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Pdf of complaint to PM

Complaint to the Prime Minister that DEFRA minister Therese Coffey MP misled the House of Commons over the exclusion of motorways etc from the Littering From Vehicles Outside London Regulations

 

Contrary to expectations The Littering From Vehicles Outside London (Keepers: Civil Penalties) Regulations 2018  do not cover offences committed on motorways.

 

This includes the off-slip roads which are subject to high levels of such littering and would have been ideal locations to employ camera technology to catch offenders.

 

On the Highways England strategic road network, the Regulations only apply on those of their trunk roads where the local authority has the statutory duty to keep them clear of litter.

 

MPs would not have been aware of this from reading the draft regulations, the Explanatory Memorandum or DEFRA’s consultation document.

 

The latter document stated:

 

“To maintain parity, rather than give new enforcement functions to Highways England in isolation, we propose that district councils should remain responsible for all littering enforcement (criminal or civil) on the Strategic Road Network”.

.. wrongly implying that local authorities would be able to enforce the new civil penalties for offences committed on the motorways etc.

When MPs were asked to approve  the regulations  in Parliament on 31st January 2018 DEFRA Minister Therese Coffey should therefore have made the true position clear. Instead she muddied the waters further by saying:

 

“ …. For our highways, and particularly our strategic road network, Highways England has an arrangement with the litter authority, whereby the litter authority is still responsible for clearing the litter from that side. It is perfectly possible for councils to work closely with Highways England once they have these powers, to use the camera footage that will be available to try to tackle and identify those who litter”…..”

When the Regulations were debated and approved in the House of Lords the next day Baroness Jones of Whitchurch asked:

 

“Also, am I right in saying that responsibility for litter on the side of motorways has transferred to Highways England? If so, will it have the same powers to catch and fine drivers throwing litter out of car windows, which again is a real blot on our landscape?”

The question was not answered during the debate nor did Maggie Jones receive a written response as is the normal practice in such cases.

This all seems to point to a deliberate policy to camouflage the true position.

It is inconceivable that Ms Coffey was unaware of the Regulations would not apply to offences committed on the motorways etc. I can only conclude therefore that she deliberately misled Parliament on this matter.

Peter Silverman MA MSc
www.cleanhighways.co.uk
petersilverman@cleanhighways.co.uk
01895 625770
4thMarch 2019

For more background please refer to Littering from vehicles – defective regulations

This document can be read on line aC

 

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