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Area 10 – More evidence of non-compliance with EPA

On May 8, 2014, in Area 10, by PeterSilverman
  • “Verges severely  affected by litter
  • Contractor says network inspected once a month
  • Every single section of M602 main carriage-way verge was graded C (heavy litter)
  • Stretches of verge over 3 km long given same grade
  • 69 bags full of litter allowed to accumulate on one link road 
  • “It’s odd that I have never actually seen any litter picking in Area 10

Highways Agency Area 10 covers the Manchester and Liverpool Conurbations – see map

Michael Pease had complained to the Highways Agency about the littered state of the M56 in January 2013. On 20th March 2014 he took up the cause once again.

“I traveled from Manchester city centre to Liverpool city centre on the road network yesterday. The verges on both motorways were, for most of the way, severely affected by litter.  More irritatingly, on the M57 there had obviously been some tree felling work, but the litter had not been picked up “.

He was told by the Agency’s local Service Manager that

“My service provider undertakes regular inspections of this route and then this helps form their programme for litter picking.  This programme and the litter they picked is regularly checked by myself and others.  If we feel they are not doing what they should be doing I will also undertake spot inspections as well as Audits of the service provider”.

He asked about the M602 and M62:  “Have you inspected it recently? Do you agree it is unacceptable?” He was told on 26th March that these roads had been inspected and cleaned in January, February and March. He was not told if this was an inspection by the contractor or the Agency.

He replied saying “M602/M62 – Please can you inspect the route because the litter last Wednesday was atrocious and we both know the reality is it hasn’t been cleared since then …. It’s odd that I have never actually seen any litter picking in Area 10“.

He also wrote to the Customer Care department of Balfour Beatty Mott MacDonald, the Agency’s Area 10 contractor, about the condition of the M602 amd M62. They told him that

 The network is inspected at the start of each month, and litter is scored under categories A, B, C and D with only C’s and D’s requiring works to maintain the network in accordance with the Code of Practice for Litter and Refuse under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Litter picking works are then programmed during the coming month”.

In his follow up e-mail of 25th April he asked a number of specific questions about the grading process but was not given any satisfactory answers.

He was however sent a copy of one of the April monthly grading/litter scoring reports for the the M602.  Each of the two stretches of main-carriageway between the three junctions of 3.2 and 3.7 kms respectively were graded. Separate grades were given for the west and east bound sides of the road and for the near and off sides. The near side corresponds to the verge and the off side to the central reservation. This snap shot of the condition of the motorway taken on the 1st and 2nd April revealed that:

Every single section of main carriage-way verge was graded C (heavy litter)
Of the gradings given for the 17 sides of the various  slip roads 14 were grade C (heavy litter)

 It should be born in mind that these are the gradings assessed by the contractor in other words they are marking their own homework and have every incentive to understate the problem.

He was also given a schedule showing the the cleansing that had taken place in March 2014 on the section of the M62 to the west of the Manchester ring road. On 1 and 2nd March 69 bags of rubbish were collected from the east bound link road taking east bound traffic onto the south bound carriageway of the M60. In other words:

69 bags of litter had been allowed to accumulate on this roughly 1.5 km link road before BBMM felt obliged to clean it

Michael Peases’s correspondence with the Highways Agency and BBMM


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