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Rats ‘invasion’ at Union Terrace car park
9:06am Saturday 11th August 2012 in News
A BUSY York car park visited by hundreds of tourists a day has been “invaded” by rats, according to a former city councillor.
Liz Edge said she had seen rats near the bins and toilets and in Union Terrace car park which were giving an “appalling” impression to tourists.
However, City of York Council has denied there is a problem and said it had only received one complaint about the site.
Mrs Edge, a former Holgate councillor, said she had spoken with a tour guide at the car park about the problem.
Mrs Edge said: “The tour guide said she goes to drop off visitors and every time they see at least two or three rats. That’s the first thing they see in the city. People are now saying ‘I don’t know if I want to get out of the car’. It looks appalling.
“I’m concerned visitors are coming from all over the world and are being dropped off to see York in all its glory and the first thing they see are rats going in and out of the bins. It is enough to put people off the city for life.”
She said she believed the amount of litter dropped in the car park was attracting the rats.
Mrs Edge said she had spoken to council pest inspectors as she was also concerned about the number of rats in Parkside Close, Acomb , and they had told her the rainy weather had driven many out of the drains.
However, Roger Ranson, assistant director of highways, waste and fleet for York council, said: “There is no evidence to support these claims. Our pest control team have only ever received one call-out for Union Terrace car park and have received no further calls or complaints since.
“We take pride in being the greenest city in the north and welcome more than 7.1 million visitors back to York every year. These kinds of claims, particularly during our peak tourist season, amount to scaremongering and are unsubstantiated.”
A person who works at the car park, who asked not to be named, said: “I’ve seen the rats. It’s not nice really, especially with tourists using the facilities.”
Paul Schofield, 42, of Tadcaster , said his wife had seen a rat at the toilets in the car park. He said: “I’ve not seen any in the men’s, but I’m sure they’re giving the ladies quite a fright.”