A BRIDGE plagued by pooing pigeons has been branded a “health hazard”.

Residents say birds have been defecating – and dying – underneath the railway bridge in New England Road in Brighton, near Preston Circus, for years.

They are now are demanding that Network Rail, which manages the bridge, to take immediate action.

Nearby resident Ty Goddard said: “We’ve been fighting a war against these pigeons for years –and the pigeons are winning.

“It’s dirty, unsafe and a health hazard.

“If you’re in a car then you’re protected but what about the students or mothers with prams who walk along to Preston Circus.”

Mr Goddard says the bridge is know by residents as “Pigeon Poo Bridge”. Network Rail promised that work to repair the pigeon proofing would be done by October last year.

But campaigners say the repair work was inadequate and the pigeons have returned.

Reverend Martin Poole, from nearby St Luke’s Prestonville in Old Shoreham Road, said: “The large amount of pigeon poo is an eyesore and it’s unsafe.

“We have parents who walk under the bridge and they’re having poo dripped on them.”

Rev Poole, who had poo fall on him when he spoke to The Argus, added: “The current proofing is not fit for purpose and some pigeons get trapped and die.

“Because the bridge is in such a terrible state it looks clearly unloved and graffiti keeps

creeping up.”

Councillor Gill Mitchell, deputy leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, said the authority was discussing introducing enforcement orders to get companies, such as Network Rail, to clean up mess on its properties.

Cllr Mitchell, who is also the chairwoman of the environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “I have been pushing for Network Rail to produce a permanent solution for this for years.

“The problem is a clear health hazard.”

She said council workers jetwash poo from the pavement every week.

A spokesman for Network Rail said there were plans to improve the bridge, with work completed in the next three to six months.

He said: “We’re sorry for the delay so far, but this is while we carry out the necessary checks to find the best value solution for the issue as we are a publicly funded organisation.”