A fly-tipping hotspot in St Mary Cray has been closed in a bid to crackdown on ruthless litterbugs.

Bromley Council is blocking off Star Lane, which has been blighted with mountains of dumped rubbish causing cars to have to turn back on themselves or manoeuvre around piles.

The road has become synonymous with fly-tipping, with one example coming just weeks ago where a Bromley man was prosecuted for hiring a stranger to take his rubbish – which was dumped in Star Lane – because he offered cheaper rates than a skip hire.

Concrete blocks are being put in the lane to stop vehicles getting through, and the council said it will be keeping an eye on nearby streets too.

Councillor Kate Lymer, executive councillor for public protection and enforcement, said: “Fly-tipping is not welcome in this borough so we are using everything at our disposal to tackle this ongoing problem, including prosecutions.

“Fly-tipping is dangerous, especially for drivers in country lanes where the road can be totally blocked by dumped rubbish. CCTV is part of the solution but does not necessarily deter ruthless fly-tippers particularly where bends in the road can reduce CCTV effectiveness.

“Closing the road might seem a drastic solution but we’ve done it before elsewhere so we know it can be successful.”

The road closure could take effect at any time in the next 18 months, although the duration might vary, so it could be closed several times during the next year and half.

It was revealed last year through the Local Democracy Reporting Service the council has shelled out £15k on private eyes to catch fly-tippers.

Sleuths are often used by councils to stalk potential litterbugs, and in Bromley they’ve been employed three times since 2015.

In figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request, it has emerged three “covert fly-tipping operations” have been carried out at £4,800 a go.

None of the investigations led to a prosecution, but the council said it serves as a reminder that would-be dumpers are being watched.

Now, the road closure is hoped to drastically improve Star Lane, which has seen a big increase in the amount of dumped rubbish in the last few years.

Fly-tipping is very costly to local authorities, with big dumps such as Star Lane thought to cost hundreds of thousands to clear up.

Neighbouring Croydon Council has spent upwards of £30,000 since 2014 on detectives to crack down on fraud.