DEBRIS thrown into the River Colne by vandals have pushed residents to breaking point as chaos continues to plague the city’s waterways.
Fences, bikes, and even a Spin electric scooter have been rescued from the river as locals have had enough fighting to keep it from becoming an eyesore.
Road works that started last year, starting at Hythe Station and continuing over the Old Hythe Bridge at Hythe Station Road in Colchester, were one of the main causes of the waste, according to residents.
The bridge has been closed since spring 2020 after Essex Highways warned it was unsure. A temporary trail has been created for one side of the road.
However, the cones used to shape the trail have been repeatedly thrown into the waterway below.
The roadworks resulted in Old Heath and Hythe advisor Lee Scordis hitting Essex Highways for the time needed to complete the project.
“For almost two years, residents had to endure cones and even metal fences thrown into the river,” Mr Scordis said.
“And what is the Essex Highways solution? Bring more cones to replace the old ones, which then inevitably get thrown into the river.
“When I asked Highways to come and collect his cones from the river because they are his property, he refused. Instead, we relied on volunteers to clean up the river for us. ”
Seanet Coastal Heritage, a charity dedicated to preserving the city’s waterways, has been instrumental in cleaning up the Garbage Column in recent times.
Jasamine Jackdaw, who lives in Hythe and volunteers for Seanet, said: “We have cleaned up the river cones on several occasions and are currently hosting over 50 pickups.
“Essex Highways were made aware of the need for a fence or CCTV and started contacting them about it over a year ago, but still nothing.
“It just replaces the cones, which is sheer madness and a waste of taxpayer money.
“Regular garbage collectors are constantly removing barriers thrown into the river”
A spokesperson for Essex Highways said: “We are disappointed that our valuable equipment is being dumped in the river, which is both dangerous and damaging to the environment.
“We are looking at the traffic management setup and will remove as many cones as possible and replace them with narrow cycle lane protectors. ”