TRAVELODGE AND EG GROUP (Esso) SERVICE STATION, THAME, SOUTH OXFORDSHIRE
On February 1st, Thame Wombles adopted the local service station as a special project, and a place of local concern. Head Womble initially approached the management of the service station and hotel site, with a formal complaint about the condition of the site perimeter.
He recorded the following on social media:
I went to the service area today, and this is what I found.
There is construction work going on in the Lorry Park area, so there are no current issues.
On first impressions the garage forecourt area, and areas around the building were pretty spotless, but this is not necessarily down to it being cleaned regularly. When there are winds, the litter from the forecourt tends to blow onto either the Burger King car park, or Travelodge.
Today, those car parks were completely clear of waste.
I spoke to Tanveer, who was managing the garage area, and he was not able to commit to any arrangements with Thame Wombles. He said he could not give any authority for me or others to litter-pick around the forecourt, or surrounding land, which includes the drainage ditch. He advised that I would need to write to the headquarters about it.
As you will see from photos, the drainage ditch is flooded fully, and there is plenty of litter on the banks, but the ground was soft, slippery and very dangerous.
I spoke to Kelly, the manager of The Travelodge, who confirmed that she and her staff were fighting a hard battle against the rubbish that blows from the garage forecourt, and from people in cars, who park there to eat their Burger King meals, discarding wrappers.
Her other problem stems from people drinking alcohol, in and around the car park. She said the site was owned by Euro- Garages, and the land surrounding was not their responsibility, and even if it was they are "lone workers", and most of the litter is trapped beneath thick brambles.
I decided to clear as much as I could from the bushes surrounding the car park as you will see.
I collected 9 bags, but hardly made an impression on it."
Thame Wombles later discovered that the site is owned by Travelodge and E G Group garages are tenants.
In the end we took a different approach to this and are now working with both Travelodge and E G Group to deep clean the site. As of April 12th 2021 we have cleared around the perimeter completely (including the very deep drainage ditch), we have discovered over 5000 plastic gloves around the perimeter and particularly under the numerous bushes, and there are still many more to come.
We have moved approximately 2 tonnes of litter, historic rubbish and fly tipping, and we are landscaping the outer perimeter for easier access in the future. We have placed 4 further waste bins around the Travelodge Car park, in the hope it will deter people from tossing their rubbish onto the floor or into brambles.
On April 8th we wrote to Pushpika Jayweera (Area Manager) to ask him to stop using the plastic gloves dispenser that they currently have, and to install bins with swivel tops. We are also going to ask Travelodge to allow us to prepare a path around the perimeter and to allow Thame Anglers to fish from their stretch of the Scotgrove Stream.
MORE TO FOLLOW ...
THAME PARK ROAD ( DURING CLOSURE )
It isn't often that a busy road is closed completely for repairs, so when Thame Park was closed for the refurbishment of its verges. local resident Tina Baxter invited a group of Wombles to join her in order to deep clean the ditches and hedgerows in complete safety.
The group covered just over a mile on either side, and would have gone further, but unfortunately not allowed, due to health and safety (insurance concerns) by the contractors carrying out the work.
Nevertheless, the team effort removed approximately 1 tonne of rubbish before the road was re-opened at the end of April, ahead of schedule.