A WOMAN is demanding action to prevent pigeons roosting and rearing their young on a bridge beneath a busy road into Skipton.

Joy Skipper, who has rescued and reared fledglings which have fallen into Keighley, Road, says the birds are also causing a health hazard.

She has already collected a 160-name petition of people supporting her campaign, which has been lodged with Craven District Council.

Mrs Skipper describes the scene below the Keighley Road rail bridge, as often "carnage" with crushed young birds hit by cars after falling from the nests and roosts.

"But it's not just a humanitarian thing, it's also a health hazard. The place is filthy with bird lime which also falls onto the road. People walking underneath are also taking a risk," she says.

"Why can't Network Rail do something about i? I understand there's a special paint they could apply which repels pigeons.

"And why can't they fit those anti-pigeon spikes you see on buildings which would stop them landing there?"

Mrs Skipper has rescued young birds and hand reared them at her home in Keighley Road.

She has also taken injured birds for treatment at Kingsway veterinary surgery in Otley Road, Skipton.

A spokeswoman for Craven Council said officers had been unable to prove a Statutory Nuisance in relation to the pigeons despite complaints dating back to 2007.

She said Network Rail, which owns the bridge, had commissioned a report in 2010 that concluded “the guano nuisance at the bridge can be placed within Category 3 ‘medium’ risk” and had recommended an improved cleaning regime be put in place by the council.

But the spokeswoman added: "Clearly the council were unhappy with this response as we were of the opinion that Network Rail, as bridge owners, should take full responsibility for the problem.

"However the council did establish a regular regime of pavement cleaning under the bridge which continues to this day."

The council had recently received a letter from Skipton MP Julian Smith informing them that Network Rail would undertake a full survey and had put into place the necessary remedial action.

"We are writing to Network Rail to ask for this new survey and would now hope following that survey corrective action will be undertaken," she added.