Disgust as litter pickers find bottles of urine on residential street - calls for Manchester Airport to act

The finger of blame is being pointed at taxi drivers dropping off passengers and there are calls for airport bosses to do more to stop the problem.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Manchester Airport is being urged to act after community litter pickers made the disgusting discovery of dozens of bottles of urine left on a residential street near the travel hub.

The “revolting” finds were among a large quantity of rubbish collected from the area close to the airport in Manchester. Litter pickers and a local councillor say taxi drivers visiting the airport to drop-off passengers are parking for free outside residents’ homes and are responsible for using the bottles.

They now want bosses at Manchester Airport to be far more proactive in ensuring taxi drivers use the designated area and have suggested removing the fee they currently have to pay. The airport says it is committed to being a good neighbour to those who live nearby and encouraged residents to report any unacceptable behaviour to either the council or police.

What did the community litter pickers find near Manchester Airport?

The community litter pick on Bailey Street, which is close to Manchester Airport, was organised by Green councillor Robert Nunney who represents Woodhouse Park ward in the Manchester City Council chamber.

The team of volunteers armed with grabbers and gloves filled more than 30 large bags with rubbish. However, what has caused real anger in the aftermath of the clean-up is that among them were dozens of plastic bottles filled with urine.

Litter found on Bailey Lane near Manchester AirportLitter found on Bailey Lane near Manchester Airport
Litter found on Bailey Lane near Manchester Airport

The finger of blame is being pointed at taxi drivers taking people to the airport for their flights but then using a free option in nearby residential streets rather than going to the dedicated parking area, which also has facilities including toilets but which they have to pay to get into. It has now been suggested that waiving these fees might help reduce the nuisance factor for local residents.

Coun Nunney says he has had meetings with the airport and reckons bosses there need to take responsibility for the issues, which include cutting back the vegetation along the footpaths on the western side of Bailey Lane.

What has been said about the litter pick and the bottles of urine?

Reece Sanford, who was one of the litter pickers and who posted about the urine bottles on Twitter, said: “It was absolutely disgusting. There must have been at least 50 to 60 bottles of urine.

“I can actually see the two sides of the story here. The airport is enforcing charges on the taxi drivers and it’s very difficult for them to find anywhere to stop that’s not going to charge them. But there’s no excuse for the area to be filled with bottles of urine, that’s just another level and it’s revolting.”

Coun Nunney said: “This is an ongoing issue. It’s not just that people relieve themselves into these plastic bottles and then chuck them into the undergrowth, it’s also that it looks completely unkempt. People get the impression that no-one cares what’s going on here. There are also issues with people parking up for people with pushchairs and wheelchair users.

Volunteers taking part in the litter pick near Manchester AirportVolunteers taking part in the litter pick near Manchester Airport
Volunteers taking part in the litter pick near Manchester Airport

“We’ve been lobbying the airport to do more to make it easier for taxi drivers not to park up on residential roads. The airport provides an official holding area but it’s not very well-known about. I’ve actually gone out with leaflets on several occasions and spoken to drivers about it. The usual response is quite positive, they are grateful I’ve told them about it because they didn’t know about it.

“The council’s highways department has put up some signs telling people to use the holding area but they are very simple and the airport also needs to do more. We also want the airport to make it free. There seems to be some reluctance to do this because they seem to think it will be easy access for anybody, but I’m sure they could work round it. At the moment, residents are paying the cost of this.

“We also need better enforcement. We’ve had more traffic enforcement officers patrolling but as soon as they see them coming they just move on.

“I’ve had meetings with the airport and while they seem like they want to help it’s frustrating that it’s not happening fast enough.”

What has the airport said?

A Manchester Airport spokesman said: “We are aware of concerns raised by local people about the behaviour of private hire drivers waiting to collect people from Manchester Airport. We are committed to being a good neighbour, and expect all airport users – including private hire drivers – to respect surrounding communities.

“We work closely with Manchester City Council and Greater Manchester Police to address residents’ concerns and tackle anti-social behaviour of this nature. As part of this work, we operate a dedicated waiting area with toilets, indoor seating and flight information screens, which we urge all private hire drivers serving the airport to use. This facility can be used for a small contribution towards its upkeep of between £1 and £2 with maximum single stay for up to three hours.

“Local people are also urged to report any behaviour they consider to be unreasonable to the police or council, so that appropriate enforcement action can be taken.”