Call the rat catcher! Invasion of long-tailed critters after Tredworth sewer work
HORRIFIED residents are too scared to go into their garden following a rat invasion in Tredworth.
The vermin were discovered by householders in Melbourne Road East following work in a nearby brook.
Gloucestershire Highways is replacing the bridge deck over the brook in Hatherley Road, which backs on to the gardens in Melbourne Road East.
Resident Pat Smith said: "The rats have been burrowing in our garden.
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"The work is meant to be going on for weeks but we cannot have rats running around our garden.
We have not been informed of what is going on."
She added: "I look after children but at the moment they are in the house and cannot go out because we have seen three or four rats running from garden to garden.
"Rats can be very dangerous and our main concern is them urinating and someone getting infected."
Neighbour Christine McTuloch is also suffering from the problem. She said: "They have come into our shed and shredded some of my son's sports kit. These rats can carry awful disease and our next-door neighbour is not letting her grandson out.
"The other day we saw a mother rat carrying its baby.
"We have rung the council but they are saying we are responsible because they are in our garden.
"We have to pay to have them removed but some of us can't afford it."
Labour city councillor for Tredworth Usman Bhaimia said: "I've had many residents up in arms about the situation.
"They are being told by the council that it is their problem. They need to be more helpful. We are concerned about the rats' urine and diseases. None of the mums are letting their children out."
Gloucestershire county councillor Vernon Smith, cabinet member for highways and flood, said: "Gloucestershire Highways has carried out work to replace the bridge deck over the brook at Hatherley Road in Tredworth.
"More than 170 residents in the area were informed of the planned improvement by letter. During the work, an unchartered sewer was found to be in poor condition so Severn Trent Water was called in to make the one metre repair.
"During the sewer work rats were disturbed and immediate action was taken by putting down bait boxes.
"Now sewer works have been completed the rats are expected to return to their natural habitat. The road is due to reopen on October 18."