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December 06 2017
By Mel Holley

Mel was routeONE magazine’s Editor until autumn 2018. He has more than 30 years’ experience in road and rail transport journalism.

Heathrow coach firm’s toilet
disposal into river costs £33k

Detective work by the Environment Agency (EA) led to Ealing Magistrates handing out fines and costs totalling £33,559 to Symphony Chauffeurs Ltd and its director Allen Jeyakumar of Lee Road, Greenford. Both pleaded guilty.

The EA discovered that debris from chemical toilets was entering the river, and the source was Symphony Coaches

It comes after the firm, on Eastern Business Park near Heathrow, contaminated the River Crane by emptying coach toilets into public surface water drains.

The river was further polluted when chemicals and dirty water entered the drains after staff washed vehicles on Symphony’s premises, despite warnings from the EA and the firm’s landlords that this was against the terms of its lease.

Symphony would have stayed within the law by disposing of the chemicals at an approved site, or by cleaning their cars and coaches at an authorised location.               

Monitoring devices identified Symphony as the source, which officers confirmed through a network of drains.

Mathew Reed, who led the EA investigation says: “People might think we will find it too difficult to trace the cause of pollution, but this case proves that detective work leads to a conviction.

“Identifying pollution through a complex network of drains can be difficult, but that doesn’t mean it cannot be done. We have the skills and technology to do it.”

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