Warning Notice issued to Minister to clean up M40 slip roads
Following the issuing of a EPA Section 91 Warning Notice in February 2010 to the Secretary of State for Transport the Highways Agency’s contractor increased their cleaning activities by a factor of 6 times to bring the southern end of the M40 up to an acceptable standard by June. Please go to Case Studies: M40 .
However, a photo-survey of Junction 1 (Denham) and 2 (Beaconsfield) carried out in August to September indicated that they were still badly neglecting the slip roads. I have used J1 on a regular basis over the years and the slip road shown below left has invariably been badly littered. The problem goes back many years.
(Click on photos to enlarge)
In May the contractor, UK Highways M40 Ltd stopped recording the cleaning of slip roads in the stats which they have kindly been supplying me with. However in the period November 2009 to April 2010 the above section of Junction 1 (left hand photo) was not recorded as ever once being cleaned. The Junction 2 section (right hand photo) was recorded as only being cleaned once. That was on 26th February. UK Highways have said that they will now reinstate the separate logging of slip road cleaning.
On 23rd September in an attempt to rectify matters I sent an EPA Section 91 Warning Notice to Philip Hammond MP, the Secretary of State for Transport giving him a generous 20 days to clean the slip roads before I make a complaint to the Magistrates Court for an Litter Abatement Order requiring him to do so.
A response was received from the Highways Agency dated 12th October. They said that slip roads with no hard shoulders have to be closed before cleaning. Considerable efforts were being made to keep the motorway clear of litter taking into consideration Health & Safety and disruption for the public. A revised code of practice produced by UK Highways M40 Ltd’s sub contractor, Carillion plc, was enclosed.
I replied saying that as no specific undertaking to clean the slip roads had been made I reserved the right to go ahead with a complaint to the Magistrates’ Court for a Litter Abatement Order. I also asked 9 questions to clarify points made in the letter.
The Highways Agency have said they are not responsible for cleaning the outside verges on the London side of the Junction 1 (Denham roundabout) slip roads. South Bucks District Council have also denied responsibility. I have written to the HA for clarification.
23rd September 2010