Gully cover thefts 'safety risk' for Surrey road users

Image caption,
Road users have been urged to take care and report anything suspicious

Thieves stealing gully covers are putting lives at risk and costing the taxpayer "a huge amount of money", Surrey County Council has said.

More than £160,000 has already been spent this year on replacing 536 covers across the county.

The county council said remote rural locations, such as Waverley, Guildford and Elmbridge, had been particularly badly hit.

Councillor Ian Lake said missing covers could cause serious road accidents.

"The people who do this are obviously not concerned about the safety of drivers, cyclists and pedestrians," he said.

"Stealing manhole and gully covers can lead to serious accidents on the roads and we would ask all road users to take care and to alert the police if they see anything suspicious."

Mr Lake said money spent on replacing covers so far this year could have paid for nearly 3,000 pothole repairs.

He said it cost between £200 and £400 to replace a cover, depending on its location and type.

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