases, car tires. clothes and 1,800 tires while activists also took part in litter pick-ups to clear rubbish (pictured after the clean-up)
Helena Antoniou, a member of Friends of the Nature Route, said: “We look forward to seeing the site transform into a green space for biodiversity support and community engagement.
“Plans are now underway to transform the site into a clean, green landscape for wildlife to thrive.”
The group plans to grow trees and plants to promote biodiversity.
She added: “In the long term, we hope to add benches to the nature route, giving members of the public the opportunity to sit and socialize while enjoying the surroundings.”
The factory was closed in the 2000s and the access road – where the rubbish was – was built to accommodate the 6,100 jobs that never materialized, according to Wales Online.
After the road was closed to vehicular access, a cycle and pedestrian path was constructed which was targeted by the dumpsters.
A neighbor living nearby said in April 2020 that rats had been seen feeding at the site which was once an access road to the former LG site in the parish of Coedkernew.
They said, “The vermin it attracts is awful.
‘It’s such a horror. Nobody seems to do anything about it. He seems to be out of sight, out of mind.
Streams of rubbish lay everywhere with car tires, piles of clothes, suitcases and doorways strewn across the disused road near Newport
A total of 85% of the litter has been removed from the site thanks to Friends of the Road to Nature, but the campaign group continues to clean up what is left. They also hope to turn it from Road to Nowhere to Road to Nature after their cleanup
Fly-spilling incidents have increased by 32.8% in Newport during the pandemic, according to the Welsh Government. The total number of incidents in this local authority area was 2,725 in 2019/20 and 4,060 in 2020/21.
Resident Chris Taylor filmed the scale of the litter two years ago during his daily exercise with his family.
He said, “It’s been like this for a while. Frustratingly, the scenery around it is amazing. The bike path is nice but then you turn to it.
“That’s a concern because it’s so close to homes.
“At the end of the road there is an abandoned boat wreck.
“He doesn’t seem to be supervised very well.
“If I understand correctly, it’s been going on for years.”
Newport councilor Allan Morris, who lives close to the Coedkernew site, opined in 2020 that rogue waste collectors might be to blame.
He said: “People are accumulating more waste because they are at home all the time.
“But unscrupulous people take advantage of sensible people staying at home because there are fewer eyes on them to throw away their unwanted belongings.
“If people are paying people to take their stuff, you should ask for pictures of it at its final destination before parting with your money.”
It’s been a problem in the area for many years, with locals branding the site a ‘rat haven’ and urging action against fly dumps which they say had worsened during the lockdown (a truck on the road out of nowhere looked much cleaner)
A neighbor living nearby said in April 2020 that rats had been seen feeding at the site, photographed before the cleanup started. Plans are now underway to transform the site, pictured after the cleanup right, into a clean, green landscape allowing wildlife to thrive
Newport Council has now cleared the road as part of the town’s street cleaning plans and will monitor it with CCTV in a bid to delay the return of fly-out dumpsters to the area.
A Newport City Council spokeswoman said: ‘The land in question is owned by a number of organizations and private owners.
“We are currently working with partners such as NRW, Fly-tipping Action Wales, Police, Fire and the Welsh Government to establish full ownership details and develop an action plan so we can prosecute and prevent further spills. .”
Pamela Jordan, fly tipping manager at Fly Tipping Action Wales, said: ‘We are proud to see the community working together to continue clearing the site and developing the space for public use.
“We are particularly proud to have recycled 85% of the waste that was dumped on the ground.”