Two huge piles with thousands of tires were abandoned in Dickens Street, Peterborough, by a rogue trader and now pose a fire risk threatening railway security and households’ safety in the neighborhood. The railway between Birmingham and Stansted Airport may face closure as a result of the illegal actions of a rogue trader from Huntingdon, Michael Newsome.

According to prosecutor for the Environment Agency Gurjit Bdesha, the trader rented a site to carry out tire shredding activities which had never taken place. Instead, the land was used as a tire storage and it accommodated more tires than was officially permitted. Moreover, Newsome’s actions – unsanctioned accumulation of large amounts of scrap tires – created a fire risk. The official also noted that the closest household to the dangerous tire site is only 13 meters away.

The trader failed to carry out site clearance, however he had been earlier approached with requests to relocate the tires. Newsome’s company Facebook page, Cambridgeshire Rubber Recycling Ltd, indicated it possessed a license for carrying out tire recycling activities and scrap tire storage. In the past it was reported that Newsome attended the site aiming to take his equipment from a lockaway, however he left behind over 80 tons of scrap tires.

The businessman later showed some activity at one more site at Lazy Acre Farm in Whittlesey where the site’s owner questioned legitimacy of Newsome’s enterprise. In the aftermath, Newsome was demanded to abandon the site and remove accumulated tires. The site’s owner offered Newsome a rent waiver of £3,500, but the trader failed once again to clear the area, eventually leaving behind over 110 tons of scrap tires.

According to the prosecutor, the area was considered ‘high fire risk’, also it was located less than 100 meters away from the railway. In case of fire outbreak, the railway would have been closed which would have disrupted the local transport network. Earlier, the officials tried to arrest Newsome twice, however those efforts failed. Currently, the Environmantal Agency is seeking collaboration with site operators to design a fire prevention plan and to monitor that environmental regulations are met. However, if operators do not fulfill the agency’s requests, severe measures will be undertaken.

Newsome pleaded guilty to breaking several environmental laws at both sites – at Lazy Acre Farm and in Dickens Street. On October 9, he was sentenced to eight month in jail and 240 hours of unpaid work. Moreover, he will need to pay compensation to the site owners of over £12,000.

Article by Manitoba Post.