Litter and fly-tipping

Litter and fly-tipping on the railway

How we’re working to keep the railway tidy

We’re committed to clearing litter and preventing fly-tipping on the railway: it’s a serious problem that not only looks bad, but also affects the safety of the railway.

Litter can attract rats that can chew on cables leading to signal failures, delays and even accidents, while metal cans and foil can cause short circuits in the signalling system.

Fly-tipping is also dangerous – especially if people trespass on the railway. It’s a criminal offence too and carries a fine of up to £1,000.

How we tackle litter

We’ve a statutory duty to clean up any litter on our land.

We’ll always act quickly to remove litter that could affect safety. For example, if a shopping trolley was left on the tracks we’d remove it immediately.

There are regular, scheduled clean-ups in stations and 100 metres either side within our boundary. Beyond stations, litter clearing is done as and when a problem is identified.

All our lines are cleaned, and the busiest lines, such as popular commuter routes, are cleaned more often than quieter ones.


While we can’t achieve a completely clean railway, we try to prevent litter and fly-tipping as much as we can by:

  • working with the British Transport Police to investigate and, where appropriate, prosecute people who commit litter and fly-tipping offences
  • maintaining good security to stop people illegally accessing railway sites
  • using CCTV to monitor sites where people fly-tip
  • using “nobblers”, which puncture tyres inside and outside access gates to railway land
  • enforcing legal agreements so that our tenants (eg shops at the stations that we manage) do not cause any litter problems
  • installing different fencing at trouble spots
  • encouraging contractors to remove all litter, debris and other materials from our sites when they’ve finished a job.

Reporting litter

We’re responsible for cleaning the areas around the railway tracks.

We’re also responsible for cleaning at and around the following stations:

  • Birmingham New Street
  • Bristol Temple Meads
  • London Cannon Street
  • London Charing Cross
  • Clapham Junction
  • Edinburgh Waverley
  • London Euston
  • Glasgow Central
  • Guildford
  • London King’s Cross
  • Leeds
  • Liverpool Lime Street
  • London Liverpool Street
  • London Bridge
  • Manchester Piccadilly
  • London Paddington
  • Reading
  • London Victoria
  • London Waterloo

Please get in touch with us to report litter at these locations.

All other railway stations are managed by train companies – please contact them directly to report litter.

To see who’s responsible for a station and for train company contact details, visit National Rail Enquiries.

To report litter elsewhere, contact your local council.