Residents are furious about the state of a part of Reading that is overrun with 'rats and pigeons'. 

Reading West station, the underpass and nearby ticket office is reportedly in such a bad state that residents fear for their hygiene and personal safety. 

According to a neighbor, the area has been inundated with rats, pigeons, and ‘the odd syringe’ making it unsafe for members of the public on their travels.

Terry Paramenter spoke to the Chronicle about what the people of Reading are facing on a daily basis.

“The message was, to deliver a safer and more welcoming environment for the reading public,” he said.

“Ever since building commenced, the area has been inundated with environmental health problems involving pigeons’ rats and more. Pigeons can pass Histoplasmosis to Humans which is highly infectious. Their waste attracts mites, and carry more disease than the rat.

“We have walked past this area hundreds of times, but as we passed the area on Saturday, we noticed it is a breeding ground for disease and bacteria. Enough is enough.”

Pictures of the area show a telephone booth that has been covered in pigeon and rat droppings. This is thought to be an ‘environmental issue’ caused partly by the construction of the ticket office on Oxford Road.

Terry explained: “It’s been a problem for a long time now, but with the new facilities about to open, it seems crazy and unsafe to have these conditions opposite the new ticket office.

“We have seen people literally scream when they see the rats that are prevalent every day. The Oxford Road area needs sorting, and quickly.”

It is thought that the area needs daily cleaning to keep the area safe for commuters at Reading West station and people who frequent the area.

The question asked by residents is ‘Are Reading Borough Council serious when they say that they want to give the area a big facelift so that the residents can be proud of this area and of course, our town.’

According to the council, the issue of excessive pigeon droppings under the bridge in the area of Reading West train station would be the responsibility of Network Rail.

A spokesperson from Reading Borough Council said: "The Council is fully aware of the issues currently being caused by unsightly pigeon droppings under the bridge at Reading West Station on the Oxford Road as work continues on the upgraded station. Through the station upgrade scheme we have raised this with both Great Western Railway (GWR) and Network Rail, who are responsible. 

“In addition to routine and regular cleaning of the area, Council Street cleansing officers have also carried out a ‘deep clean’ on three occasions over the past six months - including a thorough jet wash and clean - and will be doing so once again this week.  

“The railway bridge is owned and managed by Network Rail however and therefore any works undertaken to achieve a long -term solution will require its approval. As part of the station upgrade works some additional protection has been installed under the railway bridge by GWR but this is limited to the southern side of the Oxford Road where the new station building has been built and not to the northern side where the telephone box is.

“The Council is also aware that some members of the public are putting down feed for pigeons on the Oxford Road near the railway bridge at Reading West Station. As such, we have placed additional signage asking that people not feed the pigeons in that immediate area.

“We will continue to escalate this issue with Network Rail and with Great Western Railway, which operates the station, to implement effective, long-term deterrents to reduce pigeons roosting.

“In the meantime, we will continue undertaking regular jet washes of this area until appropriate measures are put in place by Network Rail or GWR.”