Anger after South Shields pier left 'stinking mess' with 'three feet-high piles of rubbish' - furious outpouring after 'health hazard' sees piers closed

Gazette readers have voiced anger over the mess left by ‘irresponsible’ visitors to the South Pier, after port bosses were forced to seal-off the landmark due to it becoming a ‘health hazard’.

The South Pier, South Shields, will remain closed 'until further notice' after a large amount of mess was left by a 'minority' of visitors
The South Pier, South Shields, will remain closed 'until further notice' after a large amount of mess was left by a 'minority' of visitors

The authority is responsible for both the North and South Piers, and said both would be closed.

"This is due to a small minority who have not taken their litter home resulting in a health hazard on the piers,” port chiefs said on Twitter.

The South Pier, South Shields.

Piles of rubbish could be seen at the end of the pier in the preceding days, and the state of the structure – and the resulting closure – sparked an angry reaction on the Gazette’s Facebook page.

Christine Gotts said: “It's been an absolute stinking mess lately. Unfortunately closing the gates won't make a difference because they still get passed to the side of the gates.

Pat Dodd said: “Was there (on Monday) and the rubbish was piled about 3ft high, 3ft wide. Disgrace.”

Ziggy's said: “People should be ashamed! Pick your rubbish up and take it with you if you cannot bin it!!!!”

The South Pier, South Shields

Dave Lockney said: “So how is this going to be resolved? Just keep it closed permanently?? Only a couple of weeks ago the reason for closing was essential maintenance. All last year it was social distancing.”

He suggested changes needed to be made in the management of the pier to prevent mess and ensure “everyone can enjoy it”.

But Albert Ord pointed out the pier was not there purely for the enjoyment of visitors.

“It's not meant to be a public amenity. It's there to provide a safe entrance for ships,” he said.

Dawn Finnigan said irresponsible visitors left the pier “a urine-smelling disgusting mess”, suggesting beefed up security and tough actions against perpetrators.

“Selfish acts that ruin it for everyone else,” he said. "Their waste is also causing suffering to the marine life.”

James Sanderson suggested charging anglers to fish on the pier, which could bring in revenue and stop ‘the inconsiderate so-called anglers who spoil it for the real anglers who l know pick up there rubbish and take it home’.

He said: “It’s been the same for years every summer the piers everywhere are a disgusting yet the winter comes it's spotless feel sorry for the serious anglers and the public who like to walk the pier.”

The suggestion was not welcomed by some who did not feel it was fair to charge a fee.

Others called for more bins and waste collections at the pier, but Jasmine Teasdale pointed out: “Why should the council or port pay someone to take someone else’s discarded rubbish away? Your rubbish, your responsibility.”

Emma-jane Moor raised concerns over the impact of marine life.

She said: “I no longer live in South Tyneside but it saddens me to see that this pier has been closed due to selfish idiots spoiling the environment. How disappointing that such a beautiful place can become ruined for humans and wildlife.”

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