A RAT problem plaguing the retail parks in Bradley Road, Trowbridge, is being made worse by people feeding the rodents running around KFC and McDonald’s.

Wiltshire and Trowbridge Councillor Graham Payne said he has had several complaints about rats running along the pavements and in the car park near the fast food giants.

He said Wiltshire Council had been contacted about the problem and environmental officers have established that the rats are burrowing and nesting in hedges bordering Bradley Road and the ditch near Drynham Lane.

As Trowbridge Retail Park and Spitfire Retail Park are private property, the responsibility for dealing with the problem rests with the parks’ separate managing agents.

Cllr Payne said: “A number of residents have contacted me about the problem and said they have been in touch with the council. It’s been going on for the past few weeks and environmental officers from the council have visited the site.

“It has been established that KFC’s pest control contract is operated by a firm who provide bait boxes and visit once a month, but officers advised a weekly service would be better.

“The main problem is that food and litter is left in the car park during the day and some moronic characters have been seen feeding chicken and other delicacies to the rats, which is not helping the problem.

“Council officers reckon that the rats have given up eating corn from the bait boxes as they have become accustomed to a more tasty cuisine.”

The managing agent for Spitfire Retail Park where McDonald’s is located is F&C REIT Asset Management. Trowbridge Retail Park, where KFC is based, is looked after by JLL.

Yesterday a spokesman for the Trowbridge Retail Park said: “We are in close contact with the council and our neighbours and together we are taking active measures to help address the issue, including urging visitors to our centre to dispose of their food waste appropriately.”

Karen Canavan, property manager at F&C REIT, said: “I have been in contact with McDonald’s and I’m confident they have a stringent regime in place for both pest control and litter picking.”