RAT infested bins are putting off diners as pictures emerged of the rodents picking up scraps.

The vermin have been spotted around a retail park car park and bins outside McDonald’s by Rayleigh Weir.


Scurrying - one of the rats snapped in the car park


Caught on camera - the rats

Nicknamed the rats of Rat Lane after being spotted at the corner of the road and Claydons Lane, concerns have been raised about hygiene.

A spokesman for McDonald’s said: “We take cleanliness and hygiene very seriously in the area surrounding the restaurant.

“Pest control experts carry out regular routine checks of the site and were called out to assess this situation and found no issue on McDonald’s property.

“The photograph in question is around 60m from the restaurant and is in the retail car park adjacent to the restaurant.

“Nevertheless the team have increased litter patrols to ensure any issues from surrounding areas do not impact the McDonald’s car park.

“The restaurant itself has been impacted in no way whatsoever and has a five-star food hygiene rating.”

One woman who asked to remain anonymous said she saw more than a dozen rats scuttling around the area.

The concerned woman said: “The rats were managing to get into the base of the bin.

“I was parked by and coming out with food.

“Although rat traps are evident I wonder if enough is being done.

“There were at least 20 of them all huddled together.

“Surely officials need to up their game.

“This problem needs to be addressed as these creatures can cause serious illnesses.”

Colin Riley, former Tory leader of Castle Point Council, said: “I will speak with our council director of environment.

“I will get on this immediately and see what we can do about it.

“Anything to do with rats is concerning, I just hope they didn’t come from the sewers.”

Bosses at the restaurant are offering to help with the retail park clean.