A MAJOR clean-up operation is under way to clear rubble, oil and junk scattered by travellers at a cycling track.

The travellers were camped for more than two weeks at Marsh Tracks road cycling circuit on the Glan Y Morfa industrial estate in Rhyl.

Volunteers are working around the clock with the aim of reopening the 1.2km circuit next Monday (July 2), which will mean its has been out of operation for exactly four weeks.

Mark Allen, a voluntary director of Marsh Tracks and development team leader for Welsh Cycling, said: “We have skips provided by the council and a squad of between 15 and 20 people ready to start the clean-up.

"We’re hoping to reopen the following Monday, even if it means working all day and night and into the weekend.

“It’s a mess. There’s a lot of dog and human excrement that has been left that we’ll have to clean from the area.

“There is also a lot of garden and commercial waste, such as grass cuttings and bits of trees as well as lots of old junk like a fridge freezer, a pushchair and, ironically, an old children’s bicycle.”

In addition to the camp using Marsh Tracks as a dump, safety concerns were also raised after car and quad bikes were seen using the track for drag racing.

Mr Allen added: ”We think the track is OK, but there’s a a lot of of building rubble that has been dumped on the track, making it hard to tell for certain.

“There is some diesel oil that has soaked into the track, so we will have to make sure that’s completely cleaned before anyone uses a bike on it again."

Cyclists have missed will have missed out on four weeks of coaching, with the exception of a Thursday children’s session moved to the car park.

Coaching was cancelled after the first group of four caravans gained entry to the site on Monday, June 4.

Denbighshire County Council issued an eviction notice a week later, giving the travellers 24 hours to depart.

The camp, which grew to 15 caravans, left the site in two waves, with the second group of seven vehicles leaving on Wednesday, June 27 at 8pm.

Mr Allen said: “The council moved as quickly as possible and there was a court date booked for Monday, June 25 after it became clear the travellers weren’t going to respond by leaving right away.

“They’ve been through this process before and they know the maximum of what they can get away with before they have to move on. Once the noticed was issued, we knew we’d be able to get back in within a matter of weeks.”

Less than 12 hours after the last travellers left, work began to secure the track from any future incursions, with cyclist and the managing director of nearby Westhead Welding Fabricators, Les Westhead, on site at 8am on Thursday to reinforce entry points to the track.

The council is also supporting additional security for the site.

Mr Allen said: “I think the key take away from this is, if you as an individual give your garden or home waste to an unlicensed trader like travellers, it will eventually end up on a site like Marsh Tracks – and the taxpayer will ultimately foot the bill anyway to clear it off.

"If we get out of this vicious circle there would be less reason for them to stick around and trade in the area and less waste to clean up after they leave.”