|Thieves Put Road Users At Risk Again|
|80 covers stolen in the past year in the borough
Road users are once again being put at risk by thieves stealing drain and gully covers from the capital's roads, councillors are warning.
Hundreds of cast iron covers, some dating back to Victorian times, are thought to have been stolen across London for their scrap metal value.
In Wandsworth alone, six have been stolen in the past month. Earlier this year another seven went missing from the borough’s roads.
Councils across the capital are replacing the covers as quickly as possible, but because they were constructed so long ago, there is no standard size replacement and often the whole gully needs to be reconstructed, which inevitably takes time.
To deter the thieves from stealing the replacements, Wandsworth is now using a new hinged design which means that the grid cannot be lifted out of the frame and removed.
Transport spokesman Cllr Russell King said:
“If you see anyone tampering with these metal covers, please dial 999 immediately and call the police. And if you spot an uncovered drain or gully please report it to us straight away so we can put in a temporary cover as quickly as possible. Please don't assume someone else has reported it. We would rather get lots of calls about the same gully than none at all."
Since Wandsworth first raised this as a matter of concern in 2010, around 80 covers have been stolen across the borough leaving taxpayers with a £30,000 bill for replacements.
To report a missing cover or any other street defect telephone (020) 8871 6718 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
July 7, 2011