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VIDEO: Trail of suspicion leads to a very leaky road sweeper


A leaking council road sweeping vehicle has left a long dirty streak of oil through the heart of Leicester's Cultural Quarter.

The sweeper has deposited a dark snaking trail on the streets, including the paving outside Curve theatre in the city centre, where the plaques in the city's Walk of Fame have been installed in the ground.

At one point, the oily line passes over the steel plaque to commemorate Leicester playwright Joe Orton, after whom the square outside Curve was named.

The stain begins at Humberstone Gate, runs up the length of Rutland Street, circles round Orton Square and carries on down Halford Street, passing through the pavement dining area of the Chutney Ivy restaurant.

Simon Postlethwaite, owner of Chutney Ivy, said: "You'd think the person driving the sweeper might have noticed what a mess was being made.

"I've complained to the council quite often about the state of the pavements because they do get really dirty but this is bad.

"It just doesn't look good for visitors, especially in such a prominent place."

Cassie Soulsby, chairman of the Cultural Quarter Business Association and owner of the Exchange bar, said: "I haven't seen it myself but I'm not surprised. The state of pavements is an ongoing issue.

"I'm confident the council is dealing with it. We work very closely with them."

Shopper David Fraser, 56, from Stoneygate, said: "It's pretty grotty. I can't believe the dust cart didn't conk out after losing all that oil.

"From the way the trail loops back on itself I find it hard to believe the person driving did not see what had been happening. Perhaps they did see but didn't care."

Hannah Carswell, 23, from Aylestone, who works in the Cultural Quarter, said: "It will be a nightmare to get off. It looks pretty scruffy. Street sweepers are supposed to make things look better not worse."

Leicester City Council spends some £3.3 million a year on cleaning the streets and has a £300,000 contract with a firm to deep clean pavements.

Adrian Russell, the council's director of environmental and enforcement services, said: "This was the result of the failure of a steering pump on one of our street cleaning vehicles.

"The officer was cleaning in the rain and was not aware of the oil leak.

"When he did become aware, he stopped the vehicle and it was collected on a recovery truck and taken to the depot.

"The stains will be cleared over the next few evenings as part of our existing city centre street cleaning contracts at no additional cost."

VIDEO: Trail of suspicion leads to   a very leaky road sweeper

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