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Peter Silverman.


1,592 comments so far

  1. Monica says:

    For the longer term, perhaps we should introduce an “Adopt a Highway” scheme (which was and may still be used in Australia). Local organisations (eg schools, Rotary Clubs, community groups etc) can “adopt” or “sponsor” a road or highway and take responsibility for keeping it tidy. A sign on the roadside shows which organisation has adopted the highway.

    • Monica says:

      To follow on from my earlier post, here is the website for Victoria’s ongoing adopt a roadside campaign (in Australia)https://www.kvb.org.au/adopt-roadside/

  2. Rob Hamilton says:

    The A5 bypass in Tamworth hasn’t had a clear up in years.
    Its a terrible sight over the 2 miles, even some fly-tipping of chairs along the side of the road.

    The council tells me to inform the highways agency.

    Noone seems to want to tackle the mess apart from the volunteer litter pickers but because it’s a dual carriageway its not safe to do so.

    • karen beresford says:

      I often wonder if they could arrange litter picks when the roads are closed for maintenance. Maybe do a joint litter pick with the council and volunteers. They would need to bus people in maybe. Would have thought that volunteers would be keen to help.
      Ultimately we need to somehow stop people littering though.

  3. Lennie says:

    Just wanted to give a big shout out to the A13 both ways from the Dartford Tunnel turn off, back to Sadlers Farm roundabout on the border of Castle Point its dangerous,
    not hygienic and there is tons of it.
    Thurrock Council and Basildon Council you should be ashamed and fined
    so much for public health

  4. Rubio says:

    Please keep up the great work Peter Silverman. It would be such a pleasure to travel England’s highways without the appalling countrywide litter blight marring every journey. Thank you.

  5. Mark Woolley says:

    There is just to so much litter on the sides of our roads ! Much of the litter is plastic and metal drinks containers thrown out of cars. Particularly at road junctions where cars slow down or stop. I have been picking some of it up myself (only on safe roads with good paths) during this lock down period during long afternoon walks and putting it in local public bins

    It really is a national disgrace

    • steven says:

      I totally agree with you, its a disgrace that our country is in such a mess, i suggest we use our country’s prisoners to tidy everywhere.

  6. Dave Formstone says:

    I am absolutely shocked and appalled by the amount of litter on the verges of Cheshires roads. The A41 from Chester to the Shropshire border is horrendous. What has happened to this country??
    I have repeatedly emailed Cheshire West to ask for litter removal from laybys and verges. Nothing is being done. It seems to be the same all over the country. A whole new approach and litter strategy needs to be introduced. It’s clear Councils are not up to the job. The Johnson government needs to be proactive in getting this huge issue resolved before people start withholding council tax!!

  7. J Clement says:

    Who are we paying to keep our verges free of rubbish and litter, it is a national embarrassment and a disgrace.
    The A516 from Hilton, Derbyshire, up to Derby on the A35 is shocking. I phoned to complain was passed from 01283 508000 (ESBC) to 01283 595795 to 01629 533190 and then encouraged to ring 01283 595795 again. I gave up but when I’ve got my spirit back I’ll keep at it. Absolutely disgusted.

  8. Andrew says:

    This sums in up really, please share.

    Littergram (@Littergram) Tweeted:
    Breaking News! – A new Boris Island tourism website is about to be launched this week where you can even buy a new car magnet. @VisitBritain will be delighted by this new initiative to stimulate the economy. Well done @BorisJohnson & @GOVUK https://t.co/m3HsUlsvj3

  9. I work for a private ambulance company and travel the length and breath of the Country.
    We are based in Bodmin .
    I too am appalled at the state of motorways litter.
    Currently the A30 from Penzance to Launceston is strewn with litter the whole way and was hoping this could be addressed both sides including central reservation.
    Most councils and government keep going on about climate change.

  10. R Stanley says:

    Big Red Ford Ranger EX66 UDT just threw two plastic lunch containers out of his window on the Thorney Road. What is wrong with people. There needs to be a kind of guerrilla name and shame campaign against specific drivers. Maybe that’s the way to do this – put up car types and registrations when they are seen littering then inform the authorities. If they – at a minimum – believe there may be some fine on the way they may stop.

  11. Dorothy says:

    Walking on Oxfordshire roads during lockdown we were appalled at the amount of litter thrown out of cars. MacDonald seem popular ,eat your so called happy meal and chuck the wrappers out of the windows .why can’t McDonald’s write in big letters on their wrappers Do not throw out of the car but take it home and dispose of it .Also plastic bottles are popular again notification on the bottles in LARGE letters would be good .Some of theses litter bugs are families ,could schools educate children so they could educate their parents ?Plus yes there is more ! The people who pull into the curb or lay by to actually clean out their car chucking everything out regardless of how horrible it is .There could be public service ads on T V really showing that this behaviour is so selfish and thoughtless why not clean your car at home ? It is as though the interior of a car is more important than the countryside that everyone shares. Actually fine some people for a change !if you can be fined for parking in the wrong place fine people on the spot for dropping litter .

  12. Patricia Marks says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGVxmMXeaVc this is an article I found today as a part of my research into litter and why it is such a problem on roadsides in the UK. The research began after my husband and I completed a litter pick near our home. We went for a walk on Christmas day to be horrified by the amount of litter at the side of the road. Today we picked it up. Everyone we met was supportive and pleased – yet we still have the problem why? Its illegal to drop litter yet thousands must be breaking the law daily. Any one aware of any systems elsewhere that work?

  13. Jon Tydeman says:

    I would like to know who is responsible for litter clearing on our motorway and trunk route verges. The roads in our area, especially the A34 and southern stretches of the M3 are a filthy disgrace and it seems to be getting worse. Nobody seems accountable. I often do litter picks in our local area but obviously it is too dangerous on the major routes. Any clues?

  14. DAVID J CROKER says:

    Now that all the truckers have moved on from our local motorway (M20) why hasn’t the bags of waste bin collected? The truckers mostly left their rubbish in bags but after being left for days, it looks like the birds and animals have ripped them open and now it’s all over the place. Could this be cleared as soon as possible, please?

  15. Daniel says:

    Hi everyone. Given that the situation seems to have got worse this year during the pandemic, not sure exactly why but things have noticeably degenerated, what plans do we have to tackle this and make the change? Is anyone organizing a mass clean up with volunteers? Are we hoping that the new £27bn road budget will finally cover proper maintenance to keep our highways and A roads clean? I’m sure this is going to help significantly but it will likely take a few years since it’s a 5 year budget and I’m sure we all want to see things clean much sooner than that! Would be interesting to receive some responses about what plans people have.

    • Patricia Marks says:

      Hi Daniel,
      I am going to continue to do my bit locally whilst working on a plan to see if I can get some support to mobilise support. So far I have contacted Keep Britain Tidy, https://rubbishwalks.co.uk/ and in the morning will get an appointment with my local waste carrier boss to explore the legislation and rules more. I have also signed myself up for a waste management quantification for understanding.

  16. Mrs J A Thorpe says:

    I am devastated by the increasing amount of rubbish on our roadsides, even along roads in designated areas of outstanding natural beauty!! We need a rubbish tax in this country as it is a national disgrace. Why should our children and grandchildren inherit this appalling problem. If we all had to pay for the clearing up projects and tolerate the road blocks caused by making it safe to do so, perhaps more people would think twice about littering.
    I have travelled extensively by road in Europe, when I come back to England it looks like a rubbish tip!!!!

    • Daniel says:

      I couldn’t agree more, I’m feeling quite devastated and demoralised when I drive along our motorways, dual carriageways and main roads to see the amount of litter along the verges, central reservation and pretty much anywhere you look except for the road itself. Some are definitely worse than others and there are some clean sections but overall it’s just awful. It seems to be getting worse in my eyes and so I feel motivated to push towards a big change in the mindset of our country and in changing this for everyone.

  17. Larry says:

    So the trucks are stacking up in Kent ,you then hear no facilities provided for them like toilet facilities,are we suprised NO,lay- buys all over the Uk are filthy no facilities with truck drivers urinating, deficating, throwing garbage anywhere why because there’s no one interested in this problem except people like us who know the Uk is the cesspit of Western Europe

  18. Julie Gay says:

    A total disgrace and embarrassment.
    The whole country is being neglected and relying on community volunteer groups to clean up.
    Surely Highways England have a duty of care to remove litter from our motorways and roads.
    No one wants to take responsibility and appear to pass the buck.
    How hard is it to team up and make a concerted plan?

    • Cyril Tickell says:

      The images of the M65 – are they the government’s part of the motorway or the council’s? I despair at the people in this country going round littering the place.

      • Cyril, the pictures of the M65 posted on 14th December were of a slip road. Highways England therefore has the statutory duty to keep it clear of litter. Nothing to do with the local council.

  19. Roland Dunster says:

    England’s national and local litter “strategies” amount to an expensive and moronic vicious cycle of allowing littering; cursory cleaning; allowing littering.
    Unless authorities grow backbones and actively tackle the causes and not just the symptoms, this antisocial consequence-free behaviour will continue unabated.
    Thorough cleaning, much firmer (widespread) preventative messaging and the full/active enforcement of laws and fines are required.

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  21. Pete miners says:

    re M65 verge litter: I understand the contractor is going to clear it up within 2 weeks. But I dare say their trimmer has squashed and smashed the trash with its wheels. What an enormous amount of trash has been thrown from the drivers side, from the faster lane! Someone should dissect the trash to trace the sources, and if there are alcohol bottles, there needs to be urgent attention on drivers there, by police.

  22. John West says:

    We also need to tackle the idiots who throw litter from their cars. It has certainly got worse in recent years. The massive increase in population does not help and the fact that the government appears to do little to tackle the problem. I wrote to my local MP – Thérèse Coffey – but she did not bother to reply. I’m not surprised as she is quite useless at the best of times. We need stronger laws and a commitment to enforcing them. I would like to see litter louts forced to spend a month picking up litter. And also fined a hefty amount!

  23. Peter C says:

    I work as an Electrician on Highways. I find it totally depressing the way some people treat our roads as a dumping ground but it is also astonishing to revisit sites YEARS later to see the same litter sitting there still!

  24. Jemima Wade says:

    I read all the reports, with increasing sadness and despair, that our beautiful country is awash with litter – our roadside verges are disgusting. Birds and animals strangled by string or choked on plastic. It is so easy for those who don’t care to jettison their rubbish from a moving vehicle. I feel to combat this growing problem, education must be key alongside stiff penalties for those who offend. If the Councils didn’t have to fund picking up litter maybe our taxes could be reduced – surely there’s an incentive but so many don’t care! Please sign me up for any campaign to educate the litter louts and I will give my full support.

  25. Christopher Horne says:

    I could like to say how saddened and depressed I am with the the amount of litter that is strewn along the grass verges of the A12. England is fast becoming the cesspool of Europe. I have emailed Highways England and my local authorities on a number of occasions, and I just get past from pillar to post. Nobody it seems wants to take any responsibility for this growing problem. How do we get the problem solved? How do we persuade inconsiderate people who believe that they are entitled to do whatever the hell they please to turning the country into rubbish tip?

  26. Andre says:

    Hi all

    Started a petition to clean up our highways, please sign it and share it wide and far: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/561073

  27. CU says:


    Can anybody help me with this question – I have been threatened to be issued with a FPN for littering by my council. The offending item – A receipt which was unknowingly dropped when I aimed to put in my bag. Do I have a defensible reason to challenge this fine (if and when it comes)?

  28. David Basson says:

    What a farce is the newly published Litter Strategy by HE.

    Peter is right to take it apart with his comments. Whilst we abhor all litter louts, we have a right to expect HE to fulfil its statutory duty and in particular work IN PARTNERSHIP with local authorities, which it clearly is not!!

  29. George Niblock says:

    Same Drivel response in Parliament – We have heard the same drivel time and again. Seems to me that it would take a revolution to really change things in respect of the cleanliness of our road networks. All together now – Do you hear the People sing ?
    Singing the song of Angry men & women.
    Will you join us in our fight. To have clean roads again?

  30. S Ashley says:

    It’s probably to distance the brand from the death trap motorways known as ‘smart motorways’ by those who do everything on the cheap –

  31. Janet Prendiville says:

    The A27 Clean Up Campaign works closely with Clean Highways and are indebted to Peter Silverman’s expertise and dedication. We believe that the subject of litter on our motorways and trunk roads deserves to be far higher up the agenda and we have come to the conclusion that we need a national figurehead who can help to generate the publicity. We’d welcome any suggestions to help with our quest….A27CleanUp@gmail.com

    • Karen Coombs says:

      Nick Knowles!
      Get some tv programmes that transform disgusting areas with litter pucks, tree planting and wild flower seeding. That would make the public start to see the litter and change the culture.

  32. Rubio says:

    Along with Public Health England becoming the National Institute for Health Protection, this proposal to rebrand Highways England to National Highways is not only an offensive waste of tax payers’ money but another example of a deliberate strategy by mainstream politicians to eradicate any vestige of English identity and continue to consciously confuse it with British/Britain.
    As has been afforded to and lauded for the other nations of the UK, is it not discriminatory enough to deny England its own parliament and circa £2k per capita in annual public spending via the grossly unfair Barnett Formula?
    I truly question whether any current MP has the best interests of England and the people of England at heart?
    Although I make no apology for digressing slightly, I would like to reiterate my full support of and thanks to Peter Silverman (Clean Highways) for his incredible efforts to hold the UK government to account for its continuing failure to deal with the country-wide scourge of litter.

  33. Andrew Swin says:

    Contractors have done the classic lazy option of strimming/ cutting grass but leaving all of the litter at Gateshead A184/ A1 junction (land between the eastbound and westbound carriages)..

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  37. Yvonne Sanders says:

    The rebranding of Highways England to National Highways it a total waste of money.Shame on whoever proposed this idea and those who approved it. There are so many better ways that this money could be spent.

  38. David Basson says:

    Have written to HE re. 2 matters: extensive new graffiti on M27 between J5 and 7, on noise reduction panels being installed as part of the Smart Motorway. HE responded the next day to say they were aware and would take action.

    Awaiting reply to my email to HE on litter on verges E and W bound M27 between J11 and J12. Also for heavy littering on the on slip from Paulsgrove onto M275 into Portsmouth.

  39. Dominic says:

    The grass verge has been mown from J7 to J9 southbound on the M5 exposing excessive amounts of litter. Much of this is plastic which blows across the carriageway and into traffic. Litter picking should be done straight after mowing as this is when litter is most obvious and hazardous.

  40. George Niblock says:

    RE the misinterpretation of EPA 90 – Officials/ politicians and even the courts, are downgrading the ‘standard’ to what is supposed to be the reserve safety net for the OCCASIONAL rectification NOT the core standard.
    The EPA 90 requirements to ENSURE that roads etc are KEPT clean and free of litter should be dominant. To “ensure” that areas are “Kept clean and free of Litter” is an onerous standard. Application of the COPLAR rectification standards allows much more litter to lie for longer. It is much worse than it seems for while ‘they’ talk of acting within a timeframe when a road falls to Grade B . In reality, they wait until it is much worse – grade D or worse – for months on end, before acting

  41. Bobby says:

    A13 from Dagenham pretty much all the way to Basildon is covered with litter. Looks like someone has had a go at cutting the grass at some points but not bothered with the rubbish!

  42. Andrew Stevenson says:

    Hi Having backed Peter for some time, shared with my MP, which I am

    sure some of you do. BUT if we ALL emailed this to either MP or a

    newspaper or both may be Peter could get some were !!

    What about BBC programme’s like Watch Dog……. or others>?????? It

    needs lots of voices NOT ONE what say the lot of you????

  43. BM Wilson says:

    I had the unpleasant experience of traveling on theA12 Hatfield Peveral by pass

    last week. The actual by pass is in a cutting, this recently been flailed. It is embarrassing to

    to drive this section. No litter picking has been done so the garbage is multiplied ten fold.

    It is an absolute disgrace to the County of Essex.

    • Diane Molloy says:

      I drive from East London to kent coast regularly. The country is a bin. And don’t get me started on the North Circular. I litterpick my stoop daily….but you can’t take on the whole of the south east. It really is time t for authorities to get a grip. Signs to belittle and shame the tossers is a start

  44. John West says:

    I went to Great Yarmouth yesterday and was met by the usual large amounts of rubbish on the A47. It is very clear from the weathering on the litter that much of it has been there for months. The town itself is not much better with litter covering the churchyard and parks. I phoned the council and got the usual excuses – lack of resources, the virus outbreak etc. Similar excuses were also made by them for HE. It does appear that HE and many local authorities are now using the virus outbreak as a blanket excuse for not dealing with litter.

  45. Ion U says:

    I went to North Norfolk, and I saw a massive litter on the left side of slip road – between A505 and A11 North Direction. Meanwhile, lots of car parks along A11 – both ways with no litter bins. It should be basic thing to have a litter bin on the car parks, and far away from me to take drivers part. But we need to be more preventive, and everyone can see the difference between car parks with litter bin provided vs car parks with no litter bin. I don’t want to remember how a high way is looking in Germany, Austria, Belgium, France….etc. 🙁

  46. George Niblock says:

    Ref – Littering going unpunished and the campaign by Clean Up Britain, The campaign has some fundamental flaws in that environmental issues such as littering are a devolved matter so the campaign refers by default, to England but solicits support from the other countries of the union. This undermines the number of signatories.
    In addition, it would be relevant to note the number of such fixed penalties that go unpaid without any follow-up action.
    The failure of so many authorities to respond to (presumably) an FOI /EIR request, is an issue on its own.
    Further, the campaign seeks changes with the intent of modifying the behaviour of the anonymous 50% of the public who admit to breaking the law by littering but totally ignores the 100% of the known ‘duty bodies’ who break the law by NOT keeping the streets and open public spaces clean and that is not simply removing litter. A classic ‘chicken and egg’ question.
    If they cannot do something as fundamental as sweeping the streets what chance the really difficult stuff? Sweeping the streets is a fundamental Public Health imperative. It is also a ‘litmus test’ for the priorities and performance of local authorities

  47. Graceellul says:

    Come on now.From Dartford,A2.M2.Thanet way.Rubbish all the way .Two signs ..Take your litter home others do ! Clearly not .What have we become ..The film WALL-E says it all.The other day we tried to rescue a Seagull with a plastic bag around it’s neck.Impossible task the bag kept filling up with air and the wind blowing it away.Please Highways !!!!!!See enough of your patrol vans.Humans take your litter home please.

  48. Andrey Panna says:

    The Hammersmith flyover on A4 in both directions in and out of Central London is full of litter. The sight of so much litter on one of the main roads into London is very disturbing. Please clean it up. Thank you

  49. Jo Newland says:

    Please can the litter be picked up on Mollison Avenue Waltham Cross where the flyover is.

  50. Martin Dean says:

    Good on you Peter. I admire your tenacity!

  51. George Niblock says:

    £10’s Millions are spent needlessly on Motorways and rural trunk roads for aesthetic purposes only….only for litter to be shredded and exposed……Doh !! It also reduces wildlife biodiversity. The shredded litter is then more mobile and liable to get into rivers and then to the oceans. The Road signs which say – Picking litter risks road workers lives …!!1 no roadworkers lives have been lost or serious injuries reported The littering public would be more likely to respond to a sign saying –
    clearing litter raises your taxes.

    • Gordon Tylet says:

      The two litter bins in the lay-by on the A46 between Teddington Hands roundabout and Aston Cross crossroads are full to overflowing and litter is all over the grass verge. It’s a busy lay-by used by lots of heavy goods vehicles and is a disgrace to the area why have they not been emptied.

  52. John Caudwell says:

    Many of the road surfaces in the UK are just as bad as those in many 3rd World countries that have little or no economy, and the M11 between Cambribge and the M25 looks like a rubbish tip with so much litter, much of which is plastic in all shapes and sizes adorning the roadside and its vegetation. I realise that this is coming from motorists but think more traffic police enforcing more stringent laws would help educate those inconsiderate drivers who apparently find it convenien to dump all their refuse at the roadside

  53. Colin Smithers says:

    I can talk about this with some experience. I live right next to the M60 between junctions 17 and 18, which is the bit that runs from Prestwich to Simister. I’ve lived in the house since 1967 and we got used to the noise fairly quickly. There is a high sloping embankmentfrom ground level up to the motorway. It gets littered all the time, mainly because people sling bin bags full of rubbish over the fence. Because I’ve lived there 53 years I’ve got to know Highways England’s litter pickers quite well, before that the Highways Agency and before that the Ministry of Transport. Every time they change the contractor, it’s generally the same litter pickers. They are a damn good hard working group of workers. They are sent regularly to collect the rubbish. They have a thankless job. Highways England are not responsible for the disgusting mess on the embankment – there are limits to how many times they can send a gang to remove the litter – finite resources and all that. THE PROBLEM IS THE MORONS WHO LIVE IN THIS COUNTRY AND THINK IT’S OK TO DUMP RUBBISH ANYWHERE THEY LIKE. THE PROBLEM IS NOT THE COUNCILS OR HIGHWAYS ENGLAND – IT’S OUR FELLOW COUNTRYMEN AND WOMEN. I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO SAYS THAT.

    • Larry says:

      Could not agree more Colin,the UK litter wise is the A hole of Europe

    • Robert Kelley says:

      “Morons” sums them up Colin and you could probably toss “scumbags” in there for the ones who aren’t so stupid but just don’t care.
      I’m sure this has been tabled before by others more sage than I……..but with so many cars kitted up with dash cams now, why can’t that footage be submitted to a to a national hub rather than the odd few regional councils who facilitate it ?
      I have some from about two years back and as of yet have nowhere to send it.

  54. George Niblock says:

    Ref the 196 councils issue- even if the responsibility for all of these roads IS transferred to Highways England, that does not mean that they will be kept clean and free of litter if the example of Motorways across the UK where they ARE responsible ,is anything to go by. Possibly the only benefit will be that there will only be one public body to blame rather than 197 …..plus their contractors of course.

    • Stewart Thompson says:

      Hi George, Why would the government want to put Highways England in charge of the local authority roads? Surely it’s better for the elected council to have local control of local roads rather than a central government outfit like Highways England? Highways England isn’t staffed or financed to take over council roads.

  55. Hayley Floyd says:


    • Stewart Thompson says:

      Hello Hayley, Highways England look after motorways and not the local council. You suggest they go and collect litter while the motorways are quiet but their litter pickers work shoulder to shoulder so they can’t social distance. On top of that, the tips are all shut so where are they supposed to dispose of the litter and rubbish? They’re working on construction projects though and making the most of the quiet roads as far as I can see. I don’t get why Highways England get slated on here. The problem is the litter lout behaviour of so many in this country of ours. We really are a dirty country and I’m ashamed of so many Brits. They don’t behave like this in other major countries.

      • Andrew in Cambridgeshire says:

        They don’t always work shoulder to shoulder they are normally single,unless they are picking up bulky waste. There is no reason for councils and HE not to dedicate staff and get the country cleaner. Simple precautions and single crew of vehicles can overcome social distance excuses.

  56. Zo says:

    As someone who has just recently returned to UK after living overseas for more than a decade I can say I was pretty shocked at the rubbish-bin attitude towards litter on the roads and road sides. It seems most people are not even noticing this anymore. It felt disgraceful, and I felt shameful that this is the standard now in my native country. However, there are 3strategies which work well in other countries as a two pronged approach to solving this.
    1. Engage the public. Usually, this is started by the public! In Australia there is an official ‘Clean Up Australia Day’ every year. Loads of schools, clubs and people join groups and go out with bin bags, gloves on, and prongs to collect trash. Its made a huge difference and has heightened everyones awareness.
    2. Consequently, to the above catching on … FINES and more fines … These nolonger seem unfair or punitive since so many people in the public invest their time to keep their country clean.
    3. Publicity to keep things clean and not to litter. Advertising on TV, posters, and signage.
    All have worked to make a very clean environment…
    WHY NOT HERE TOO? I would suggest a day at the beginning of school hols or right at the end of term…. Any day would be better than continued apathy.

  57. Andrew says:

    A couple of years ago I complained about the A1 I particularly the stretch between St Neots and Buckden, unsurprisingly nothing has happened! Then there is the eyesore of the A14 around Newmarket A14 into Suffolk , does anyone at HE really care?

  58. Larry says:

    Not surprised at the public health England fiasco,just read this forum regarding highways England,both run the same way and you can see why both are not fit for purpose

  59. Larry says:

    No traffic on the motorways or the foreseeable future time to get your act together clean up the litter highways england !!

    • John West says:

      I see HE has already made a statement that they won’t be cleaning up litter during this crisis. But would any of us have noticed? They did precious little cleaning up before it started.

  60. Nicola Cooper says:

    Here’s an idea – lots of people losing income as companies and services close down but maybe still able to get out to some kind of work – this is a great opportunity to clear up the appalling national embarrassment that is our roadside litter. Get paid by the government to work outside, traffic much less, provide the high vis clothing and the litter pickers, no need to be close to others, have some vehicles to pick up the filled bags – people have to be provided for financially so let’s end up with a clean country at the end of it! And I’ll do it nothing as I am lucky enough not to be in danger of losing my job with this Coronavirus.

  61. John Norfolk says:

    The A1081 litter shown on the video clip is APPALLING
    And the M25 as bad.
    We MUST have action!

  62. Graham Willis says:

    A27 thro adur, and worthing road hasnt been swept in over 10 years.

  63. MR J L JAMIESON says:

    Can someone please tell me why the A5 from stony Stratford all the way to dunstable it’s just disgusting I’m not sure why we have to pay road tax when they can’t be bothered to keep the highways rubbish free.

  64. Rachel White says:

    I am concerned about litter on the grassed areas at Junction 16 M6 roundabout (on A500). I (and others) volunteer to clear the litter and sort for recycling. I am in Plastic Free Alsager group and we have done litter picks around Alsager. I am also concerned about litter between the central reservation barriers grassed area on A500. This doesn’t get cleared as the roadside verges do. They look great when done. You can see green grass and vegetation instead of ugly rubbish. Thank you to all those who do this job. Also – could Alsager Road from A500 junction (Alsager/Audley) to Audley Road, Alsager be closed on a Sunday (10am-4pm)for volunteers to clear roadside litter and provide a opportunity to walk/cycle/ horseride this lovely lane?

    • Larry says:

      Rachel I am sure your you mean well,but jct 16 of m 6 is not the problem it’s the whole bloody road network of the UK that highways England is neglecting that’s the problem.

  65. sheila andrews says:

    the on ramps onto the expressway from Weymouth and Braintree, MA onto Rt3 North are disgusting. I see mattresses and all other plastics and junk. Who picks this stuff up?

  66. Suzanne Halmshaw says:

    A180 between barnetby hill top an Stallingborough is covered in litter .lay by bins are full .it desperately need clearing

  67. Dominic Randall says:

    Absolutely disgraceful the amount of litter all over the verges of the A1. Really saddening to see people have zero respect for our environment.

  68. David Capes says:

    Travelled home from Luton Airport to Watton Norfolk. The amount of litter beside the A11, A1, A505 is disgusting.
    Why is it not being cleared. I felt ashamed.

  69. Helen Flynn says:

    Dear Peter,


    I have just sent an email with a link to the YouTube video to my MP.

    I would also like to see the clause/phrase “so far as is practicable” removed. It is used as as a convenient ‘get out of jail card’ by HE, and by Defra. All covering their own backsides. Makes me so cross!
    Helen Flynn

  70. Alex Lamb says:

    We are just driving along the a38 from Derby to the M1 and we are saddened about the amount of litter on the grass verges and central reservation. Where does it come from and what can we do? What must first time visitors to Derbyshire think? It’s so embarrassing; we would gladly give up a day, along with hundreds of others I’m sure ,if the road could be shut off in sections? There must be a way to sort it ???

    • Rob Chesters says:

      I have just been up the A38 north of Derby then on the M1 to Sheffield today.
      I am absolutely disgusted and depressed at the amount of litter and debris strewn along the verges and central reservation.
      Not only is this an absolute eye sore, which is doing nothing to deter the problem, it’s a danger to wildlife and the environment!!
      To be honest it’s embarrassing to be British!! If I was coming to the UK for the 1st time I would think I was in a 3rd World Country and wouldn’t want to return!!
      Whether its signs, cameras fines??? Something needs doing to stop this blight on what was once a green and pleasant land!!

      Regards Rob Chesters

  71. John West says:

    I wrote to Thérèse Coffey MP – via her contact page – to complain about the state of the roads in Suffolk. I also asked her to raise this issue in Parliament and urged her to read this website in order to see the scale of the problem. Over two weeks later and I’m still waiting for a reply.

  72. Mike Grant says:

    Regarding Lewes MP Maria Caulfield’s comments about litter picking on the A27 (see video clip from ITV News) can only be done with road closures I wrote to her to suggest this is a myth:

    “Whilst I support your call for Highways England to take responsibility for litter picking I don’t agree that roads have to be closed for cleaning to occur in many locations. I regularly travel from Eastbourne to Falmer and it is evident litter picking can be safely undertaken in lay-bys, at bus stops, on wide grass verges, at entrances to properties. on footpaths and cycle-ways which run alongside the road and behind safety barriers. There is no excuse for Wealden and Lewes councils not to keep these sections clean. If you could use your good offices to press home this point the A27 should be a whole lot better. I do of course accept that there are sections that require road closures. The A27 is making Lewes district look worse than a third world country. I dread to think what my Danish relatives will think on the trip from Gatwick this afternoon.”

  73. Matthew Jones says:

    Further to my previous post, I’ve just finished reading the other comments on this page and agree that the Highways Agency is not fit for purpose. At a fundamental level they seem unable to grasp the magnitude of the problem and respond in an appropriate manner. Denial, obfuscation, buck-passing and mendacity seem to be their invariable default settings. Put bluntly, if they can’t do their job properly, it should be taken away from them and handed to someone else who can. I for one am sick to death of paying road tax for this incompetence.

  74. Matthew Jones says:

    Just travelled along M6 toll road. It was almost spotless: clean verges, hardly any litter, thus giving the lie to the Highways Agency’s claim that keeping motorways clean is impossible. Of course the toll road is managed independently. Then I travelled along the M6 towards the M1. Indescribable filth: billions of items of uncollected trash, burst bin bags, fly tipping, discarded tyres, the works. It’s a national humiliation. Utterly disgraceful. The M56 and M53 are little better: I know for a fact that the M53/A55 around Chester has not been cleaned for at least five years, and the M56 extension to Queensferry has never been cleaned since it was built almost a decade ago. And I mean NEVER. Not even once. Needless to say, it looks completely disgusting.

  75. Claire Austin says:

    I am currently travelling along the M6 from Covenrty to Birmingham and am digusted by the amount of litter on the verges. Is it too much to ask the authorities we pay for to organise the collecting of it?

  76. Larry says:

    What we should do is every good person on this site should collect ONE bag of litter collected at a roadside that highways England should have picked up, then all meet outside the House of Commons at a given date and dump it there, then we may get a reaction from the powers that be

    • Craig says:

      Perhaps we could do everything you suggest with the exception of actually dumping (i.e. leaving) the refuse bags there! I’d be pleased to be a part of that if we could gather together enough participants.

  77. Sarah Holmes says:

    The slip round off the m60 are disgusting especially near trafford. Why is it not been cleared up?

  78. Craig says:

    The government and Highways England does not appear to recognise litter-strewn verges and central reservations as being a safety issue. During the recent storms, debris was being blown by the wind onto motorway carriageways, causing drivers to swerve to avoid it. At motorway speeds, this is dangerous. Litter IS a safety issue and needs to be treated as such.

  79. Colette Jones says:

    Another one to add to the list is Junction 3 Hollins in Bury on M66. Colossal amounts of litter. Utter disgrace and danger to users of the Highway.

  80. Kerrie says:

    Many sections of verges on the A1 from London to Lincolnshire are littered. Too many to count or pinpoint accurately. This is a nationwide problem that is simply not being dealt with.

  81. P Haxby says:

    I recently complained to York City Council about the disgusting state of a lay-by on the A64 south of the City.. There initial response a week after logging the complaint was to send me a “case closed” e-mail letter stating that the Council was not responsible (Private Land). When I queried this on the phone I was told that private land meant Highways England and was assured that HE was responsible for litter on the A64. I queried this and was transferred to a complaints department.
    After forwarding their email and stating my case I eventually received an apology from the head of their street cleaning dept who is rather bizarrely called “Head of Public Realm”. I was told that although they accept responsibility for the A64 they can only clean it when HE close lanes for other purposes.
    I replied stating that this was not acceptable and asked FOI how may requests the council had made to HE in the last two years to close lanes for litter picking. I await a reply
    In the meantime, over four weeks after contacting the Council , the lay-by has still not been cleaned

  82. Margo GLOVER says:

    I Live in Hampshire, and am completely disgusted at the state of the roads here. My sister visited recently from the USA and compared the situation to a third world country where they don’t have any facilities for the disposal of rubbish. Most of our rural roads are liberally sprinkled with beer and soft drink cans, crisp packs and fast food packaging – I know because I regularly walk around and collect them up.

    However the worst areas are slip roads onto motorways and main A roads, as well as the A31 from Alton to Farnham – a road I travel regularly and never ceases to disgust me at the quantity of litter and general rubbish.

    I know councils are under financial pressure, but I feel that on seeing so much rubbish at roadsides, people think its no big deal if they add their own to it, making the problem worse and worse. Surely local authorities can manage a clean-up twice a year on major routes, at the very least.

  83. Larry says:

    I am sick and tired of this and past governments telling us how we lead the world on the environment
    issues in the UK,why don’t these bloody MPs get in a car drive around and see what a cesspit they really rule!!

  84. pete miners says:

    Ref ‘Act Now’ email and ‘Environment Bill needs amending to include ‘litter’ both 21st Feb:

    thanks for your latest legal insight…to think there are top legal brains deliberately fixing the legislation to leave litter on the highways!. But I’m concerned you may have overlooked railways in your latest emails whos embankments are also chocka with litter, arising not so much from inside the train but thrown from adjacent footpaths, canals (Bridgewater canal at Sale-Timperley) and roads. Us dog walkers have to endure this messy view but eg at Stretford walking by the Metrolink line, the trash thrown from the adj footpath sits at the foot of the embankment causing no risk to the tram, so it is just left behind a high fence.

    Another point, with impending bottle deposit scheme, which will require expensive infrastructure, apart from drunks not being bothered about the deposit, it might all collapse when kids start getting run over whilst tumbling down / accessing motorway embankments, or 2 miles out of town on a derestricted road recovering bottles, and/or getting Lyme’s disease if toxic poisoning from years old fruity left over drink in bottles or from rotting mice/ slugs inside, or from drowning from tumbling down river embankments. That would leave the government in a dilemma, they’d have to ensure the highway authorities did clear it all up, but that would be unaffordable, thus they’d have to ban single use plastic and glass bottles which is what they should have been doing in the first place. The govt couldn’t go back to the status quo because theyve already admitted it fails.

    I’ve previously spoken to you as Coast Of Moray Beachcleaners, but for three years I’ve been Counting Outdoor Manchester Bottles ( both COMB, on Facebook). I’ve recovered 12,800 glass bottles from both regions and even more plastic ones; unsurprisingly 90% are beer bottles which are the weakest in alcohol, so they are thrown in greater numbers. Our 650 MP parliament thinks this situation is just fine. Clearing up isn’t the main problem – the supply of the packaging to humans is.

    A third thing I’ve observed from my 24/7 x52 dog walking, is that there is an extraordinary amount of traffic signage equipment in our waterways, cones, warning signs, plastic ped barriers, rusting tripod sign frames, and Heras fencing bases (not so much traffic related); I’ve retrieved three Cadent (gas) warning signs from Sinderland Brook, thrown off A56 in Timperley. These each need tying down/locking when left over water. These items line the River Mersey end to end, and decorate the Bridgewater canal, as well as inland locations. They only bear the name of the manufacturer if you’re lucky, not the name of the contractor who’s using them, and its clear they just write off the cost as vandalism each time, end of, as if they’ve evaporated, without spending any time recovering them from rivers themselves, but there is no (formal) system for their recovery by others from these waterways – land owners and Councils duck it, and it is Environment Agency policy to leave them in the environment because they aren’t a flood risk! My best idea is to write to New Civil Engineer magazine.

  85. Brian Reynolds says:


    I have written to Newark and Sherwood District Council under the Freedom of Information Act and requested information regarding their scheduling of litter picking and rubbish removal along the A46. The road is a linear dust bin so I think I know the answers. But I would like you to add the evidence to your forthcoming JR action. The information I have asked is detailed below.


    Please treat this as a Freedom of Information Request.

    I have ascertained that the full responsibility for litter picking and rubbish removal of the A46 within the boundary of Newark and Sherwood District is your responsibility.

    Given the condition and visual state of the A46 resulting in large amounts of litter and rubbish uncollected for long periods of time along the verges, hedgerows, footpaths, lay-bys and slip roads.

    I would like to ascertain the following stated below meets the letter of the English Law in the Environment Protect Act 1990.

    The A46 includes the new dual carriageway and the Newark bypass and all other areas of the A46 appertaining.


    1. Provide the past and future schedule of litter picking along the A46 for the financial year 2018-2019 and for 2019-2020.

    2. How many times was the A46 thoroughly litter picked in 2015? Provide schedule.

    3. How many times was the A46 thoroughly litter picked in 2016? Provide schedule.

    4. How many times was the A46 thoroughly litter picked in 2017? Provide schedule.

    5. Please confirm if this council has a regular litter picking and rubbish collection schedule for the whole of the A46 within the Newark and Sherwood District or do you operate a system of litter picking adhoc for the A46?

    The information provided will form part of a collective legal action for a judicial review at the High Court in London”.

    • David Basson says:

      Brian did you get a response to your FIO request and what was the outcome? I hope they were shamed into action!

  86. Charles Meynell says:

    I live in the East Midlands, with my regular journeys encompassing the M1, M42, A50, A38 and A453, and lots of smaller roads, many of them rural.

    At time of writing, Feb, with minimal vegetation obscuring the verges, the sheer scale of the litter is appalling. Furthermore, so much of it is embedded in the undergrowth and soil, having been left there for months, probably years, that any proper clean up would necessarily have to remove the brush and scrappy vegetation that traps the garbage, thereby making the job twice as big.

    Sections of the M42 and A50, especially at roundabout off ramps it seems, look like something you see in shock pictures on the internet, not a 21st century First World country like ours.

    In our village of less than 500 people, our twice-yearly litter clean is well attended, and despite our off-the-beaten-track location, this last January we collected in just one 4-hour morning, no less than 70 bin liner bags of roadside rubbish! It was then I noticed the ingrained nature of the rubbish, much of it unreachable and part buried in the bottoms of hedges, ditches and general vegetation. So, regionally, and by definition nationally, we have a MONUMENTAL task to clean up the country.

    Today, so awful was the littering I noticed outside Tamworth, that I decided to do something about … if I could … and found this site. It is clear that the Govt. has turned a blind eye to this blight of our once pleasant, green land – but there must be a way!

    Apart from writing emails like this to likeminded people, and doing my bit personally, what can I/we actually DO?

  87. Iain Ambler says:

    Continued thanks for everything you are doing on our behalf Peter to raise the issue of road litter in a quest for improvement.

    My local motorways and trunk roads continue to be extremely littered, notably the A406 west and eastbound from the Redbridge roundabout with the A12, the M25 J25 to J30, and the M11 north and southbound from the A406 up to J9. I would estimate that these major roads are being cleaned once or twice a year maximum. Smaller roads are also rarely cleaned. This is evidence of a systemic failure vs the statutory duty to ensure that these roads are being kept clear of litter as far as practically possible.

    I wd add that a) left behind cones, signs, sandbags etc from roadworks is also now a frequent feature of road trips – I wonder what incentives exist to encourage the contractors’ operatives to recycle / reuse existing assets vs deploy new; and b) the general under-investment in repairing motorway / trunk road furniture is increasingly evident.

  88. Vanessa Yates says:

    I regularly travel on the M67, M60 and M66 and am horrified at the amount of litter strewn along the verges of these motorways and – particularly in the case of the M67 – along the central reservation. The junction of the M60 and M66 looks like an outpost of a local rubbish dump! I have never seen anyone picking litter on these motorways and there is never any sign of improvement. I thought I’d read somewhere that HE was going to invest in a fleet of litter ‘hoovers’ capable of sucking up large volumes of litter from motorway embankments. Picking the amount of litter that is out there on our roads by hand would seem like an impossible task – spoken from experience, as I’m a member of a very active volunteer litter picking group in Sheffield. HE should be ashamed of themselves.

  89. Jane Goodger says:

    In support of the JR I can report the atrocious state of litter over the last 10 years of travel around the M25 and A1. Junction 23 is particularly bad – despite reporting regularly. It actually looks like a rubbish tip most of the time (particularly northbound slip road). The initial stretch of the A1M from the M25 to Baldock services is very bad. No evidence at all of the central reservations ever being cleared despite roadworks taken place which could have provided an opportunity.

  90. Jane Goodger says:

    Doesn’t surprise me that parts of the M4/ M404 have never been cleared. I’m in debate with Lincolnshire county council and south Kesteven council who both past the buck on who should clear a stretch of the A16. They both say it’s the others responsibility. Unfortunately they do this through me rather than talk to each other!

  91. caroline taylor says:

    The buck stops at the top with this government who have been in office for how long now? How any people involved in a myriad of unjoined up strategies to clean up and improve the environment? Whatever happened to the plastic deposit return scheme annnounced back when Gove was at the Environment office. A contracted out private waste management company with no penalties applied when they fail to pick up rubbish? Writing to local M.P’s gets the same standard responses.

  92. John Roy says:

    Hi Peter It was good to meet you and thanks for your support in trying to get HE and Connect Plus to do what they are paid to do especially around our village Bricket Wood. As you are painfully aware we have M25 J21A and M1 J6 and the interconnecting A405 all on our doorstep and we have been campaigning for years to clean up sections of highway that spend months if not years without anything being done. Even with the support of our marvellous County Councillor HE and CP and their predecessors the Highways Agency and Mouchel fail to respond so as you have seen some items of rubbish and road furniture remain in the same spot month after month!
    Keep up the good work.

  93. Michael Barnard says:

    Great work, Peter. We’ve communicated previously about the poor state of the A404 between the M4 and the M40, in particular the lay-bys and slip roads. In addition, I drive to Oxford regularly. The A40 from the M40 to the Thornhill park & ride is appalling in both directions. I’ve no idea who is responsible for it. I’ve flagged it a few times on fixmystreet but never received an answer. Despite being a busy dual-carriageway, it gets cleaned max once a year.

  94. David Gregory says:

    Last 2 weeks travelled Norwich to the North West via A47, A17 A1, M62. Also travelled Norwich/ Thetford via A11. All dual carriageway stretches have systemic levels of roadside litter. The worst stretch of motorway was the M65 in Blackburn J5 to 6, absolutely appalling level of roadside litter, 3rd world standards. Raised the issue with Blackburn & Darwen Borough Council as it’s their environment if not their statutory duty. Raised Norfolk roadside litter issues with Norfolk County County and raised the national issue with the Cabinet Office via the online ‘No10’ provision. The problem is with dual carriageways and motorways where ordinary citizens cannot do litter picking due to the inherent dangers. Massive problem. The political pressure is mounting. This website is brilliant.

  95. David Basson says:

    Well done Peter and more power to your elbow with the JR. I sent you details a while ago, when you requested evidence, of the poor state of the M27 west bound off slip at J9.
    I have since seen the littered state of northbound M3 from Winchester Services to Basingstoke, another one for your list and of course the clear responsibility of HE.
    Its evidence you need, as you rightly say.
    I am in process of requiring Winchester Cuty Council to clear their roundabout of litter…that over J9 of M27. I have in past threatened them with EPA proceedings, which worked!
    Oh and M27 from J11 to J4 in Hampshire is undergoing conversion to a Smart Motorway but despite frequent night time closures, NO litter is being collected by useless HE contractors. They clearly don’t care.

  96. Matt says:

    Peter. In support I would like to say, thanks for all your hard work. Since I have been posting on here, I have written to my local MP, Matt Hancock, who although was kind enough to answer my complaint, I have seen no difference in the the tidying of roadside litter. I have also written direct to number 10, receiving back what I suspect is a copy and paste job..
    Just to add, drove to Lowestoft from Newmarket, one way A11 and one way A14. Both roads totally depressing. I remember when they first dualled the A11, it looked like arriving in France! No more..

  97. Alice Sharples says:

    The A15 from market Deeping towards Peterborough and beyond South desperately needs litter removing.

  98. George Niblock says:

    Peter, You know that I support and am in awe, of all that you do in pursuing clean streets.

    I am, for logistic reasons, unable to provide any evidence in support of your case.

    I would only offer the comment that your evidence should make it clear that there are two duties in terms of the EPA90. Both ‘duties’ qualified by the requirement to “ENSURE” which places a higher level of responsibility It could be argued that means there should be a clear strategy and implementation plan showing exactly how they will fulfill the duties and not simply leave it for months or years on end until someone complains.

  99. Colette Jones says:

    There is rubbish all along the verges of the M65 Motorway all the way up to Great Harwood where it joins the A56 to Bury. It is particularly bad at the roundabout. What must people who are visiting the beautiful Ribble Valley think when they see all this rubbish. It just puts people off visiting the North when we should be encouraging them

  100. J says:

    Keep up the good work Pete. I recently visited Staffordshire/Shropshire and the M54 junctions 1 – 3 and the slip roads are in a dreadful state. They look as though they have never been litter picked. The A5 around Weston Park in Staffordshire/Shropshire and the A41 around RAF Cosford are equally appalling. These are meant to be tourist attractions but the roads just look like linear rubbish tips. Whilst my local MP is Fiona Bruce for Congleton/Cheshire, the roads around here are equally as bad so I have written to her regarding the second reading of the Environment Bill as set out in the Recent Posts section. I hope she gets in touch with you directly Pete.

  101. Stephen Wilde says:

    Main roads in and around Wirral are appalling with increasing accumulations of waste material everywhere.
    It is not primarily from individual private vehicles but is being blown in from surrounding areas and accumulates over time.
    The main cause is roadside sorting of household waste which gets caught by the wind and blown away. Often the streets are littered with debris after the collection vehicles have moved on. Many people seem to have lost the tops to their small bins and if windy then pieces blow away.
    It then drifts across fields and accumulates in roadside hedgerows, beside slip roads and between carriageways.
    We did not have this problem until roadside sorting began a few years ago.
    The local officials accepted that as the explanation and said it is a waste control problem rather than a littering problem.

  102. Stella Ashley says:

    I keep hearing that the PM’s girlfriend is a fanatical environmentalist, so why not send pics to her social media pages ? If enough people did it she would have to take note wouldn’t she?

  103. John Micheal says:

    Drove along A38 Little Eaton to junction 28 M1aweek ago ,appalling amounts of litter. both sides ,mattresses,tyres,bottles etc,been this way for ages apparently,Good luck Peter Silverman.

  104. Ben Parkes says:

    Drove along the a27 the other day down near Brighton and it litteraly looks like a third world county its a rubbish dump along the a27 verge. Must be one of the worst stretches of road in the UK.

  105. George Niblock says:

    the incompetence and cover-ups from DEFRA continue relentlessly Keep up the good work Peter.

  106. Peter says:

    I travelled down the A1 over the weekend from the M62 junction down to join the M11.

    I was really appalled by the amount of litter on the roadside and hedges plastic bags and sheets hanging in trees bottles drums etc.
    Who is responsible to maintain this road, the local authorities or the highways agency?

    I am part of a voluntary team in Ramsbottom who litter picks on a regular basis and the amount of litter people discard is really shocking and not getting any better.

  107. Mark says:

    I’m originally from South Africa, a third world nation with major corruption problems and government miss management, but NEVER in my life would I have imagined that, when it comes to highway cleanliness, African countries are much cleaner than the Great Global Super Power that is Britain. When people come to visit us, we actually take the train from city to city simply because we are too embarrassed to drive as Highways England is not able to clean up a litter ridden nation. Perhaps we should appeal to Boris and the new Chancellor for cash in the March budget, at this rate, England will be swimming in rubbish by end of 2021

    • Larry says:

      Mark I concur absolutley the UK is a litter disgrace, highways England is a crooked mafia style quango and should be investigated and closed down now. there should be one government run department only that keeps our highways and country side litter free,not numerous quangos like highways England and TFL in in London and various other non doers that are all in this great swindle together and put the blame on each other by the way Cape does puts this country to shame regarding clean highways and green verges, it’s a bloody shame what has happened over here

  108. Helen Flynn says:

    Peter Silverman you are so right. The Environment Bill needs amending as a matter of urgency. I shall certainly be contacting my local MP, Layla Moran about it.

    I would also say that a BIG part of the problem is the total lack of accountability anywhere. Particularly Highways England…who exactly ARE they accountable to?? Now that they are ‘hiding’ behind Keep Britain Tidy makes if even harder. Like so many other corporates doing the same thing they can just use the phrase “we support Keep Britain Tidy” as their get out of jail card. Sometimes I wonder if Keep Britain Tidy are actually part of the problem? Even their name is wrong, it should be “Get Britain Tidy”…

    • Karen Coombs says:

      I contacted Sarah Dînes MP, and asked mother, brother and in- laws to write letters too. This morning my husband and I took a shovel and brush and cleaned two traffic islands!

  109. Louise says:

    This is an issue which makes me annoyed and frustrated every time I drive on a motorway. My regular route is on the M66 exiting at Junction 3 Pilsworth where the litter thrown from cars and lorries is reaching unprecedented proportions. It is disgraceful and there has been no evidence that the litter has been cleared for many months. I have witnessed the same problem on the M60, Junction 20, and in Rochdale on the M627. In my opinion, a good, clean environment contributes to people’s feeling of wellbeing and the opposite makes people despondent. In my local community, armies of volunteer litter pickers give up their time to try and keep our streets clean. Highways England needs to fulfil its responsibilities and get on top of the litter problems.

  110. David says:

    M11 slip road J7 to Harlow north bound is full of items of rubbish please can this be cleared the children cannot understand what grown ups are doing to the environment.
    I am thinking of getting a group my daughters friends to clear this up so please slow down and don’t throw anything out your window because it may hit the children.

  111. Andy says:

    The A12 and A2 are disgusting now..be nice to be raised on question time! No litter bins in lay byes for lorry’s who are by far the worst offenders ..a campaign for bins and signs ..it’s the worst in Europe shameful

  112. Craig says:

    M1 Northbound between junctions 6 and 6a – central reservation, which is banked, is badly littered and never kept clear of rubbish, as it should be by law.

  113. Craig says:

    M1/M25 Southbound sliproad verge that curves round in a u-shape from the M1 onto the M25 (Heathrow-bound) is always littered.

    M1 Southbound at its southern-most tip (Juntion 1) where it meets the A406 roundabout – the verges have been strewn with litter including traffic bollards for several years. It’s disgusting. Enough is enough.

  114. Robert Pickles says:

    I think we have reached a ‘new’ and disturbing juncture. I’ve commented many times before but today saw a number of roads (A12/A13 & A406) in such a disgusting state that I doubt they are salvageable. In places the litter was a foot deep. Piles of tyres, mattresses, pot holes, broken, filthy signs. We’ve had enough. There’s no point complaining as nobody cares. We are emigrating.

  115. Kathleen Broderick says:

    on a regular basis I travel on the M627 from Rochdale to Oldham, taking junction 2 to Middleton, the amount of litter thrown onto the grass verge is appalling, it appears it is very rarely collected and any visitors coming to the area would say it looks disgusting.

  116. Maureen Fitzgerald says:

    The A12 from Brentwood to Colchester is disgrace with litter on all verges. The exit London bound at Ingatestone (junction13) is really bad. Who is responsible for cleaning.? P!ease do it.!

    • Stephen says:

      I totally agree and was completely taken aback by the amount of rubbish along the side of the carriageway the whole length of he A12 from the M25 all the way to Colchester. There must be tons and tons of rubbish, I can only assume it is falling from skips or rubbish transport lorries as it’s not just in lay-bys. Absolute disgrace and if not picked up it could become a danger! Essex roads are a disgrace!

  117. Anne says:

    Today as I was travelling southbound along the M5, shortly before the Gloucester services, I spotted a Highways truck parked on the hard shoulder, with lights flashing. On the adjacent bank was a lone workman, litter picking (in miserable weather). Last summer I spotted another one, litter picking near Junction 7. On both occasions I felt quite excited, rather like a bird spotter seeing a rare bird!
    I have watched roadside litter increasing around the country for the last few years, and have become more and more irritated and depressed about it. Surely a good clean up would be hugely beneficial to the mental and physical health of all of us. Should we be lobbying Public Health as well as the Environment Department?

    • Helen Flynn says:

      Dear Anne,

      Yes it is all very depressing. Unfortunately it seems that government ministers do not have the same experiences that we do when traveling around the country. They do not feel the same disgust, anguish, and embarrassment that we do. If they did they would surely do something proactive about it. We now in such a mess that it needs a whole new separate department set up to deal with roadside litter and nothing else. I’m wondering if it was a Highways England contractor you saw or council worker? heharwood@yahoo.com

  118. Helen Flynn says:

    Adding to my previous posts about getting the A34 litter picking duties transferred to Highways England, I would like make a further point that I will not be writing to Defra about it, they are useless, nor will I be writing to the Transport Minister, no matter who they – just as useless. I will be writing to the the Prime Minister. The buck stops there. No more contacting civil servants, ministers, or any other paper shuffler. I’ve been on that merry go round once too often!

  119. Helen Flynn says:


    Regarding to my earlier post about the above. If anyone would like to email me about it, please feel free to contact me at heharwood@yahoo.com. Thank you. Helen

  120. Helen Flynn says:


    I have now contacted the six councils that span the A34 and are in charge of litter picking their section. They are; Winchester City Council, Test Valley Borough Council, Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council, West Berkshire Council, Cherwell D.C., Vale of White Horse (my district council.) I am trying to get the responsibility of litter picking the A34 transferred from the D.C. councils to Highways England. It seems unfair and illogical that this responsibility falls onto the shoulders of cash strapped councils when HE have far more resources. They look after the maintenance of the A34 so why don’t they litter pick it too ? No one seems to know the answer as to why HE don’t look after the litter picking duties when they would have to give permission for a council to close sections of a carriageway in order to litter pick. Just plain barmy! Some joined up thinking needed. I would be interested to hear from anyone who lives around the A34, and/or uses it regularly.

    • Brian Reynolds says:


      I really hope you get somewhere with this because I tried to do the same in Kent and now in Nottinghamshire where I live. The local councils simply pass the buck and Highways England will either ignore you or send you a standard reply that they are attempting to keep the roads free of litter but it bis a big problem. They have no accountable to the public and the government is in complete lockdown if you attempt state anything bad about their private contractors funded by us! The A46 between Leicester and Lincoln is disgusting and resembles Serbia and yet when I approach Highways England I am dumped onto each respective council. Nationally there needs to be a litter Key Performance Indicator in order for contractors and councils to be monitored but the government doesn’t appear to want it. I wonder why? I’d like to see a separate national litter and landscaping team split into regions that can coordinate grass cutting and litter picking. Also I noted that the M25 contractor has designed and built a large litter vacuum, that sucked up all the rubbish so why isn’t this being rolled out nationally? I advocated this type of machine to Highways England ten years ago and was told then it wouldn’t work but now it does. Highways England in my opinion is a corrupt government agency that is unaccountable to the nation and has a CEO that refuses to engage with anyone other than his close circle of colleagues. My solution would be to stop all outsourcing as before and bring every aspect of maintenance in house. This type of uncoordinated and deliberate deflection of not providing a litter picking service would never happen in Germany so why here in the UK? Sorry for deflecting your subject but I thought you needed to know the hill you are about to climb.

      • Helen Flynn says:

        Dear Brian,

        Thank you for your informative reply. I appreciate all you are saying and believe that the system, and I use the term loosely, that has been set up between Highways England and the Government has been deliberately set up this way so that passing the buck can be done easily to councils who simply do not have the time and resources to fight against them. Yes it is indeed corrupt. Change is desperately needed. Accountability is also desperately needed.

        I have tried to climb this hill before a few years ago but litter, waste, etc did not have the focus it does now. The mood has changed, people are angry and also ashamed about the amount of litter running like a scar through our beautiful country.

        Highways England and the government are banking on people like us and many others giving up and walking away. We need a ground swell of people to make change happen.

        Unfortunately, Highways England have now taken to ‘hiding’ behind Keep Britain Tidy, another big part of our litter problem, so now they can say ‘but we support Keep Britain Tidy’ before going back to sleep.

        Please email me at heharwood@yahoo.com if you would like to discuss further, and thank you again for replying to my post. Helen

  121. George Niblock says:

    Peter, keep up the excellent work and pressure on Govt. Although your efforts are restricted to England, as a Scot living in Scotland, we face similar issues and I would be pleased to contribute to any fighting fund that you may set up.

    Nil Carborndum etc

    Big Georgie Porgy

  122. Larry says:

    Litter free

  123. Larry says:

    Highways England is a dictatorship operating in in a free democracy and should be accountable for its disastrous Non attempts in keeping the u k road system litter GET RID

  124. Andrew Nightingale says:

    The A47 trunk road through Norfolk passes by my locality of Dereham I was passenger with my wife as we travelled past Dereham to Hockering this morning.
    After taking notice of the amount of litter along this stretch of road I commented to my wife what a terrible advert this was for a visitor to Norfolk. I do not believe that this area of road has been litter picked for years, it is disgusting and appears to be typical of Britains roads as a whole.
    I am very proud to be British and from Norfolk so feel very upset that our country looks like one big tip if viewed from the road.
    What are we going to do about it ? Complaining in this website alone won’t get the job done. I would start clearing it myself but no doubt would be stopped on Health and Safety grounds. We are all well aware of the damage that litter, particularly plastic, is doing to our planet yet there seems to be very little priority given to dealing with it

  125. Craig says:

    …And the littered state of the central reservation between junctions 4 and 5 of the M1 is a disgrace. I would seriously doubt if it has been litter-picked for years.

    I am also not surprised to have heard anecdotally from dismayed business visitors to the UK that they will hold their conferences at venues in other countries because they no longer want to spend their time, or money, in this rubbish tip. Very sad.

  126. Craig says:

    One week ago, I had the misfortune of driving along the A3 from London to Guildford. The verges were littered almost the entire length of the route. Shortly before reaching Guildford, I even noticed a dumped sofa. But to which duty-body should I complain? Three or four of them appear to be responsible for the route which is far too many.

    It’s bad enough that the litter and fly-tippings get there in the first place, worse that the duty-bodies responsible for the upkeep of this trunk road break the law by not keeping it clear of rubbish and worse still that these duty-bodies are not being held to account for breaking the law. And I used to think that this country prided itself in law and order….

  127. Karen Coombs says:

    I am sending The PM’s office an email every week now. It is very easy – look up ‘contacting Boris Johnson’ and there is a form to fill in with space for 1000 characters.
    Let’s inundate them with emails! I always refer to this website and ask that the comments are read to get a sense of the collective despair.

  128. Helen Knowles says:

    Just reading these comments is disheartening and having just travelled from London to Suffolk today on the A12 and A14 it seems the situation here is as bad as elsewhere. I’ve recently returned from living in mainland Europe for the past few years and I would suggest that the problem in Britain has escalated significantly in the past 4 years. Leaves me speechless – and sad.

  129. Craig says:

    From Alex Thomson’s (Channel 4 News) Twitter feed yesterday:

    “The scene [photograph showing heaps of fly-tipped rubbish] right outside the depot of ConnectPlus, the company paid £8 billion taxpayers’ money to clear litter. It gave shareholders 31% return for the first 8 years of a 30-year contract with no direct £ penalties for litter clearing performance. Your money. Highways England did the contract.”

    But why would Highways England have drafted such a poor contract? Were they simply incompetent? Or were they ‘leant on’ by the Government to reduce the cost to the tax-payer by omitting any requirement to litter-pick the highways?

    It’s certainly very interesting to observe just how reluctant the Government, over several years, has been in doing anything effective to improve this sorry situation which suggests that it is complicit in the problem.

    Government ministers often praise the United Kingdom for being the fifth largest economy in the world but it never feels like that when travelling anywhere here, while looking out of the window at verges that are consistently defaced by litter, at tatty signage that is never cleaned and at the pot-holed road surfaces.

    The Connect Plus saga is a scandal because a few shareholders are making a killing while the rest of us have to live with this disgusting mess. It really is a modern-day example of ‘private wealth and public squalor’ which is ill-befitting of this first-world country.

    The Government should have stepped in long before now to have these flawed contracts that were awarded to Connect Plus and others altered but it hasn’t and I doubt it will unless many more of us speak up so that the law can be belatedly brought to bear on Highways England and their associates.

  130. Peter Olson says:

    I’ve been unsuccessfully complaining to BT Openreach about their employees and contractors leaving plastic and metal litter on the pavements in front of their Primary Cross connection Point (PCP) cabinets. It’s too fine to be picked by council cleaning machines and ends up in our rivers, seas and unless it is filtered out by Waste Water treatments works, can also end up on farmers fields as liquid sewerage manure sprayed as a fertiliser.
    My local council says it can’t prosecute under the existing litter laws as an authorised officer has to see them leaving the litter at the time
    I’d like to see the law changed so companies are prosecuted for their employees and contractors leaving litter. The onus should be on the company to prove it wasn’t their employees or contractors. In BT’s case, I doubt that they would have a defence as the litter is in front of or close by their cabinets and is pretty unique to their copper wiring. However, I can see potential problems if the litter isn’t removed each time it is discovered. At £75 potentially for each item, BT would be hit with fines which, as it is a UK wide problem, could amount to many tens or even hundreds of pounds. I’ve also seen other telecoms/utility companies’ employees leave litter, e.g. Siemens (Road traffic and pedestrian lights) and Virgin Media (broadband).

    • Craig says:

      The police aren’t much better than BT. During incidents, they cordon off an area by putting up plastic ‘do not cross’ tape which they secure to lampposts or traffic-light poles and, after the incident has been stood down, remove the tape but often leave the ends of it wrapped around the afore-mentioned street furniture. Presumably, they think it’s down to the council’s cleaners to deal with it.

      Similarly, contractors on the rail network leave large quantities of the equipment they have used (e.g. aerosol colour-sprays) strewn next to the track and it is either left for months before it is picked up or left there indefinitely.

      The culture of not taking responsibility is wrong but the culture comes from law, law-enforcement and robust contracts in which employers and their employees understand the extent of their responsibilities.

    • Brian Reynolds says:

      The crux of this is that the culture of corporate employees and the culture with the corporate organisation such as BT probably doesn’t reinforce the need to remove all debris from site after the works have been completed. A German worker would never leave rubbish and litter after a completed job but here in the UK we have cultural accepted litter as the norm in every aspect of law. The government live this attitude as it can simply state in context of Highways England’s defence that they remove litter but the problem is national and needs a cultural change. Yet more buck passing.

  131. Stephen Wilde says:

    I recently complained to the local authority about the state of the roadsides in the Cheshire portion of Wirral but nothing has been done.
    I pointed out that the problem dates from the beginning of roadside recycling which leads to lots of dropped material which is then blown away and accumulated in hedgerows and along roadsides. The personnel cannot possibly gather it all up.
    Their representative admitted that it is a waste management problem and not simply litter which is thrown from vehicles.
    Every week I see new debris left behind by the refuse collectors which gets blown along to add to the accumulation.
    Others have seen material being blown out of the top of refuse vehicles as they drive along.
    Many householders do not put the tops on their small bins securely so stuff blows around even before the collectors get to it.
    It was never like this before the current recycling procedures.
    It is now a national crisis.

    • Andrew Tolley says:

      I travel every day along the stretch of the M5 between Bristol and Cheltenham and along the A40 from the M5 junction towards the GCHQ roundabout. In all the time I have been travelling this route (approx. 2 years) I have never seen any kind of litter removal taking place. I’m fairly confident that this applies to any motorway I’ve ever travelled on.
      I have seen the accumulation in the hedgerows, embankments, central reservations and trees steadily grow to outrageous quantities and never realised that there was actually any kind of contract in place for its removal. Connect Plus – who are they?
      It also makes my blood boil that the inconsiderate, uncaring fools who discard their litter onto the roads in the first place are never caught or punished in any way. Without stiffer penalties that are enforced, what chance of this situation ever improving?

  132. Michael Grant says:

    If ever we needed evidence we live in a post truth dystopian society it came from the excellent Channel 4 news report last night on motorway litter.


    Highways England and Connect Plus, the contractor paid vast sums of taxpayer money insisted that “Connect Plus is delivering good value for taxpayers and road users.” What planet do they live on? Connect Plus also said they have a vision of roads predominantly free of litter. Listen to Alex Thomson’s final observation, which is the reality.

  133. Richard Lewis says:

    I’ve just returned from a holiday in Madeira. What struck me there was just how clean the roads were. On the way from the airport to the hotel, along a busy dual carriageway I was amazed not only to see absolutely no litter but how clean the roads were generally. Obviously as we know, the roads in the UK are blighted with litter but everything is filthy – dirt at the sides of the roads, gravel and dirt in hatched areas and road signs covered in grime and algae.

    We are supposedly the sixth richest country in the world so how come our public transport infrastructure looks so depressingly filthy?

    • As well as having a statutory duty to keep the highway free of litter (EPA S89(1) HE and councils have a duty under S89(2) to keep the hard surfaces clean I.e free of detritus.

    • Michael Grant says:

      Your experience was the same as mine in Tenerife a few weeks ago. The roads were generally litter free including on the motorways. I never saw a single abandoned traffic cone, nor large plastic sheeting on the verges or in the bushes, no chunks of car bumper or old tyres anywhere. White lining was excellent on even small country roads, the road surfaces were smooth and consistent, with pot holes absent on all but a few minor roads. Road signs were clean and pointed in the right direction. Apart from the opposite in the UK that our roads have a lot going for them!

  134. Karen Coombs says:

    My brother wrote to his MP, Steve Baker.
    Secretaries of State have to reply to letters from MPs. So we should be asking our MPs to write to Grant Shapps.
    Here is his letter and the response.

    Dear Mr Baker,
    Congratulations on your re-election.

    I sent the email below to Mr Shapps but I’m aware that he will likely only see a sample of letters sent direct to him as a Government Minister and that I am likely to get a reply from an official in the correspondence unit instead.

    However, I understand that Secretaries of State reply to letters from MPs. As such, I wonder if perhaps it makes more sense to ask you to ask the Secretaries of State for Transport and the Environment what they are doing to solve the problem of roadside litter.
    Clearly there’s a local dimension – look at the top of the M40 slip road at junction 2 for Beaconsfield as just one example. 

    I know there are a huge number of competing priorities but I really do think this is a worthwhile issue to pursue. Thanks for your attention to this, it’s much appreciated.
    Yours sincerely…

    Subject: Re: Cleaning up the litter from the sides of our roads and junctions
    Thank you for your email. I agree that this is a problem worth solving and would be happy to write to the department on your behalf. 

    Steve Baker MP

  135. Andy Slade says:

    Just seen the report on the M40 Denham roundabout. Just smacks of a total breakdown in the control of these incidents. Fly tipping on this scale is organized by criminal gangs who are just sticking two fingers up to police and local authorities. The risk of being caught and if caught then receiving laughable small fines and suspended sentences.
    I work local to outer London local to Heathrow Airport. Most countries take respect in presenting an initial good presentation/image to visitors flying into their country when ending their journey by road vehicles into London and beyond. The M25 and M4 junctions onto Heathrow give an awful first impression to new visitors to the UK. Junction 3 & 4 on the M4 have not received any landscape or litter maintenance in years. It’s pathetic but unfortunately is fairly consistent with many of our motorway system junctions. There seems to be a void in the responsibility of who is liable for the maintenance of these junctions.

  136. April Lambourne says:

    I have just repeated a journey from Maidstone to Sittingbourne along the A249 that I did almost a year ago and about which I commented here. There looks to be no change and it’s still in an absolutely terrible state with regards to litter. We did spot one solitary chap emptying a bin in a lay-by – most bins were overflowing though. I will send some video evidence for your campaign against HE as I understand this road is there responsibility to keep clean. February 2020

    • April, A249 from Sheerness to M2 is a Highways England trunk road where HE are responsible for keeping it clear of litter – not the local authority. Please ring (07799 404766) so that we can arrange your sending me your video footage.

      • Derek Gilman says:

        Peter, as far as I was aware – and based on numerous dealings with them in the past, the A249 from Maidstone to the M2 and thereafter to Sheerness is covered by Maidstone/Swale Borough Councils. Has this now changed to Highways England?

  137. Brian Reynolds says:

    Just had the pleasure of driving from Lincoln to Leicester along the A46 trunk road. I’m not sure if it is Highways England’s responsibility for removing litter but the whole raid including junctions was heavily littered especially between Newark on Trent to Leicester. If the road us the responsibility of each local authority it simply highlights just how dysfunctional the simple task of litter removal is. I am actually ashamed and embarrassed to drive in this country. How can we allow the private sector and a dysfunctional arrogant Highways England to ignore the neglect on our roads and yet the taxpayer is required to fund the private sector to flout the Environment Protection Act 1990?

    • Brian, it is indeed one of those HE maintained trunk where each poorly equipped, poorly skilled and often uninterrested local authority has to clean their section. Totally share your frustration with this nonsense.

  138. Alan McNulty says:

    I just came across this site and it is good to know that I am not alone. I am deeply saddened by the roadsides around Sheffield and the UK as a whole. Cycling makes it even worse as you see so much more litter.
    I was thinking of making a video and trying to make use of social media, together with directly contacting the relevant authorities.
    Has anyone had any luck with the local councils in the Sheffield / Barnsley areas? A628 / 616 in particular.

  139. Terry Dean says:

    Hi Peter,
    I was about to go out and photograph local hotspots of litter on the M60/M61/M62/M602/M56 local motorway network around Manchester, when I realised that the entire network, in particular the slip toads and central reserves, are awash with litter.
    It’s been many years since I witnessed any cleansing operations.
    Recently, the Smart motorway Northwest quadrant of the M60 was constructed. There was some, but very little, litter picking. I noticed topsoil being placed directly onto littered verges.
    Today, there are bottles, cans, bags, weeds etc., blocking drainage channels on many slip roads (and yet we still see notices warning us of floods in places!). There are discarded purple ducts that carried temporary communications cabling.
    There are accumulations of soils along concrete barrier-type central reserves.
    Worst, by a long stretch, are the verges to the slip roads, all slip roads.
    It’s pointless me doing an inventory because the entire local network is blighted.
    It appears to me that shareholder profit is put ahead of the law.
    HE are simply breaking the law and it is indeed time to act.
    As a Chartered Civil Engineer and Fellow of the ICE, I am disgusted with the people who are responsible for this debacle. I would go so far as to say, that all, yes ALL, HE senior management, if they were under my watch, would be summarily dismissed, for not upholding the law and not doing their job.
    It is plain as the nose on your face that HE is contributing to a huge downturn in standards; is creating a threat to wildlife; is contributing to the pollution entering our rivers and seas, and is blighting this beautiful country of ours.
    Why should it be up to people like you to challenge the authorities … what is the Government actually doing about it? …NADA
    Best of luck with your forthcoming challenge, if I can be of any assistance, just ask. I’ll help you in Court if you wish.
    NB If there are to be site visits as part of your complaint, I will gladly show anyone around our local motorway network.

    • R. Pickles says:

      Well said Terry. Heads need to roll – our road network in its entirety is blighted. I do actually wonder now if the A12 and A13 in Essex (particularly the latter) are beyond recovery. Millions, yes, millions of pieces of litter. No words can describe it but it is clear HE and local Councils are not doing anything at all about it. Sadly, this country is now one vast dustbin.

  140. Mrs.Jones says:

    I would like to draw your attention towards the rubbish along the roads .If you travel from Nottingham to London Heathrow airport.You feel so sad when you see how the rubbish is ruining the beauty of UK.If you compare England to any other European country you will realize where we are standing today.Please do some thing to clean England and get back the dignity of UK.


  141. Karen Coombs says:

    Peter, why not ask Jeremy Paxman and Kirsty Allsop to make a TV programme? Jeremy P knows you, Kirsty works for Keep Britain Tidy and wrote an article this week in The Mail. They must have plenty of contacts and could ask for interviews with the politicians to get answers to the questions we are all asking:
    1. Let HE be responsible for all roads 2. Pay HE on performance, so have an Ofroad inspection office.
    It was a TV prog that changed the public’s attitude to plastic after all. I think with all the climate/ ocean awareness, now is the time.

    • Good idea. Trying to get articles in the press and and stuff on TV is v hard and frustrating work. John Read of Clean Up Britain is much better at this and I now work with him. This has led to a Channel 4 News item to be broadcast on Monday evening. I was out with John and C4’s Alex Thomson on Wednesday. I am not featured but they will be using bits from a Clean Highways video which will be acknowledged. Everywhere we went on the HE network was a total mess.

  142. Helen Flynn says:

    Does anyone know why Highways England are not in charge of litter picking all roadsides. For instance, I live in Oxfordshire and it is the local councils responsibility to litter pick the A34, why not HE when they are cash rich and have far more resources than any council. If HE were in charge of the cleansing of all roadsides it would prevent the current confusion as to who is responsible for what.

    • Larry says:

      Sorry Helen that would be to obviously simple!!!!!

    • Karen Coombs says:

      Letter from MP Laura Farris MP in response to your letter template.

      Thank you so much for your email and I totally sympathise with your view on litter. It is a real blight on our roads and countryside and I simply cannot understand why people think it’s ok to chuck litter out of their car windows instead of putting it in a bin. It is also incredibly expensive costing local Councils hundreds of millions of pounds a year to clean up.

      I am interested in the solutions you put forward and will certainly look for opportunities to raise this issue in Westminster. The National Litter Strategy includes the increased deterrent as you say but also applies best practice in education and infrastructure to tackle the problem. The aim is to improve the cleaniness of our country and to bring about a cultural shift to make littering socially unacceptable. Schools and local community groups do a great job here.

      Thank you so much for raising this with me.

      best wishes


      Laura Farris MP
      Member of Parliament for Newbury

      • The letter will have been drafted for him by DEFRA.

          • Helen Flynn says:

            Hi Peter, I am beginning to realise that our MP’s don’t really have much of a voice for this issue. I have no faith in Keep Britain Tidy either, they have allowed HE to hide behind them, and are ineffective. Defra are too weak, so that just leaves the power of the people i.e. US! to instigate the changes needed.

            One thing that struck me during last nights excellent feature on Channel 4 news, well done by the way Peter & John, was the lack of accountability everywhere, and some of that is down to the government and HE being in bed together. So what can we do?

            The time come for stronger action but how do we get Parliament to listen to us? The answer is we have to force them. Maybe as many people as possible could join up in London and wave placards outside number 10 ? On those placards should be recent pictures of roadside litter.

      • John West says:

        Her letter offers NOTHING in the way of commitment to deal with the problem. No mention of HE’s failure to keep the roads clean or even a promise to write to them and demand answers – lots of ‘concern’ but nothing more. Basically, a typical response from a politician.

  143. Derek Gilman says:

    Verges on Junction 5 slip roads off the M2 in Kent (both directions) onto the A249 are consistently badly littered, but the central reservations now resemble landfill sites and have not been cleared for YEARS. Have contacted HE several times, to be told that they are unable to clear the central reservations due to Health and Safety regs. However, these slip roads have been coned off and closed overnight on numerous occasions for maintenance and resurfacing – why not clear the tonnes of accumulated rubbish when this occurs?? I can get no sensible response from HE and have all but given up. There seems to be a complete lack of common sense and joined up thinking.

  144. Andrew EDgington says:

    Re Highways England contractor saying the local parish ws responsible for cleaning the M1. I’ve seen this so many times over the years. People read or don’t read contracts in a totally selective way. They ignore huge swathes of the damned things! It’s sad but this doesn’t come as a shock to me at all.

  145. Anthea Dempsey says:

    I have just today driven from Dorset to Sussex. There’s a lot of litter along the way on the verges and central reservations, but none as bad as the A27 north of Brighton and the slip roads.
    Over the last three or four years I have written to MPs, local councillors and anyone I thought might have some influence as well as commenting on this site. The wonderful A27 group has now been formed but the problem is not something individuals can solve on a voluntary basis. Sadly, I think this has to be tackled centrally and nationally. I’m sure so many others feel as I do…..physically ill at the situation. How can Highways England be kick started into action?
    I have also commented before, as I see others have, that Countryfile could surely play a positive role in this campaign.

  146. Sue Murray says:

    I drive from East Linton in East Lothian to Edinburgh (A1 and 720) for work. It is not an exaggeration to state the verges are layers deep in plastic. In addition to the usual disgusting rubbish thrown out of cars, there are endless sheets and items of plastic coming out of the incinerator lorries. I have film footage of continuous plastic-leakage from such lorries.

    So called cleaning events are superficial and go no way towards removing the detritus on our landscape which makes me feel ashamed of my own country. I see no real efforts being made to address this issue, in the meantime the pollution grows. I feel quite depressed by this situation and powerless to address it. As the filth grows, so does the normalisation of behaviours which create the situation in the first case.

    Thank you – Sue

    • Helen Flynn says:

      As a regular litter picker I can totally sympathise with you. I run a group and go out for three hours at a time at least twice a week on my own, but I feel very disillusioned because I know that I’m just scratching the surface. Look into any hedge and it’s just stuffed with litter, it’s terrible and heartbreaking. So what can we do?

      The Big Spring Clean was launched with much fanfare in the Daily Mail this weekend. Whilst I don’t want to dish anyone who is trying to make a difference, the amount of litter strewn up and down the country means that a Big Spring Clean must go on throughout the year if we are to even start making any headway.

      The government could do so much more. Defra are very disappointing in their attitude, they have no ‘teeth.’ Massive investment is needed so that the resources are there for enforcement, old dirty bins replaced with more practical ones, all open air ones should be banned. No more loose waste of any kind should be allowed. Recyclable bin bags be supplied to all households with no waste being collected if it is loose. Loose waste and overflowing bins are the cause of a huge amount of litter.

      Cigarette and fast food companies be made to pay towards clean up costs. Hit them and others where it hurts…in their pockets. The environmental message is not heard by everyone. You will pay money is a message everyone will hear!!

  147. Martin Dean says:

    Have always thought that the BBC Countryfile programme could have some impact on highlighting the litter problem on British roads (their reporters must see the evidence on their many travels up and down Britain!)
    Found this article on their web page


    Lets hope it is the start of highlighting the problem of littering home to the politicians and public at large!?

    • Helen Flynn says:

      Dear Martin, I totally agree with you in that Countryfile could have a much louder voice about our terrible litter problem, in particular roadside litter. I have contacted them myself in the past but they seemed rather lacklustre in their response and enthusiasm to use their influence, yet as you say they would see it as much as anyone, of not more.

  148. marcin says:

    a27 and a23 disgusting worst then Bangladesh

  149. I am attempting to copy the work of Friends of the A27 here in Warwickshire.
    Like the A27 the A46 is looked after by 5 different District Councils. Highways England is supposedly responsible for all aspects of its maintenance except for litter collection. This obviously means that the road is litter picked – or mostly not litter picked – at the discretion of all 5 authorities.
    So far Grant Shapps has not responded to the proposal of the Friends of A27 – which will undoubtedly be the same fate for Friends of the A46. However we can form very effective lobbying groups. Imagine how great it would be if Highways England and Grant Shapps were hounded by all trunk road users in England.

    • Larry says:

      There is only one solution, let the State use the full arm of the law against people discharging litter on to roads, streets, and green verges. The laws are on statute but they need to be implemented to the full extent. if the morons that do this DAMAGE get fined and know they were going to get heavily fined, then a lot of people would be deterred from this shameful habit, because that’s what it is a dirty habit! People know in the UK they can get away with it!!

      • Helen Flynn says:

        I agree our roadsides are disgusting and a terrible advertisement for Britain. We need to take a much tougher line when punishing litters. Please write to your local MP asking for more forceful punishment for the litterers who continue to pollute our roadsides. (See my recent post re: penalty points on licences.) Thank you 🙏🏼 Helen Flynn

  150. Brian Reynolds says:

    Are the new Balfour Beatty vacuum litter collectors likely to be rolled out across the UK? I think I k ow the answer.

  151. George Niblock says:

    On the road safety issue and the increased potential for fatalities on the Motorway system as a result of lack of cleansing etc – unfortunately, it seems only a matter of time until this happens. If significant numbers are involved then a FAI will investigate the causes and apportion blame. If similar to other scenarios, action for negligence could then follow. Over and above the consistent failure of those responsible for performing their statutory/contractual duties, the courts, criminal and possibly civil, will take into cannot the many challenges and cautions from Clean Highways and others. Sphincters will tighten and rightly so

  152. David Basson says:

    More evidence of HE neglecting to collect litter.
    Seen today, the very long westbound off slip of M27 and J9 has a great deal of litter, especially on the approach to the roundabout over the motorway. Roadworks are ongoing to convert M27 into a Smart Motorway but there is no excuse at all for not clearing the slips which are not being worked on. In fact, the contractors should have plenty of capacity to focus on them!

  153. Karen Coombs says:

    Evidence for your action, Peter.
    M4 J19 with Bristol M32

    Our ref: 21531046

    Dear Mrs Coombs,

    Thank you for your email of 5 January 2020, addressed to Andrew Page-Dove, about the slip roads and roundabout on the M4 at junction 19 leading to the M32. We’re sorry to hear that you were disappointed when dropping your daughter at university and appreciate you bringing this matter to our attention.

    Following your email, our inspectors visited the area and have noted that there is some litter that needs clearing. Although we’re concerned about litter on our roads, safety is our highest priority and a lane closure will be required to litter pick this area. To cause as little disruption to our road users as possible, we will be carrying out litter clearance in this area in the next few months during our planned lane closure for other works.

    We hope this helps with your enquiry. If you have any further queries, please contact our Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000 or info@highwaysengland.co.uk

    Kind regards,

    Beth Galloway
    Administrator | Operations South West
    Highways England | Brunel House | 930 Hempton Court | Aztec West | Almondsbury | BS32 4SR
    Web: http://www.highwaysengland.co.uk

  154. Phil Mahony says:

    Carlisle to Wigton roads strewn with litter. The majority purchased from fast food outlets Macdonalds and Co. We have a nation that no longer cares, a government that doesn’t give a damn and a media who would rather spend their time and resources on the futile subject of Harry and Megan, of which has very little impact on our daily lives in comparison to the issue of this country rapidly becoming a dump!! It is any wonder they The Sussex’s)would rather spend most of their time in Canada than in the squalid conditions of our beloved Britain.

  155. Helen Flynn says:


    We’re all fed up with roadside litter and it doesn’t seem to be reducing or going away anytime soon. There needs to be a much tougher stance on those that continue to litter and dump rubbish along our roadsides.

    There are currently 650 sitting MP’s, and with all the members and contributors on this page we could pretty much contact most of them. With this in mind, I have drafted a letter below for anyone on here who would like to write an official letter or email to their MP. The letter is just to give some ideas/a starting point, not necessarily for you to use if you feel you could put the point (excuse the pun) across better. If you decide to write to your MP and I hope that you do, please could you just confirm to me that you have with the MP’s name if possible? That way I can keep track of how many MP’s have been contacted. Thank you


    Penalty points added to drivers’ licences for those that litter from vehicles.

    As a regular litter picker I am disgusted by the amount of rubbish and waste strewn along our roadsides and verges. Our roadsides are a national disgrace with the litter on them running like an ugly scar across the face of our country.

    An increase in the fine for throwing litter from a vehicle from £80.00 to £150.00 in April 2018, with the vehicle owner being charged, has sadly not resulted in any noticeable decrease in litter on our roadsides or as much of a deterrent. We need to see the political will to take a much tougher stance with this problem. Penalty points added to drivers’ licences in addition to a fine will provide more of an inconvenience to those that continue to litter our roadsides. It could see an unwelcome rise in the offenders insurance premiums too.

    For those that litter from company vehicles penalty points added in addition to fines, with a potential rise in insurance premiums, will be more of a threat and an inconvenience than just being issued a fine.

    In addition to the above, it should be made compulsory for delivery and haulage companies to supply car bins for their employees to use in their vehicles.

    I would be grateful if you would bring the above issue to the attention of Parliament on my behalf by raising it publicly in the House of Commons.

    Thank you for your help with the above matter.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    • Karen Coombs says:

      Hi Helen,
      I have emailed Sarah Dine, MP for Derby Dales.

      • Helen Flynn says:

        Thank you Karen. Much appreciated. So far I know that 20 MP’s have been contacted so a long way to go, but every little helps as they say! Please spread the word if you can. Helen

    • Martyn Heath says:

      Helen, I’m pleased to find there are others who feel as angry and embarrassed about this issue as I do. It sickens me to see the unnecessary mess on our roads.
      I notice you mention fine of £150 for throwing litter from a car as not being a deterrent. I have just last week reported a problem to HE at slip road Junction 3 Northbound on the M66 Bury. It feels like driving through a rubbish dump, with cans, bottles, plastic cups and bags on the verges …..and that’s despite a large sign warning of a £2500 fine!!! Clearly it makes no difference. Perhaps we need to see this penalty actually being enforced and reported to make it register with the idiots that are creating the problem. I’m sure most of us can see this is a terrible problem but I think it needs more public awareness on TV to highlight and shame the lack of action on this.

  156. On 18th Jan the A40 between the western border with LB Hillingdon and the Denham roundabout (J1 of the M40) was heavily littered all the way along and many of the drains blocked with detritus. The w/b off slip road was onto J! was like a rubbish tip. This is one of the trunk roads that HE have the statutory duty to keep clear of litter.

  157. Ian says:

    All roads in Hertfordshire are a disgrace, Im trying to start up a group locally to de the roads , anyone interested let me know, St.Albans, Hatfeild, Welwyn , Harpenden areas. I have the litter picking gear just need semi retired or retired or just people who can comet a couple of hours on a Saturday morning.

    • John West says:

      I mentioned in a previous post about the state of the roads in Hertfordshire. I was in the county for the weekend and couldn’t believe how bad it had become since I left there in the early 90s. I sent a letter to the Herts Mercury about it but I don’t know if they printed it.

  158. Susan Tavernor says:

    Right hand side of slip road between M1 and A38 southbound (near Derby) is horrific.

  159. Barbara Ashby says:

    The slip roads off all motorways in kent namely M25 M20 are a disgrace.
    We should be leading an example to other countries that dont have the resources that we have. How about getting the people on benefits doing a bit for the money they receive. We all have to do our bit in keeping Britain GREAT.

  160. Julie Gay says:

    The whole of the M42 needs addressing.
    Litter and fly tipping strewn along the verges and in lay-bys.

  161. Paul Jarman says:

    Roads up and down the country are a disgrace and a national embarrassment. It shows our country in a terrible light to residents and tourists alike, is extremely hazardous for wildlife and the environment with run off into watercourses, and affects the mental health of a lot of people.

    Just to name one example the A38 in Derbyshire is once again terrible after some action last year. It is depressing to drive on and is damaging the environment that is being threatened from all directions as it is.

    Please do something to intervene on this national embarrassment and serious problem.

    Kind regards,


    • John Oldershaw says:

      Just travelled A38 Derby Little Eaton up to junction 28.Absolutely disgusting both sides of road,even mattresses dumped ,as bad as 3rdworld (yes have been there).Authorities need to get a grip!!!

  162. Anne Bent says:

    The M60 between J17 and J18 westbound underneath the metrolink bridge is fly tipped. I have reported it on “fix my street” but no action taken

  163. Karen Wood says:

    M66 and especially junctions 1-3 are horrendous.
    What must visitors think?! That we just don’t care?
    Totally shocking.

    • Martyn Heath says:

      Karen, I completely agree. I have been travelling around the M60 from Cheadle and using Junction 3 M66, Pilsworth Road slip road since March 2019 four days a week.
      I have seen the amount litter grow steadily. I assumed that there would be some form of regular litter collection by some organisation but clearly not. The same litter has been there all that time! At the end of 2019 it was dreadful but since then I’d say it has doubled.
      I have contacted HE and reported it. They asked that I give them two weeks to investigate. That will be 3rd January 2020. If nothing is done I’m determined now to make this and the state of the M60 generally a national disgrace and crisis. It’s shocking.
      Obviously it’s motorist’s that are creating this, but HE need to start dealing with it seriously. We’ve all seen the plastic floating in the seas and thats not acceptable. This is on our doorstep. Its easy to collect. At this time of year when the grass, shrubs etc have died back, the litter is exposed. Its an ideal time to collect it. There should be a small team permanently working its way round to keep on top of it. Maybe there is but I don’t see any evidence as I see the same problems elsewhere especially towards Middleton and the M60/M66 junctions.
      I’m hoping HE do something next week but I’m not optimistic!!!!!!! Guess I’ll be contacting Bury Council, Radio Manchester and the Environment Minister if this continues.

  164. Kathy Taylor says:

    I live by the M66 in Bury. I have complained countless times about fly tipping and litter in an unaccessable area off Ferngrove. Each time they would raise a new job for the same thing which meant that they weren’t following up on the original complaint and the new one would have a new date. No follow up and no accountablity. They eventually came to remove it but I told them this is a fly tipping hot spot and they shoud motitor it but they have nothing in place to follow up. Also the slip roads all along the M66 are very badly littered.

  165. Responsibility is Highways England but see the program last Monday, they’ve only got wombles patrolling. Who’s they employed to clean up, what are they paid by us (taxpayer), who checks they’ve done it and looks after our interests?

    There’s got to be plenty of records and auditing.

    I drive the M6. It is a disgusting sight made all the worse when you’re crawling along at less than 30mph.

    Two punctures in 6 months from whatever’s left on the roads and a cracked windscreen, expensive bit of kit, from something thrown up.

    Let’s not forget who drops the damn stuff.

  166. Geoff Sargeant says:

    The A38 in Derbyshire , from the M1 J28 to Derby is once again a complete disgrace … the central reservation in particular has not been cleaned for years ..in some places its hard to see the grass !…. what a welcome to Derbyshire for tourists !!
    Most roads in Derbyshire in general are filthy …. as is the rest of the UK …. an embarrassment when compared to most other European countries .

  167. Mike Pease says:

    It’s great the number of comments on here. However, let’s not leave it all to Peter. Also make your complaint direct to HE or your LA, citing the Environmental Protection Act. Peter provides guidance on the website on how to do this. It’s only by direct action and making clear it’s a concern with LAs and the HE that they’ll move it up their list of priorities!

    Thanks everyone.

  168. Mike Pease says:

    The M60 is a disgrace. I have complained for years, with little effect. I therefore issued a Notice under the EPA on 16 January 2020, and shall see if it works.

  169. Paul Haxby says:

    The central reservation on the A1M in North Yorkshire either side of the junction with the A59 is badly littered .You could easily walk on it and never touch any grass. I suspect it has not been cleaned for years.

  170. Robert Pickles says:

    I have posted around a dozen times on this site, and can only that Pete for his tireless work. It’s obvious that Highways England could not care less. Our roads are worse than ever – not just litter but potholes, gouges and dangerous road surfaces but lines that have not been painted for years, missing cats eyes, missing and filthy signs, overhanging trees and bushes … need I go on? A total embarrassment. The CEO should be sacked immediately.

  171. Diane Clarke says:

    M42 in both directions especially around Tamworth junction.
    M40 between m42 juntions – both directions and on slip roads but especially along the section between Solihull and Junction 12 for Gaydon.

    Whole of M40 getting worse.
    Even my the guests on my tours are mentioning it now.

  172. Susan Webber says:

    As so many motorway verges and sliproads are affected by the proliferation of discarded rubbish and debris
    would it be a good idea to start a crowd funding exercise to cover the cost of taking all the agencies, lead bodies and local councils to court. They have all flouted the European litter directive of 1990.

  173. John Norfolk says:

    A4 roundabout between Keynsham and Bristol (Hicks Roundabout) is in a scandalous condition where motorists discard rubbish while stationary at the roundabout traffic lights. It is in need of DAILY litter picking please.
    Get on with it Highways Agency!
    If you need a photo ask.
    ….and no it is not me dropping the rubbish from my van window.

  174. Ian Dare says:

    The M42 in and around junction 10 (the A5 junction) is always badly littered, including when I passed by on 16th January; in fact the M42 all the way to junction 11 is bad. I cannot understand how Highways England employees drive past this and not see it (or perhaps they do, but ignore it). In my experience, the best-kept motorways and trunk roads are those operated and maintained by private companies – for example, the A1-M1 link in Yorkshire (immaculate), the A417 Swindon-Gloucester, and A50 Derby-Stoke – where the operators clearly have some professional pride and standards. Long may they continue !

    • Karen Coombs says:

      The A50 is my daily commute. When litter builds up, I email the HE contractor which is Balfour Beatty, and say it is their statutory duty as far as is practicable to keep the roads free of litter. They usually clear it up within a week or so. That phrase really helps. I also email South Derbyshire council about the B road to Willngton, and Derby Council about the A516. Use the phrase STATUTORY DUTY and threaten to go to the local radio station/ local paper. That worked for the A38 once!

  175. Digby Williams says:

    Sections of the M2 in Kent are a disgrace. They are heavily soiled with litter. Particularly poor areas are the slip roads on both carriageways around the Medway Services and the slip roads on both carriageways around junction 5 with the A249. The latter is particularly poor and I’m sure it has never been cleaned in all my 26 years of living in the County. Why aren’t the operators of the Services made to clean their slip roads?

    Whilst it is not the responsibility of HE (it should be) the A2 from Dover to Junction 7 with the M2 outside Canterbury is in a shameful state. There is considerable litter in the verges of both carriageways. The section from Dover docks to just beyond Whitfield is particularly filthy and the road surface and signs are in poor condition. The laybys, which are used as overnight parking by trucks, are almost ankle deep in litter with bags of rubbish hanging from the branches of bushes where they have been thrown. The numerous bins are usually overflowing suggesting that they are not emptied frequently enough. The kerbs in the approaches and exits to the laybys are all damaged due to trucks trying to squeeze in despite lack of space adding to the image of neglect. Dover and Canterbury City Councils are responsible for the A2. They should be stripped of the responsibility and HE put in charge and properly mandated to get the job done.

    It is truly shameful that this stretch of filthy, soiled, badly maintained road is the first impression of our country that millions of visitors get after landing at Dover. As a frequent visitor to France I find it so depressing that having driven for miles on their largely clean, well maintained roads, I arrive back at Dover or the Eurotunnel terminal in Folkstone to immediately drive off on our litter strewn, badly maintained, second rate ones.

  176. Steven Dennard says:

    Have written to my MP about the terrible roadside litter on the A249 Maidstone to Sheppey. The lay-bys had been cleaned a few months ago and larger brightly coloured bins were put in place. But the lorry drivers who park there still choose to throw their bags of rubbish into the bushes. Currently at Sittingbourne in both directions there is at least a skip full of rubbish on each side of the road. The verges on the M2 by Medway Services are the same again with lorry drivers the main culprits. The slip roads off and into the M2 at Sittingbourne are shocking. The A2 into Canterbury is the same. Litter piled in the verges particularly in the lay-byes where the lorries park overnight. The rubbish doesn’t get cleared and the roads of Kent the “Garden of England” are atrocious.

  177. Jan Sefton says:

    It is hard to understand why litter is still appearing along roads particularly as the drive to recycle has been high on most people’s agenda. Driving to the coast on the A64 yesterday I was disgusted by the amount of litter along the verges. Clearly the problem has not been reduced but I’m at a loss to understand why it isn’t cleared away sooner. It’s a terrible blight on the landscape. The absence of bins is I’m sure contributing towards this problem. Why don’t we have CCTV cameras at popular pull in places to help prevent this.problem. Signs to remind people to take their litter home might also help. I recently visited Denmark and was aware they rarely have this problem so why do we ?.

    • John Woolmer says:

      Successive Transport Ministers (and there has been a plethora of them in recent years) and successive governments have turned a blind eye to the ugly scour of fly tipping and litter.
      Highways England have the upper hand in all of this: they have a contractual duty to keep our motorways & trunk roads free from litter and are aid handsomely to do so yet they regularly get away with murder in failing to clear the ribbons of filth that litter our verges.
      A third of Shropshire is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty but to get to our lovely hills and valleys motorists are forced to drive along littered roads and verges that are anything but beautiful. The M54, the A5, A49 provide continuing & ample evidence of failure to keep these major roads litter free, while the horrendous business of fly-tipping in rural area continues.
      Good on you Peter for carrying on your inspiring campaign but you should be led in this by our PM, Grant Chapps, all MPs, local councils and others with authority. High time we stopped being the most littered country in Europe, and high time the government took a real grip on this horrendous state of affairs and brought HE to task.

  178. Matt says:

    I was pleased to see that after an email to Cambridge council saying the Eastern entrance off the A14 into Cambridge was litter strewn that incredibly it was cleared. Of course the rubbish is building up again. It is completely nuts that once an area is cleaned there is no signage put up afterwards to say it has been cleaned and please try and keep it tidy! It is about educating the idiots that don’t care I’m afraid as much as the clearing up..

  179. John West says:

    I recently sent a letter to the editor of the Hertfordshire Mercury newspaper highlighting the problem of litter in the county. Can any readers of the paper – if there are any on here – let me know if it was published? I’d like to see what response it generates.

  180. Philip Mahony says:

    Have emailed my local MP and sent one off to No10. Not sure if they will receive and consideration, but I felt a little better.

  181. Peter Turgoose says:

    Roadside litter os heavy on the A162 Ferrybridge section from M62 to Brotherton junction.

  182. Ben Parkes says:

    I have noticed the little problem getting worse and worse of the past few years and can only put this down to goverment cuts.

    Its disgusting everywhere i drive now and i have complained to the local council on numerous times. The main motorways and a roads around slip roads and laybys are the worst i have ever seen them.

    Its not good for the country it not good for peoples mental health its not good for the environment.

    Why is it not being cleaned up?

    Why does myself and others have to report it to get it cleaned?

    What can we do to improve this situation?

    • Philip Mahony says:

      I can’t believe that our Prime minister and members of Parliament don’t notice this problem when they are using the roads etc. Do they not care also ?? What about the Royal family, they are constantly driven around motorways and roads do they not think it’s disgusting ??

  183. David G says:

    The A3 southbound slip onto the M25 roundabout is appalling. Do I really have to email Highways England every month to get them to do their job ?

    • David, No you should not. Enough is enough. Its time to take Highways England to the High Court to compel them to comply with their statutory duty to keep the motorways etc clear of litter. I will start working on this now. Thanks for the push. Peter

      • Cheryl Norgan says:

        Who is responsible for clearing away all the rubbish strewn on roundabouts ? Highways or the local Borough Council ?

      • Brian Reynolds says:


        Would you consider Crowd Funding as an option to pay the court costs if a High Court approach was taken?

  184. John West says:

    Can I ask how the campaign to clean up our roads is going? I live in Suffolk and the roads are a total disgrace – the A14 and A12 are classic examples with litter strewn across every single mile.

  185. Michelle says:

    Not read all the comments, but very interesting regards the legislation and the ‘Litter Authority’
    So could say a ‘Litter Authority’ from a different area than say the M25 as an example be given permission by HE to undertake enforcement for littering from vehicles on their behalf? Then it may be an entity that is a named ‘litter Authority’ could help with the problem?

    Or would it have to be the ‘Litter Authority’ that was adjacent to the that area of the M25?

    • Hi Michelle,

      Under the Regulations governing them to issue a civil penalty notice for littering from vehicles you have to be:

      1. An “authorised officers” of body who has the statutory duty under S89(1) of the Environmental Protection Act to keep the highway where the offence took place clear of litter. The bodies withe this duty are Highways England for motorways and some trunk roads on their network and district council for all other roads. Unitary councils are technically district councils so they are included. AND

      2. The body has to be a “litter authority” for the purposes of the Regulations. District councils are so designated but Highways England are not.

      Therefore NO ONE IS AUTHORISED OR CAN BE AUTHORISED to issue the penalties for offences committed on the motorways etc.

      • CRISPIN HOLLOWAY says:

        Highways England contractors are also responsible for littering.
        Following works in 2019 the are cones, broken lights with batteries, signs and other bits left from the works at the sides of the roads all the way along the A27 between Lewes and Brighton.
        Highways themselves, or their contractors have committed an offence by littering!
        I have highlighted this by writing to Highways England, East Sussex Highways, East Sussex County Council, Lewes District Council and local media.

  186. John West says:

    I spent the weekend in Hertfordshire and was shocked at the amount of litter on the main roads – bottles, plastic bags, traffic cones, boxes, plastic hanging in trees etc. The A14 in Suffolk/Cambridgeshire is also a disgrace. Judging by the weathering on some of the litter, the discarded items have been there a long time. Those in charge of the roads are clearly not doing enough. It is also a damning indictment on the stupidity of those who feel it is acceptable to throw rubbish out of their vehicles. Hertfordshire County Council wants to encourage people to holiday in the county. Don’t they realise that litter strewn across their roads is hardly going to make the area look attractive to potential tourists?

  187. Stephen Wilde says:

    I’ve been noticing the vast increase in roadside litter over recent years and have kept my eyes open for the cause because it is clearly not attributable to the behaviour of thoughtless individuals who would need to have increased enormously to achieve the observed outcome.
    The reason is the change in refuse collection which requires the waste from households to be sorted into categories in the open at the side of the refuse vehicles.
    It is all too easy for items to be dropped or blown away in the wind and the personnel cannot realistically be expected to chase and recover every item.
    I often see half a dozen items left on the ground after a visit to a single home.
    Once taken by the wind the material collects in hedgerows and roadside vegetation.
    That is the cause of the current upsurge and nothing is being done about it.
    The results are catastrophic for our environment and can only become worse over time.
    It is an unintended consequence of a well meaning change in the method of refuse collection and must be addressed urgently.

  188. Phil Mahony says:

    The situation is so bad it needs a full onslaught of media coverage tv and papers etc. I’m certain if every UK news paper had pictures of this mess plastered across the front pages and on national news it could shame all concerned to act in a positive matter. Perhaps something in the school curriculum at primary and secondary levels to try and better educate children in keeping a clean and tidy country and having a pride in doing so.Why can’t we revisit the ” Keep Britain tidy” campaign that we had when I was a kid with adverts on the tv etc.

  189. Shaun Birks says:

    We have come over from Australia to spend Christmas with family and I cannot believe the amount of rubbish that is on the side of the roads. I’ve been to 3rd world countries cleaner than the A38 from Derby to Alfreton, the gateway to the Peak District what an example it was filthy. Can’t you get the dolers to clean it up for their money and start to put pride back in to the country

  190. GM Foster says:

    I have just driven from Newport , Shropshire towards the M54 motorway and I have just witnessed littering along the verges and in all the laybys -the worst I have ever seen in 25years of using the road
    Can I request that those responsible look into cleaning this major route.
    Also on the same journey, the roundabout road surface where the A5 meets the A41 is in a very dangerous condition , a motorcyclist not paying attention will come to serious grief unless it is not resurfaced .Also the verges and the roundabout itiself is unkempt with vegetation obscuring vision as well as debris littering the approaches
    Not a very pleasant journey.

  191. Philip Mahony says:

    Drove all the way from Hampshire to Northumbria via A3, M25,A1,A69, every single mile was strewn with litter. It was disgusting, very disheartening and depressing. We are now a filthy third world country and a !@£$% hole !!! I am embarrassed to be English!! Is the government doing anything about it?

  192. Hayley Floyd says:

    Leicester-shire highways are looking terrible with all the rubbish on road side of motors and off ramps. It’s an embarrassment. Had visitors here from SA and the topic of conversation was looking like a third world country!!

  193. Maggie Mullin says:

    I would like to know what the newly elected who have been in power for over 9 years already are doing about rubbish which is everywhere. I am ashamed to say I
    Am British. This country is a disgusting gross place. I volunteer and pick up
    Litter as the government does not Do anything. They should be ashamed. I
    Am ashamed of the disgusting people who Live here. I Have contacted the council they jus give you Lip service never do a thing. Why does nobody give a dam. This country use to Have values now it has none. It makes me soo
    Angry and disgusted that I would like to
    Leave but Britain is getting g a reputation for being dirty. Dirty Britain So
    Nobody wants us

  194. Delphine Greene says:

    The A404 route particularly from Wycombe to Windsor is filthy. Everyday I drive this journey back and forth to work and I honestly feel it’s getting worse.
    Cones/plastic bags/tissues/bottles/crisp packets etc. Does it ever get cleaned up?

  195. Larry says:

    still waiting for any candidate to comment on the filthy littering on our roads and country side during this 2019 general election!!!!!!!

  196. Iain Ambler says:

    Hi Peter – I cant say I enjoyed reading your latest summary report – https://www.cleanhighways.co.uk/litter-cover-up
    – but it was a cathartic and cogent (as ever) analysis of one of the root causes of the problem – lack of true leadership from government.

    As ever, really well done for persistently continuing to hold the on spotlight this and the government to account. Thank you! An example in resilience and investigation to us all.


  197. Richard Cooper says:

    I really do admire your tenacity Peter – Obviously the powers that be hope that you will get so exasperated that you simply give up (Probably like I would have done)
    Please keep going for the sake of us week ones!!

    • R A Cooper says:

      That should be weak of course!

    • David Basson says:

      Thank you Peter for a very full and detailed statement of what amounts to failures by central government and Highways England. Sadly, Parliament has now risen for the General Election and any Bills in the system will not proceed.
      Such a massive churn of Ministers has not helped and HE will never take the action we expect of them without considerable political pressure.
      Unfortunately that seems unlikely to be forthcoming, given other issues high on the political agenda. However, we must all of us continue to do Our Bit, whatever shape that takes and chipping away at HE and our local councils to do their jobs on litter, is a must.

      • Dave thanks for that. We just need one politician or newspaper to take up the cause.
        Failing that I am exploring the efficacy of using Judicial Reviews in the High Court.

        • Helen Flynn says:

          As we are now in the middle of an election there is NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW to pin down all the political party’s and ask them how they propose to tackle and radically reduce the amount of litter on our roadsides, streets, and in our countryside.

          Considering the harm that litter causes to our environment, wildlife, waterways, neighbourhood moral, crime rates, and even house prices, it’s a mystery to me why it is not high up on everyone’s agenda.

  198. Helen Flynn says:

    I am commenting on Peter Silverman’s recent post entitled ‘Cleansing of HE truck roads (APTRS) – transfer of responsibly to HE.

    It is indeed ‘bizarre’ that on some trunk roads such as the A404 responsibility is split between HE with the local council being responsible for litter picking.

    We have the same problem in my neck of the woods. The A34 is the same. Why? No one knows and even more daft, the Council have to ask the permission of HE to close sections of the road in order that they can then litter pick. So why aren’t HE responsible for the whole lot on all roads everywhere?

    Over past two years I have been on a merry-go-round of correspondence with my MP and HE. All to no avail. Highways England do not want to take responsibility, and this has not been helped by the transport secretary changing so often.

    It hardly seems fair that cash strapped councils have the additional cost of arranging crews to litter pick road verges at night, when HE are awash with money and resources.

    It is also a fact that the Government do not pursue HE on any of their failings as a company, and in my view are actually on their side rather than ours.

    As Warwickshire Waste Partnership stated, ‘working with Highways England was “a nightmare.” Someone needs to hold them to account, but if the Transport Secretary won’t and the Government won’t, who will??

  199. Helen Flynn says:

    Dear All,

    Would any of you like to support my petition asking for businesses to be made to contribute towards the clean up costs caused by the excessive packaging they produce, a lot of which ends up as litter on our streets, along our roadside verges, and in our countryside. It cannot be right that we are paying for the clean up costs whilst the retailers producing all this stuff are getting off scot free. Not only are we paying in monetary terms but also with cuts to our local services due to clean up costs continuing to rise.

    If you agree with me please help to make this happen by signing and sharing my petition. Thank You 🙏🏼


  200. Margaret Frampton-Carr says:

    A414 absolutely disgusting. I got in touch with Essex cc and it was told it was Herts cc. But nothing done. Passing the buck but cannot understand why the litter is not cleared up. There is honour in any job and it should be sorted out

    • Margaret, the responsibility for cleaning the A414 lies not with the CC but with each local authority along the route. They concentrate their resources to please the local voters not national road users just passing through.

      For more reasons for the mess see “Litter – the big Westminster cover-up” at the https://www.cleanhighways.co.uk for other reasons and please action Subscribe and Support near top of the right hand menu.

      Thanks, Peter

  201. Michael Grant says:

    Driving along the A27 yesterday from Eastbourne to Falmer in Brighton was a mixed experience. The section from Polegate to the Newhaven roundabout was pleasant with little visible litter. Beyond there was lots of roadside litter everywhere, much of it shredded by grass cutting. Absolutely disgusting and a terrible advert for Lewes and its council.

  202. Just back from a holiday in beautifully clean France.

    My first job was to issue a belated post on Jeremy Paxman’s speech at the NEC. I managed to meet the great man afterwards on the CLEAN UP BRITAIN stand hosted by John Read.


  203. R A Cooper says:

    Well done again Peter – This latest gobbledegook really ought to be forwarded to Pseuds Corner at the Private Eye!

  204. George Niblock says:

    Re the language use by HE Peter you should nominate them for the Booby Prize in the Plain Language Awards

  205. David says:

    The only way forward while waiting for a change of leadership and accountability to be part of the process is to sort this mess out ourselves. If anybody has any suggestions on how we can clean up this mess?

  206. George Niblock says:

    Peter is absolutely ‘spot on’ re the statutory duties. The duty is to “ensure” that the roads and open public spaces are kept clean and free of litter and refuse. That is far more onerous than to simply remove litter after it has reached (usually) the lowest standard in the Code of Practice.

    • Larry says:

      You are correct in what you say,but surely a must wear a seat belt or no phone calls while driving type government campaign against these litter morons, with strict fines would help a lot.

      • Glynis Reed says:

        Why can’t there be a strict enforcement against these litterers who feel they can chuck their garbage out of the window with impunity for some other poor soul to clean up?
        We need a nationwide campaign.
        I’m sick and tired of seeing litter on the roadside verges strimmed into tiny fragments by workers who can’t be bothered to pick it up.

      • George Niblock says:

        Larry, campaigns have been ongoing for decades albeit sporadically but do you really think that the sort of morons who knowingly drop litter would respond to such. It is 50% of the public who ADMIt to dropping litter. It is now a social norm. We are going backwards in public health standards and politicians in charge simply do not understand the implications or care. ~Emperor’sNewClothes

  207. Robert says:

    Something that needs seriously looking into is mown verges. So many Councils mow roadside verges WITHOUT clearing the litter away first. My Council REDBRIDGE, LONDON, are absolutely guilty of this – result: thousands of bits of plastic that end up in waterways etc. Can Councils not be fined for this???

  208. Lewis Halsey says:

    Peter Silverman continues to do a bloody fantastic job.

    I don’t know how much feedback he gets for his posts – do take a read of this one:


    Impressive energy levels from the never-deterred Peter. It needs bullish, resilient people like this to push through change.

  209. George Niblock says:

    Progress on the National Litter Strategy for England….. what a fudged response typical of ‘Yes Minister’

  210. Helen Flynn says:

    Dear All,

    Below is a link to a Government petition to ban all disposable plastic gloves from petrol service stations. These horrors litter our verges and Highways stubbornly sticking themselves to bushes, hedges and trees. If you agree please sign, and pass on.


    • David Basson says:


      I see where you are going with this but I use plastic gloves (with a diesel car you need them) when refuelling and obviously put them in the litter bin afterwards, I only occasionally see gloves on the forecourt not in a bin, sometimes when the bin is full and the gloves are blown out.
      So I think to ban them is a blanket suggestion without regard for utility and the majority of well run service stations.
      Be better to ‘encourage’ garage people to pick all litter from their forecourts – as I often pick up other people’s!

  211. Kate says:

    I live near a major Airport and the roads all around the airport are disgustingly full of litter and fly tip, even bottles of urine dumped at traffic light junctions. Some of the rubbish is there for years despite being reported to various councils. Just looks like a giant rubbish dump around here. Great view of England for tourists.

  212. Kate says:

    I live near Heathrow Airport and the roads all around the airport are disgustingly full of litter and fly tip, even bottles of urine dumped at traffic light junctions. Some of the rubbish is there for years despite being reported to various councils. Just looks like a giant rubbish dump around here. Great view of England for tourists.

    • Billy bee says:

      Ah yea Kate but remember Heathrow is the best run airport into world so we are told more so the dirtiest would be nearer the truth

  213. George Niblock says:

    Peter, in advocating for an SPI for litter watch what you wish for…!!! Up here in Scotland, local authorities in facing this challenge from Government and Audit Scotland to have an SPI have, along with Keep Scotland Beautiful created an SPI called LEAMS – Local Environmental Audit and Management System which allows most of them to produce what they call a cleanliness index of well over 90%
    It really should be called LEAMS – Lets Every Authority Miss-out Sweeping.
    It starts by ignoring Section 89 of EPA90 – the duty to ENSURE that roads and public open spaces are kept clean and free of litter. It also ignores the critical issues from the revised CIOPLAR Scotland 2018 by not taking into account restoration times. It is also predicated on the assumption that many of the public do not mind a small amount of litter ….so they ignore Grade B and only report if it is Grade C or worse.
    The surveying is not weighted to examine busy areas on the same basis as COPLAR it is all done unweighted So a large rural area such as Aberdeenshire which has around 85% of its roads as leafy low-density suburbs or unclassified rural roads which are never at Grade C, always report a cleanliness index in the high 90+% while some of the main roads are at Grade D or worse year in year out..
    Anytime you want to challenge the ‘system’ you get ……but we are 98% clean!!!
    What are you complaining about? #Emperor’sNewClothes.

  214. John Woolmer says:

    I really do wish you success with this Peter. You are taking on Goliath and his unseeing cohorts – all apparently blind to the carpet of litter & filthy fly-tipping on our verges, lanes and lay-byes.
    Will keep my fingers crossed for your success: I admire you & your steadfastness.
    Best wishes. John Woolmer.

  215. George Niblock says:

    Re Ministerial merry-go-round. It is much harder to pin down a moving target and even then obfuscation and denial act as further ‘blockers’

  216. Rahel says:

    This week I have noticed that the lay-bys on the A534 near us in Cheshire (Whitchurch – Wrexham way) have been cleaned up! If it was Truckers Cleaning up Britain – THANK YOU!! Just saw the post on your group and I applaud you for your work.

  217. George Niblock says:

    Peter, Ref your unresolved complaint to the PM and the responses from DEFRA – you have to bear in mind that pushing a large boulder up a relentless hill becomes exhausting until it eventually rolls back and squashes you. Please look after yourself and Nil carborundum illigitimus ! and pick your fights carefully.

  218. Larry leigh says:

    Just seen the Glastonbury rubbish dumped at the festival, typical of the mindset of the UK public whose philosophy is. Eat it dump it,drink it dump it ,unwrap it,dump it .even David Attenborough inexplicably endorsed the litter dropping morons at the event, the same people who drop their crap on our country lanes and motorway verges making the UK the most littered country in Europe, it beggars belief.

    • Peter brown says:

      In a nutshell mate

    • Mark Godfrey says:

      Well said you are spot on with your comments and I feel so ashamed of our once green and pleasant land, not sure why we have become so complacent and I don’t give a damn attitude and I have seen rubbish strewn and dropped on the pavements, roads etc. Despite having bins provided just feet away ? I get so upset and angry why people do this .

  219. Maureen Wagstaff says:

    Well after over a three month wait after contacting the Warwickshire County Council – their responsibility, I hear – not a thing has been done. I have been told that Balfour Beaty have the contract for clearing up after roadworks. No even a response from their CEO – nice. The cones around the M6 Junction 2 have been stood in the same place so long they now have plants growing up through the cones to a height of about 12″. These items cost money to buy for other work – my taxes and yours. Surely someone must be responsible for this debacle. Warwickshire County Council have been looking into the matter for three months – but they don’t need to look in – the grass and plants are growing out the top. I suggest a trip to the opticians before their next trip around this island, and probably many more throughout the country.

  220. Rachel McNally says:

    One more thought: Is there a website that “Names and Shames” the UK’s Worst, Trashiest Roads? Where people can submit their photos and mark the location? Maybe it would shame the councils into cleaning. Or maybe media outlets could publicise the worst areas.

    • Lewis says:


      These are all great ideas. Unfortunately, I don’t have any answers to your questions. But, it could be worth tweeting councils with litter photos – that might publicly name and shame them.

  221. Rachel McNally says:

    I’d also like to ask about “Adopt a Highway” type programs, which I’ve seen and know have been used in the US and other places for years. Is there such a scheme here?? Businesses sponsor a stretch of motorway for a fee, for which they get low-cost advertising (a small official motorway sign) in exchange for ensuring that “their” stretch is kept clean. It is seen as a win-win: low-cost advertising and environmental responsibility, with accountability. (Some states even provide the bags and equipment, and pick up the filled sacks with their trucks afterwards)

    • George Niblock says:

      The largest ‘Adopt-a – Street ‘ litter scheme in the UK Aberdeenshire Litter Initiative – ALi with over 650 members has just closed after 15 years because the local authority refuse to do their part. Their service is dysfunctional with officers and politicians in denial. Organisers of ALi havwe stated that they are unwilling to continue to work with the Council after 10+ years of trying to get them to face up to their legal duty.

  222. Rachel McNally says:

    I am so glad I found this website. Since moving to the UK two years ago, I have been completely shocked and appalled by the pollution along the roads. Never did I ever associate “England” with “trashy landscapes,” but as I drive the roads of rural Cheshire to and from school every day (in an idyllic, tiny village), I rage against every disgusting lay-by and junction. The motorways into Wales and down to London are horrendous!! Are they EVER cleaned?

    We now live in a very rural area on the A534, and I cannot tell you how many bags of rubbish I have litter picked on our small stretch. The problem is, it is too busy with lorries and the verge almost non-existent – indeed the small winding backroads off it around here all have lovely hedgerows right to the roadside, littered with trash along the ground. How can we safely clean these areas? Do I need permission and a sign? Our parish organises 1 litter pick a year, we have all agreed we’d like to do more, but the Council must close roads or at least put up temporary traffic signs I think? How can I organise a group to do litter picking on a regular basis? Because it’s obvious that it’s down to us citizens to do it.

    • nicola leahy says:

      why oh why do people continue to blame “the council” and / or “highways england” etc. etc. for our rubbish strewn roads? Picking up litter is expensive and dangerous along the sides of major roads, I know I’d prefer my council tax and income taxes to be spent on looking after the sick, eldery and young members of our society- why dont you serial complainers tackle the actual source of the litter and take your complaints and action to the appropriate place – the lazy, ignorant car drivers and their passengers who chuck everything and anything out of their car windows

      • Oz says:

        I am sorry Nicola but will have to disagree with you on this one. Yes the root cause of the problem is the dirty drivers, unsealed waste lorries, white vans, etc.. but the actual problem is the Government’s/Council’s utter incompetence and the lack of detailed thinking & planning in dealing with this problem. Take a look at Germany for example: They have a very high car ownership rate plus, as a central European country, they are a massive transit country for intra-European freight transport. So their roads are much more heavily used than ours – YET their roads are spotless. Other western European peers are very similar. So you have to ask yourself the question Nicola – why oh why such incompetence here in the UK. I dont think it is a money problem – we are the 5th richest country in the world and pay very high taxes. The followings needs doing to tackle the issue:
        (1) Simplify road maintenance and litter cleaning responsibilities across the network – ideally as fewer bodies as possible instead of this complex dysfunctional web of HEs, Councils, Contractors, etc…
        (2) Frequent road cleaning and maintenance (instead of just once a year like in some places). The more frequent the maintenance, the cheaper and easier it gets over time as buildup is avoided. This is better and more efficient than a once a year massive cleanup operation with very high costs attached to it
        (3) An independent body to assess and police the road maintaining body. Scrutinising their performance.
        (4) Change the littering behaviour of the public. Enforce Singapore style heavy fines, run campaigns, educate children and more importantly Name & Shame the abusers like flytippers, dodgy waste carriers, etc…This is a national disaster impacting every inch of this country – not just the highways.

        All above actions point towards the Government. So yes the people here are very right in holding them fully responsible. We have to call a spade a spade.

        • Larry says:

          Here here

        • George Niblock says:

          agree with all of the above. So what comes first ? clean streets or zero littering? You also have to remember that streets will still require to be cleaned even if littering stopped today. A road with no litter can still look grubby. AND why is all of the focus on the anonymous 50% of people who admit to littering and NONE on the 100% of duty bodies who fail to comply with their statutory duty to – ENSURE that roads and public open spaces are KEPT clean and free of litter and refuse. Emperor’s New Clothes syndrome

  223. Helen Flynn says:

    Well done to Mike Penning MP for Hemel Hempstead who has named and shamed Highways England for failing to keep the A414, and the M1 particularly around junction 8 properly maintained and carrying out regular litter picking. Also for highlighting the fact that they then mow through all the litter that is there! A man after my own heart, I have been banging on about this for a long time. This chopping through litter will be going on nationwide because the contractors hired by Councils to mow verges and grass areas are more often than not Highways England staff. I am not one of Mike Penning’s constituents but I will certainly be writing to my now MP Layla Moran on this subject and I would urge everyone who reads this to contact their own MP too.

  224. A Taylor says:

    Noticing that motorway service stations are now getting ‘drive thru’ installations at a fast pace. In my mind this encourages people to drive thru and then be left with empty containers to dispose of ten miles down the road……what shall we do with these empty costs cups then guys ?? Have they got a returnable deposit ? Should they be made to impose one as a condition of installation of the facility ? Who knows ? Who cares ??

    • Sarah says:

      Totally agree. Plus in the same way it’s dangerous and illegal to txt whilst driving how are ppl going to drink hot coffee and eat safely at the wheel. Who thought this through. It’s dangerous and we all know solo drivers will be doing this.

  225. Katherine Jacob says:

    Oh, and well done Bucks Council who cleaned the road verges and then put up signs letting the public know it was doneand to take the litter home.

    Lets celebrate and recognise the councils who do something!


    • Larry leigh says:

      Katherine south bucks are hopeless regarding roadside litter, just check there lay-bys on the A412 leading up to the Denham roundabout never ever been cleaned in fact both sides of the road the ditches are used as a tip,go check for yourself and then contact bucks council. I WISH YOU LUCK

  226. Katherine Jacob says:

    Dear All

    Its good to hear the general outcry regarding the decline in the upkeep and care of our country generally, and along the roads in particular. I travel around a lot and feel really upset by the recent destruction of trees and bushes alongisde the M4 (in the name of “smart / daft motorways) and the entire railway network. Its so short sighted.

    In terms of litter I would like to suggest a campaign that includes, firstly obligatory education to primary and secondary children (many of whom carelessly drop it to and from school) alongside secondly, financial penalties for dropping it – applying this then to parents and all other citizens, be they from UK or not.

    This means Councils using the many CCTV cameras more actively, and patrolling the streets. Given the state of public funds, this would be an easy way to raise funds for local councils -money raised pays for the service, a bit like traffic wardens.

    If you agree, Clean Highways can link any campaign to next election, and ensure that local politicians must recognise their awareness of the laws around littering, and commit to addressing it.

    Your thoughts?

  227. Chris says:

    Just stumbled across this, I work as a contractor for Highways England installing TM (traffic management) and I’m sure it does surprise a lot of you but our lads litter pick pretty much every night with over 2-300 bags of litter + debris per week being collected as an average, what also needs to be understood is that this happens at night so most people will not see the lads doing this, Highways England do have a certain amount of jobs that this is a standard on (cyclic maintenance) which includes litter picking, grass cutting and other maintaining aspects, barrier tensioning and the like, but we also do this on most other jobs for example barrier repairs.

    What also needs to be remembered is that the above amount of bags is picked by around 5-6 crews which is 15-18 men per week on a very small fraction of the motorways in our area (we can only do so much with the manpower we have)

    All of the above also costs a lot of money it’s not just down to man hours it’s also transportation and disposal costs of this waste, and the best bit within a month if you’re lucky the areas we pick look just as bad as when we started instead of insisting fines to contractors and HE what this should be directed at is educating and fining the general public and actually enforcing the above with the myriad of cameras we now have on our motorway network.

  228. Richard Cooper says:

    I have no idea how the House of Lords works (works??) but is Baroness Randerson obliged to accept the patently inadequate response from Baroness Sugg? How many times have contractors been fined was the unanswered question- and I would love to know how extreme the circumstances have to be for further sanctions to be imposed. Just look Baroness – just look PLEASE! Richard Cooper

  229. Sarah Wheeler says:

    I live in Cornwall, a beautiful and until fairly recently litter free county compared to up country. But not any more. The disease of the British Litter Lout has hit here, and it was only a matter of time. This beautiful relatively untouched part of our little island is now covered from head to toe A30 all along it’s verges in litter. Lots of it. Tourists stop at laybys to empty out their litter ridden cars of bottles and dirty nappies, tied neatly in a bow of their plastic bag and left, dumped at the side of the road, but at least it’s packaged with a bow, something to be thankful for I guess. Beautiful country lanes with dirty tissues hanging from hedges like bunting at the side of the road ready to welcome the next visitor and plastic bottles, cans and all kinds of unwanted items chucked from cars and lorries. Hopefully, next year, there will be so much rubbish they have thrown in our beautiful cornish lanes it will put them off from booking their next vacation here because everywhere will look too filthy and third world like to return. Politicians holiday here, David Cameron, and well known celebrities. Are they blind because not even a mention of it by any of them. Shame on them and the ppl who do it. Let’s hope their kids love paddling around in it in the future because at the rate it’s being ignored and committed they literally will be.

    • Helen Knowles says:

      I empathise with all you say. In East Anglia, the A12, A14 and M11 are hideous. Alot of heavy lorries heading up from Kent or heading to Felixstowe and Harwich mean that every layby is used by lorry drivers for rest (necessarily), but the garbage left is shocking! And along local smaller A roads the litter is buliding up and up. I drove to London two days ago. I noticed one solitary man in high vis jacket working at litter picking, but it’s just not enough! How can we complain in an effective way?

    • Billy bee says:

      I see HE are trying to make motorways in the UK smart (death traps) by the way, my point is how do you have smart motorways that are Littered with filth at the same time a contradition in terms if I ever heard one before!!!!!!

  230. J Armstrong says:

    I fully support your comments, Pete, on the disgustingly filthy state of highways in the Midlands. From the A34 running through Oxfordshire etc, to the M69, the A43, the M1, the A1, the list is endless. I have been diverted onto other environmental issues of late , but can also attest to the blanking you get from HE and all the local HAs. I had a battle with them all over the A34 from Scroton to Bicester!

    I’m sure they know they are in the wrong.

    Perhaps the current environmental protestors in London protested about environmental cerise of litter on the highways ( it’s related to climate after all as litter = waste= energy consumption to clean it up)

  231. gwen maka says:

    Can’t we use the US system of adopting a short section of highway? For example, ‘The Concord Ladies Knitting Group adopt the next 2 miles of highway”. Thus the whole community, as well as individuals/families, adopt a manageable 2 mile section of highway. Too simple I guess!

    • Billy bee says:

      Wake up missus,it’s not the u s concord ladies knitters association we need to adopt,but more so the u s system on fining the the dirty slobs who tarnish this once lovely UK with a staggering amount of crap!!!

  232. Maureen Wagstaff says:

    Having just found this site, we are delighted so many others are disgusted with the state of our highways. A big bug with me is the amount of Roadworks signs, lamps (broken or otherwise), A frames and sandbags left long after the work has finished. Who pays for these items? The contractor should be made to collect the rubbish they leave behind as they finish the job. They are as big a disgrace as the other lazy soso’s who don’t take the litter home. I have written to the Warwickshire highways – but I guess they are on holiday!!! So I don’t expect an answer or any clearing up any time soon.

  233. George Niblock says:

    Highways England responses to FoI requests ……must have been written by their spin doctors, Jack ‘n Norrie


  234. R A Cooper says:

    Well done Peter – keep at them!

    • George Niblock says:

      …and so say all of us …even up in Bonnie Scotland where the very same issues and responses prevail.

  235. Joy Walton says:

    The A14 joining the A1 -disgusting!

  236. George Niblock says:

    Reference the ‘pilot project’ in the Midlands highlighted by Clean Highways, I would point out that in Scotland, the multidisciplinary Transport Working Group has not demonstrated much difference either.
    Now the Scottish Government are talking of following the English lead (for a change) on making littering from a vehicle an offence. It is likely to have the same startling impact north of Hadrian’s wall, as it has had south of it. #EmperorsNewClothes

  237. ROBERT KELLEY says:

    I’m not suggesting for one minute that everyone who voted for Brexit drops litter and that everyone who voted to “remain” is a model citizen but all politics aside…….how about we sloganise “Take Back Control” and suggest that we “Take Back Our Litter” and show a little pride in the country that we are all so desperately trying to protect in other ways.
    (The sight of discarded recyclable, plastic bottles next to my local football pitches on Sunday morning was the touch paper for this politically questionable outburst, sorry.)

  238. Valerie Carus says:

    I have moved back from France after 6 years and moved to East Sussex. I am totally embarrassed by the state of the verges along the A22 Eastbourne to Uckfield and A27 Eastbourne to Pevensey Bay. The litter is absolutely disgusting and it feels like I have moved to a third world country. And it’s not very wildlife friendly, birds and animals eating plastic, never mind blue plant and the sea, look at your own backyard. Who is responsible for keeping the verges clean? And why are they not doing their jobs properly? Who should we name and shame?

    • Larry leigh says:

      The great British public, there the ignorant morons dropping the rubbish !!!!!!

      • George Niblock says:

        could not agree more. 50% of the public admit to littering so it has become a social norm. A big part of it is that if the general public observes that the government, Councils and others clearly, do not care about the state of our roads and environment, then why should they?
        So what comes first – clean roads or the end of littering? It certainly will not stop on its own by magic. ….and why is ALL of the focus on the 50% who litter and NONe on the 100% of ‘Duty Bodies’ who fail in their legal duty to “ensure that the roads and public open spaces are kept clean and free of litter and refuse” ….AND get paid BY US to do that

  239. Diane Clarke says:

    I meant to give some credit to REDDITCH District Council. They send litter picking teams out on a regular basis along the A435 from Kings Norton to Redditch – it is probably the cleanest stretch of road that I travel on. However, it does not take long before some car drivers are back to their disgusting ways.

  240. Diane Clarke says:

    I am a professional ‘Blue Badge’ Driver-guide, specialising in bespoke tours for small groups taking them to all areas in the UK.
    From reading the comments below it seems that there is not one metre of motorway or trunk road that is litter free anywhere in the country. It really is depressing and is so hard to ignore. You are all correct in being concerned about what visitors to our country think. A couple of years ago most would comment on how clean everywhere appeared to be – not any more – it has become a subject that is discussed on every journey. The truth is that MP’s / ministers are so wrapped up in their own world, probably get driven everywhere and never lift their heads up from their paperwork to notice – OR – they just do not give a damn!

  241. Dire Streets says:

    Peter, all the respect and admiration for your work,
    We have spoken on the phone a few weeks back and we agreed that I will send you some materials, I just need your email, please.
    Birmingham is getting worse every day, is disgustful really, I have some new pictures, around City Centre, Saltley, Small Heath, Coventry Road.
    Could you please provide me with an email address where I can send these to you.

    • Diane Clarke says:

      I live in Birmingham and travel all over the country in my work as a tour guide – I am ashamed at the state of our highways and trunk roads. M42 in both directions is disgusting especially around Tamworth slip roads.
      Thank you for your hard work, Peter.
      Perhaps we should march on Downing Street?

  242. Christine Gandy says:

    Have just been to Kent! considering this is the first place many tourists come through the litter on the roads is disgusting. The A249 Detling Hill is a slum – particularly bad! Most of the busy roads around Ramsgate are filthy.
    This is all very depressing – even in the spring sunshine, with new green on the trees and bushes, most places are full of litter which I would suggest is very demoralising for the public.

  243. Helen Flynn says:


    On 8 Apr 2019, at 07:40, SES Official Correspondence wrote:

    Dear Ms Flynn

    Thank you for your email dated 20 March regarding shredded litter, also sent to Dr Therese Coffey MP, Theresa Villers MP and environmental organisations, Keep Britain Tidy and Campaign to Protect Rural England.

    We all agree litter is unsightly, and if it’s shredded, litter can cause even more of a safety and environmental hazard, especially for our wildlife. The email you kindly sent us raising your concerns did not state the road or location where this occurred but indicates it was on a trunk road where litter collection is the responsibility of Local Authorities and all other maintenance activities the responsibility of Highways England.

    Advance notice of planned activities aimed to identify opportunities to share traffic management with Local Authorities are usually provided. This should result in routine maintenance like grass cutting and litter clearing activities to be undertaken simultaneously. We plan our maintenance activities carefully to avoid this type of issue from occurring.

    Along with our own requirements we also recognise we need to do more to help facilitate better coordination of operations between Local Authorities and ourselves. We have many good relationships with Local Authorities where we work to co-ordinate maintenance activities.

    We hope this reply re-assures you that we’re all working collaboratively to contribute to a reduction in littering. Please feel free to provide the details of the trunk road and location where this occurred and this matter will be highlighted with the operational team to obtain their feedback to understand why it occurred and to prevent it happening again.

    Thank you again for contacting us. If there’s anything else we can help you with please email or telephone our contact centre, 0300 123 5000 or email info@highwaysengland.co.uk.

    To help us identify and make improvements to our responses, we’d be very grateful if you could please take our feedback survey by clicking here.

    Kind regards

    Safety, Engineering & Standards
    Official Correspondence Team
    Highways England
    Web: http://www.highwaysengland.co.uk

    From: Helen Flynn [mailto:heharwood@yahoo.com]
    Sent: 20 March 2019 09:46
    To: Highways England ; therese.coffey.mp@parliament.uk; theresa@theresavilliers.co.uk; nathalie.depledge@keepbritaintidy.org; Allison.Ogden-Newton@keepbritaintidy.org; info@cpre.org.uk; press@rspca.org.uk
    Subject: Mowing through litter on highway verges

    Dear Highways England,

    Within the last week it has become plainly evident that we have entered the ‘mowing through litter season’ again. Despite endless promises that this would change and would not be allowed to happen again, it continues.

    As Highways England have now joined forces with Keep Britain Tidy I would have expected better. It is not rocket science for each authority and department to communicate with each other, so that litter picking happens just prior to the mowing, and why despite endless assurances has this message still not been sent to all Councils across the Country, who often use Highways contractors? Are we to put up with yet another Summer of litter, tins cans, and glass being shredded through by lazy mowers leaving ribbons of litter in their wake? As this also counts as littering I take it Highways England be fined in the usual way? There should certainly be fines implemented for those that continue to do this.

    I’m sure that the RSPCA will be interested to know about this U.K. wide practice as it is an obvious health and safety issue for animals and wildlife.

    I look forward to receiving a response on how this matter is going to be resolved once and for all.

    Yours sincerely,
    Helen Flynn

    This email may contain information which is confidential and is intended only for use of the recipient/s named above. If you are not an intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any copying, distribution, disclosure, reliance upon or other use of the contents of this email is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender and destroy it.

    Highways England Company Limited | General enquiries: 0300 123 5000 |National Traffic Operations Centre, 3 Ridgeway, Quinton Business Park, Birmingham B32 1AF | https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/highways-england | info@highwaysengland.co.uk

    Registered in England and Wales no 9346363 | Registered Office: Bridge House, 1 Walnut Tree Close, Guildford, Surrey GU1 4LZ

  244. T Poole says:

    We travel between Boston and Sheffield most weekends and rubbish/litter along the A17,A1 and A57 is disgusting,what visitors to this country driving these roads must think! Whose responsible for picking this litter up.The do Gooders in this country want to stop sending criminals to prison for minor offences,perhaps community service picking litter 2/3 days a week.Or would this be against their human rights.

  245. Diane Lomas says:

    the slip roads on and off at Junction 18 of the M1 to and from Daventry area are appalling. they have not been cleaned in over 6 months of me travelling to and from there since I started to work in Daventry and are getting progressively worse.

  246. Dave says:

    The amount of rubbish strewn along our roads is so depressing but on occasions you travel around and there are glimmers of hope. The few miles of the A5 leading into the town of Hinckley (leics) via the industrial area of Magna Park was so much better and cleaner on a visit yesterday than the last time I visited a year ago. Hinckley and Bosworth council had obviously worked hard to clean it up. A council litter picker was actually spotted doing a great job alongside the road. Lets hope H @ B Council keep it up. This have your say can be quite dismal to read so please lets have some more positive stories otherwise you begin to despair and give up !

  247. George Niblock says:

    MP: “Litter is destroying our environment”
    The environment will continue irrespective of how much human actions degrade it. The CRITICAL issue here is the impact that it has on HUMAN HEALTH and not simply the visual aesthetics. It is internationally accepted that a dirty, grubby and degraded local environment has an adverse impact on public health both physical and mental. It impacts on community wellbeing and on civic pride plus many other aspects of modern life. THE COSTS TO INDIVIDUALS AND TO SOCIETY AS A WHOLE ARE ENORMOUS We simply cannot afford NOT to keep our streets clean and free of litter and refuse.
    Clean local environments start with public bodies doing what they are paid to do and what the law requires…….ENSURE that the streets and open public spaces are KEPT clean and free of litter and refuse. Only then do we have any chance of reversing the trend whereby 50% of the population of the UK admit to littering. Shockingly it has become a social norm. PUBLIC BODIES MUST START BY PUTTING THEIR OWN HOUSES IN ORDER BEFORE POINTING AT OTHERS.

    • Diane Clarke says:

      I completely agree, George. It definitely has an impact on my mood – I travel many thousands of miles a year and it makes me so miserable to the point of anger!

  248. Derek Gilman says:

    What a brilliant initiative – (recently posted by Peter) – and explanatory video from Horsham Council, about how they intend to tackle the litter problem, with blocked lanes allowing litter picking (complying with H&S rules) and patrol vehicles monitoring littering, with resultant fines.

    If Horsham can do it, why can’t other local councils? This clip should be sent to EVERY council in the country!

  249. Kathryn Trickett says:

    Dear sir/madam
    The verges on the A1 are covered in litter. As Easter will bring many tourists to Durham city it is important the litter is removed. It is so unsightly.

  250. Helen Flynn says:

    An idea 💡 Print out a copy of page two of Highways England’s ‘Updated Litter Strategy’ to keep in your car. When you next see a littered verge have a quick look and see if it’s on a road HE are responsible for, if it is complain/ contact them via ‘Fix My Street’. This is much quicker than emailing them, they don’t respond, or phoning them, a complete waste of time!

    • David Basson says:

      Good idea Helen, can’t find this document you refer to, I have looked at a few on Peter’s site. Can you give me a link please? Thanks, David

  251. OC says:

    The amout of litter on our roads as well as the littering behaviour of some members of our society are a national disgrace. As many already noted here on this platform, our immediate European neighbours seem to be doing a much better job at this. It is really not that difficult. We need to take a deep breath, admit that we didn’t get this right in comparison to the Continent and scrap & re-design the Highways Agency with an appropriate maintenance and litter collection budget. The state should use iys heavy hand to fine the littering private and commercial vehicles (use the existing camera technology as a start). We can send teams over to Holland and Germany in learning how they do it and replicate here in the UK. Our country deserves much better. We are leading nation in the world and our public realm needs to reflect that.. Let’s bring it back to a state that we can be proud of again!

    • Jonathan R says:

      I agree. Clearly the current Highways England contract is fundamentally flawed with regard to its litter collection obligations and needs to be reassessed. The build-up of litter is growing year on year as it is never collected and this leads to a vicious circle of people becoming inured to the situation and believing it is acceptable to continue to litter. An utterly depressing state of affairs.

  252. Carol Foster says:

    I am really concerned about the amount of litter on the M25 approach roads from junction 8 Reigate. It is particularly bad as you drive off the motorway up the long access up to junction 8 to join theA217.
    Are the local Authority making plans for the litter to be collected as I would volunteer to help collect?
    I am aware that there would be a cost but a CCTV camera to get registration numbers of drivers discarding litter to the side of this road would be beneficial. These drivers could then be heavily fined and funds added to road repair costs.
    Please inform me if there is a litter picking arrangement at this very busy junction.

  253. Gayle Seymour says:

    I live near Newcastle upon Tyne. Where do we start in this complaint?
    I am totally ashamed of the state of our major roads, and the trunk roads, particularly leading to the airport and from there to the city and into Northumberland. I plead with you to do your jobs properly as it seems to me you are in breach of your contract.
    It is like living in the developing world and being in a permenant landfill area.
    It is so bad I have decided to start cleaning the roadside of our airport road myself, 24 bin bags later I am at the first exit on one side of the road. What is my money being used for, why are you in existence if you are not doing your job.
    I should like for someone to explain it to me – feel free to get back to me.
    We all seem to be saying the same thing, Equally you do nothing about it

  254. Marjo says:

    My husband and I come from The Netherlands and we visit Kent every spring. (We are in Broadstairs at the moment)
    We noticed the huge mess for the first time last year, this year it has clearly worsened.
    It’s so disturbing that I started searching online to see if more people are annoyed by this. I’ve read other comments and people are right, “The garden of England” loses it’s charm due to all this rubbish….
    Such a pity! Instead of enjoying the beautiful landscape, we are amazed by the huge amount of junk.
    We travel to southern France twice a year along clean roads. Maybe it is indeed a solution to start an advertising campaign that shows the difference between English roads and the mainland.

  255. Annette kirby says:

    Just got on to A1(M) north at M25 – the whole verge looks like a landfill site. So upsetting. Who are these filthy people? Some litter clearly from lorry spills but too much take away rubbish. How can we push for a litter hotline similar to John Major’s cone hotline.
    Australia/US seem to have litter trucks with a large hoover device – might that help? There is too much filth to deal with for a man with a stick and a black sack.
    Agree with everyone. This is a national disgrace.

  256. angela parsons says:

    This isn’t a new point but I feel compelled to say that both Richie and Kirsty’s comments are my thoughts exactly. My husband and I spend many weeks driving throughout France and as soon as we come out of the tunnel and hit the Kent roads we are disgusted at the litter and discarded traffic cones we see scattered along the sides of the roads. My son recently worked at night on the M20 verges and was stunned at the large quantity of plastic bottles they came across that contained urine, supposedly thrown out of vehicles. Doesn’t anyone from the local council or highways use these roads and have they no authority to do something about it. Daily I drive along the A23 whilst coming out of Brighton and the verges between Brighton and the Bolney are simply covered in litter . Even local taxi drivers are now commenting.

    • Vanessa Dent says:

      Absolutely disgusted by the state of the roads and verges near our home in Dover area of Kent. It is easy in these febrile times for people to blame ‘the foreign lorry drivers’… They are part of the problem of course, but the absolute sea of paper, plastic, bits of car, food detritus, packaging, cans, flytipped things, etc, etc, etc, is quite appalling. It is a scourge, and it is spreading to the point of no return. The A2 between Dover and Canterbury, the A20/M20 to Maidstone, the small roads to the coast…Litter, rubbish, messy and filth.
      Who, but WHO, is responsible for verge cleaning in the Dover area now?

      • Virginia Wenban says:

        Hi Vanessa, I totally agree with all of your comments and those of others who have highlighted the disgusting state of the A2 between Canterbury and Dover. Swale Council are responsible for litter clearance along the A2 between Brenley Corner (roundabout) and the Gate Services. Then Canterbury City Council (CCC) is responsible south of Gate Services to a point close to Lydden Hill Circuit. South of this Dover District council (DDC) is responsible. The B2046 is also disgusting – the westerly part of this road closest to Barham and the A2 seems to be in CCC territory – further east it is the responsibility of DDC. The website geopunk.co.uk is useful in finding maps of local council areas.
        Contact your parish council, your local councillor and the leader of your local council to complain loudly about the appalling litter problems along the A2 and surrounding roads. There is also a Facebook page – Canterbury Grotspots where you can highlight problem areas – there maybe one for Dover too? We have been promised by Simon Cook, leader of CCC that the middle section of the A2 will be cleared in mid-April. Now Swale and Dover need to act too. We all need to pile on the pressure to make them meet their statutory obligations.

      • Derek Gilman says:

        Have complained to HE, who say they do inspect the roads and report any issues back to the three local councils responsible for the A2 – Swale, Canterbury and Dover. HE tell me they have cleared the central reservation between Lydden and Wincheap (?) and have reported the litter – with photographic evidence – to Swale for the section between Brenley and Gate Services. I suspect there is a certain amount of buck passing here but am pursuing with HE for further action to be taken

  257. Richie Bell says:

    I was told that recycling trucks aren’t held responsible for all the rubbish that spews out of theirs tops! Is this correct?! All roads leading out of Brighton are in an appalling state but a lot of it is too large to be just items thrown out of car windows.
    Also every time someone tries to take initiative and organise a clear up of certain roads they are stopped due to health and safety. What can be done it is absolutely devastating if we can’t get a simple thing like keeping our country clean how can we tackle anything else!

  258. Kirsty Mitchem says:

    We travel through France into Europe every year and each time we return to Kent we are thoroughly depressed and ashamed about the huge amounts of litter on motorways verges, A-roads and country lanes. It is an embarrassing fact that we are one of the dirtiest countries in Europe whilst purporting to be one of the wealthiest. How is it that Kent Highways and other agencies can get away with this total dereliction of duty? I also think that more should be done to educate road users (or the young .. future road users) There is no visible national campaign to educate in order to counter this anti-social behaviour. I am sure more is done in other countries to change the ‘psychi’ and to encourage people to value their environment.

    • Larry leigh says:

      maybe if sky news who are doing a great job in the Seychelles saving the planet could also do the same type of programe about saving the dirtiest country in Western Europe the UK,from its filthy habits of chucking everything out of there cars, vans,truck windows onto our not seen for a long time lovely green verges which I am sure some of which will also end up in the Seychelles through our drains and sewers and in to our seas !!!!! It’s all very well throwing the blame on highways England who are a useless organisation, but if dumping and throwing litter was made more of an issue and penalties were enforced then I think the UK has a chance to clear its self up

  259. Pauline Cordery says:

    I cannot believe the state of the grass verges on the A1 having travelled most of my journey on that road from Selby, North Yorkshire to Stamford in Lincolnshire. There was the usual plastic debris, plastic sheeting from nearby fields, discarded tyres, mostly from trucks, cardboard boxes, many dead animals in varying states of decomposition, plus several pieces of dumped chairs, mattresses etc. It really was appalling. I realise this is caused by thoughtless, lazy, uncaring people but if the area is never tidied up people will continue to use the grass verges as a dumping ground. They will think it is the norm. There is no quick solution but we do need to try to resolve the situation.

  260. Alan Wicks says:

    HI. Your explanation of litter laws, EPA, etc was missing a mention of local authority responsibilities alongside that of the Environment Agency in regulating “Duty of Care” provisions for business / gov bodies in the summary.

  261. Rebecca says:

    I just cannot believe the amount of plastic and rubbish there is strewn all along both sides of the A2 between Dover and Canterbury and along the Adisham Rd B2046. It is getting worse each year and I have never seen any clear up being done there. Why is this? I have reported this numerous times to Highways and Kent County Council.

  262. Neil malloy says:

    There is so much litter along the A27 between Lewes and Brighton making driving along it an eyesore and shows lack of national pride. It should be cleaned up by whoever is responsible.

  263. Richard Cooper says:

    If you are interested in real squalor please have a drive around Dover. Apart from all our roads, burdened as they are with continual convoys of lorries.our local lay-bys too are disgusting and unhealthy. It is just as well that unsuspecting families cannot get into them for the lorries double parked for hours at a time as the drivers completing there ablutions leave behind quite disgusting evidence of their stay.Heaven knows what the kids might pick up.

  264. Jonathan R says:

    I travelled down from Cheshire to Watford at the weekend down the M6, M6 Toll, M42, A46, M45 and M1. Every single stretch of road was littered in addition to an accumulation of old metal A-frames for signs, old sandbags, redundant signs, abandoned traffic cones etc. It was beyond depressing, it was embarrassing. Interestingly, the only clean stretch of road was the M6 Toll which coincidentally is the only major highway I have ever seen litter picker active on. I have emailed my MP and the Secretary of State for the Environment for what its worth!

  265. David Formstone says:

    The A55 around Chester is a national disgrace. The whole stretch from the end of the M53 to the Flintshire border is littered all the way. Every type of rubbish from plastic bottles and cans to heavy duty plastic is there. It’s like driving through a landfill site. I have contacted my M.P to see what can be done.

  266. Paul Wiley says:

    I thought the A11 in Cambridgeshire was bad enough but I have just driven along the A27 above Brighton and it is utterly disgraceful. The Highways Agency needs to get a grip and devote resources to this problem without further delay. The UK is like the third world when it comes to roadside rubbish.
    Paul Wiley
    East Sussex

  267. Mary says:

    I’ve just driven from Witham to Walton on the Naze and was depressed the whole way along the A12 and A120, especially where the roads merge. I saw a badger dead along with plastic bottles and wrapping. It was just awful. I feel I need to apology to the young children of today for leaving their homeland looking like a dumping ground for anyone’s rubbish. Do we really have that many people here who don’t care about our countryside. I’m deeply embarrassed of the whole situation and it is depressing to anyone who sees it that cares. I’ll try get some footage when driving if I can.

  268. David says:

    Can anybody tell me when we pay our council tax or our road tax how much is budgeted for roadside cleaning?

  269. Robert Pickles says:

    I’ve commented lots before but the problem is worse than ever. Peter is doing a fabulous job trying to sort this problem but I’m utterly, utterly lost for words as to why our government is taking no notice. Every time we go out in our car we hang our heads in shame.

    • Dave says:

      Hi Robert, I feel just the same. My partner and I drove from Leicester to Bimingham today( M69 and M6 )I just can’t describe how depressing the whole journey was. The route was strewn with rubbish and at times it was beyond belief. It is the same where ever you go in this country whether it be motorways, A roads, B roads. the countryside, towns and suburbs. Peter is an unsung hero and I just don’t know how he keeps going. I for one would give him a knighthood. As for me, I think I have given up any hope. For a supposedly civilised country and the 5th richest in the world it is a national disgrace.

  270. Helen Flynn says:

    Dear All, I am hoping to highlight the state of our roadside verges nationwide and would be grateful if anyone with photos who would like to share them, please email them directly to me at heharwood@yahoo.com together, with the location and details of of the photo. I am hoping, if possible, to get photos from every county.

    Thank you everyone! Helen

    • Sarah says:

      I will certainly try and do my bit for Cornwall Helen. As spring and summer are fast approaching I will try and get some before and after holiday shots of the A30. I had thought of starting an instagram campaign and blitzing all the mps with photos.

    • Annette kirby says:

      Hello Helen
      Quite a tall order having pictures emailed to you. I have often wondered if a twitter account called something like Grubby Britain might be less onerous so people can tweet their photos of litter. It would have to be managed though as social media attracts too many dodgy types. Wouldn’t know how to go about it myself but I am aware that twitter seems to attract a lot of attention.

  271. Pete Miners says:

    Walking my dog extensively on South Manchester’s canals, rivers,paths roads and urban parks, the embankments at bridges where the above modes cross each other are in a terrible intended state, wrt trash. Tram/train embankments alongside paths are thick with drinks bottles, even thirty year old milk bottles and pre 1990 ring pull type cans. Society has passed over those who attempt to enjoy the simplicity of permeating our local environment by foot or cycle, instead concentrating on car based activities, where it’s all smart clothes, multi storey car parks, malls, indoor gyms and airports which are kept clean cos there’s money at stake.
    Fining is one side of it, but HE clearly pretends trash isn’t there and puts no money into clearing it. It doesn’t help that it’s never obvious to Joe Public who to notify when there’s even trash under a road bridge by the river. How kids without cars supposed to recreate and exercise amongst this crud? Pete Silverman is our .
    Martin Lewis ! it’s unbelievable how inept the enforcement laws are when you consider all 630 odd MPs take thousands of litter complaints from all corners of UK yet don’t resolve between themselves the legal deficiencies that Pete Silverman sets out clear as day.

  272. Raymond Leggett says:

    I am English and have lived in The Netherlands with my Dutch wife for 42 years and regularly travel by car to the UK to see family and friends.

    It makes me feel deeply ashamed to be British (even more so when travelling with Dutch friends) when I see with the verges strewn with rubbish. Words fail me and I am beyond anger that the Highway agency under the leadership of Jim O’Sulivan is allowed to get away without properly maintaining a rubbish free highway which is clearly their duty.

    I think part of the problem is that if you are British and do not travel abroad and see how well kept and rubbish free the motorways and highways are kept on the continent then there is nothing to compare them to and one becomes blind and indifferent to the fact that the verges on British motorways and highways are in such a dreadful state.

    Maybe in your champagne you could show films of continental highways (rubbish free) compared to their British equivalents (dirty and strewn with rubbish) and make the British public aware of the situation, this hopefully will awaken and invoke the sense of British pride that “we can look after our motorways and highways just as well as the French, German, Dutch etc can” they can then put pressure on the government and Highways Agency to do something.

    What makes this even worse and all the more tragic is that Britain has a beautiful countryside (all my Dutch friends say so). It is truly criminal that it is treated with so much contempt and allowed to get into such a state.

    As I am living in The Netherlands I don’t know what I can do to help, I don’t have an MP to send letters to but I am so outraged at how dirty and filthy my beautiful country has become I would very much like to do something. Can you advise me

  273. David Hanson says:

    I travel considerably throughout Devon and I have to say the roads are absolutely filthy. What on earth foreign visitors make of this beautiful part of the world Lord only knows. Littering seems to be getting out of control and like everything else with this government no-one listens. It is very depressing.

  274. Steve Wheeler says:

    I visited the lovely county of Essex recently, but was appalled by the level of roadside litter along the A12 between M25 and Shenfield. It damages our countryside, leads to more roadkill victims, pollutes our water and air, endangers motorcyclists, and creates a massive financial burden on us all.

    It is good to see that Clean Highways is helping influence litter behaviour. PLEASE can we campaign to have more punitive penalties for individual littering perpetrators (including haulage companies) and for Local Auths that persistently fail to meet their roadside litter-clearing responsibilities.

  275. Jeane says:

    This is countrywide problem that is both depressing and frustrating. I too have written to M Gove but as yet no response!! To be honest I am not surprised as the government are clearly incapable and uninterested in dealing with this huge problem. I agree that Country-file should be prepared to report on this. Maybe we should all be requesting a rebate on our council tax. As a cyclist I am appalled at how many lager cans and spirit bottles that we see thrown into verges in the Hampshire and Surrey countryside. This in itself is a worrying problem.

    • Les Walker says:

      Regrettably, I have now come to the conclusion that NOBODY in authority cares. They sit in the back of their chauffeur driven cars with tinted glass and don’t bother to look outside to consider what is happening in the real world.
      Our roadsides, from motorways to country lanes, are a complete embarrassment to those of us who receive visitors from abroad and reflect the total lack of pride that appears to exist in our country.

    • Yvonne Sanders says:

      Apologies for the long winded post that follows:
      I agree entirely that our roads are a source of great shame compared to those in Europe and something needs to be done.
      I recently wrote to both Michael Gove and IDS (my MP) to ask that once Brexit is dealt with they give this problem some serious attention. I received a reply from Highways England who referred me to their Litter Strategy – basically – how can we stop people dropping litter – so of no use at all. I replied asking for a schedule for the roads that they were responsible for showing when they were last cleaned and when they were next due to be cleaned. They asked me to be more specific about which roads I was concerned about – so I said all of them! However, let me have details for anything within the M25 and then the roads to Norfolk from London and the roads from London to North wales as I will be travelling to both those destinations in the near future. I also commented that if they could not just download a s/sheet to provide this information, how could they possibly monitor the contractors to see if they had done the work?
      Their reply was as follows:

      Dear Ms Sanders

      Thank you for your email to the Highways England Customer Contact Centre dated 2 March regarding litter on the Highways England network.

      Your enquiry has been given the reference number of 19015864, please quote this in any future correspondence regarding this matter.

      I’m sorry to email you back without fully responding to your enquiry. However, in order to retrieve the information you require we need to know which roads you’re referring to. The reason for this is because Highways England manage and maintain motorways and major trunk-roads, but for litter clearance we only clear little from some of our A-roads.

      I have attached a map below of our litter strategy of the roads we maintain for litter. The map outlines which roads we maintain for litter clearances and which roads are maintained by the district councils on our behalf.


      If you can provide the information requested under the Freedom of Information Act, we can then forward your enquiry over to the relevant teams for them to respond.

      Thank you once again for contacting Highways England and I hope that this helps with your enquiry. If you’ve any further questions regarding this or any other Highways England issue please visit our website where information on all Highways England policies and procedures can be found: http://www.highwaysengland.co.uk. Alternatively, please email us at info@highwaysengland.co.uk or you can contact us at our 24 hour Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000.

      To help us identify and make improvements to our responses, I’d be very grateful if you could please take our feedback survey by clicking here.

      Kind regards


      Customer Contact Centre | Advisor

      Highways England | National Traffic Operations Centre | 3 Ridgeway, Quinton Bus. Park | Birmingham | B32 1AF

      Tel: 0300 123 5000

      Web: http://www.highwaysengland.co.uk

      So – I am expected to name every road that I may wish to travel upon before they will try to provide the information…… I am formulating my reply.

  276. Brian says:

    A14. The A14 from Kettering west bound to the M1/M6 junction is awful with rubbish on both sides of the road. This rubbish has been building up over the last few months.

  277. Brian says:

    A14. The A14 from Kettering west bound to the M1/M6 junction is awful with rubbish on both sides of the road.

  278. Chris Dring says:

    I wrote to Michael Gove last year and I don’t suppose he even got to see it. The totally inadequate reply came from civil servants in his Private Office. They were blaming the local authorities (of course) and when they suggested that if I wasn’t happy I should contact the Local Government Ombudsman I realised that the lunatics have taken over the asylum. The situation is so bad now it makes me seriously depressed and reluctant to go out. I tried to complain about one slip road off the A27 in Havant and Havant Borough Council’s website doesn’t even cover complaints about litter. I sent in a general query and was told my email would go to Hampshire County Council Highways Department. I know this is not the right tier of local government (it is the Borough Council’s responsibility). What can you do?

  279. helen sawyer says:

    The Highways Agency do not do enough to protect our motorways from littering. It has to be a combination of clearing, which they struggle to do, so have to have teeth to start the fining and education route to minimise the huge amount of litter thrown by cars with no threat of punishment at all.

  280. Deborah Bullock says:

    Our verges and roads are embarrassing and shameful. I don’t understand people. Use the lay-by bins, take it home, don’t throw out of your car!! I have come up M6 today, it’s horrendous.

  281. Allegra Stone says:

    The M5 between junctions 14 and 11A are very bad. Who is responsible for clearing up? Who should I contact to get something done about it?

  282. Jeff North says:

    Recently drove the M4 between Pencoed and Coryton.
    The amount of litter on the roadside is surely unacceptable, what are the prospects of getting this cleared and the setting up of a regular cleaning schedule?

    I trust that this observation will elicit a positive reply in the very near future.

  283. David Sandets says:

    I am going to be making a short film highlighting the state of the uks roads and roadsides, could I ask as many people to film and send me there clips of the roadside rubish and send it to me

    • Sarah says:

      Exactly what is needed. The media need to start highlighting this huge countrywide environmental problem. We have awareness of plastics in oceans but seem to choose to totally ignore plastics bottles and cans on land. It’s the length and breadth of the country, it’s ugly, dangerous to wildlife, poses a risk to health and I am certain leaves a lasting impression of filth and sheer laziness of Brits to international tourists. No one in government or any local council seems to want to tackle the issue, therefore it’s left for future generations to wade around in. A Facebook, Twitter or Instagram campaign would be useful also.

    • Chris Dring says:

      You would have thought that a programme like Countryfile would be happy to cover this issue but I can see nowhere on the BBC website where you can contact them to suggest future topics

      • mary stubbs says:

        I agree we need prime time TV cover on this _ I have tried but no response – maybe the BBC is scared of offending the litter lout community

        • Les Walker says:

          You will see from my post of 21 January that I received a polite reply from Countryfile but since then… nothing.
          Perhaps they just want to present programmes which depict an idyllic image of the UK that those of us with open eyes know no longer exists.
          So sad!

    • Alice says:

      Hi David – I have been thinking of getting a dashcam to document this as I drive the A1 last week and was absolutely appalled by the state of the road. Where do you want footage sent to if I get round to this?

  284. Stephen Robson says:

    Stoneham Way, Southampton south of M27 is disgusting. Fly tipping and litter have been there for years and the area rarely gets cleaned. Not the best looking entrance or exit fromn a city!

  285. Jane Rusher says:

    M45/A45 – It is disgusting to see the amount of litter on the M45 especially when you come off the slip road to go onto the A45 heading to either Daventry or Dunchurch. The litter has been piling up and it looks like a rubbish dump. What is happening to the UK and why can’t we, as a first world country, get this littering under control?

  286. Janet Douglas says:

    Please can you advise what action is being taken to clear litter on the A5 and Juction 10 on the M42 at Tamworth as is it is disgraceful .This isn’t my only complaint as most slip roads onto our motorways are disgusting surely there must be plans in place to clear

  287. DAVID FIDLER says:

    The A404 from A4 to M40 – the road side litter is a disgrace. This leads to more litter as people think its ok to drop it. I know its a busy road but has anyone thought of litter picking at night. A couple of nights on both carriageways would deal with it and not interfere with the rush hour traffic. You would obviously need some lighting.

    • Fiona Battrum says:

      I have found this site because I was looking for explanations as to why I’ve noticed serious amounts of litter strewn in the verges. I live in north Devon. I’m in my fifties and I have never seen our roads look this bad before. What the hell is going on ? This is going to spread disease . There is all manner of rubbish, and plastics it’s clearly not just people chucking stuff out of car windows. Something is badly wrong somewhere along 5he chain. Can anyone explain. I’m fed up with the way cleansing services are run and rubbish is rotting from that and now the roads. It’s like medieval times…wtf…..

      • Sarah says:

        Well said Fiona. I live in Cornwall and drive frequently to Exeter. It’s now all along the A30 and building up big time on beautiful B roads and we are nowhere near as bad as other parts of the country. We may as well just drive along with our bin bags and throw it out. That’s how bad it’s looking.

  288. Daniel says:

    I Travel a lot around uk,cos it is a nature of my job.Be honest I think,Uk roads looks very,very bad.Lots of different type of rubish.But I think this is a very bad habit of drivers throw litter trough car windows.Also drivers stopping at lay bays and leaving rubbish over there.No manners at all.

  289. David Sandets says:

    To be quite honest there is rubbish on all dual carriageways and motorways and most B roads there are some roadsides that look like we live in a third world country, imagine being a little child sitting in the back of your parents car off on a journey and you are looking out the window and you see rubish everywhere you are going to grow up thinking that is the norm.

  290. Jood Gough says:

    I have now asked Cheshire Co Co, Wrexham Borough Co, and Shropshire Co Co of details on how I can join a litter picking group.

    This is because I am sick of piles of rubbish all the way along the A5/A483 between Chester and Shrewsbury. If I get no satisfaction I shall do it myself.

    More than offending my views on how verges should look to human beings, I think they need to be rid of plastics, glass and metals because of the wildlife that attempts to make a living along them. Some stretches of hedge have a complete layer of plastic on the soil beneath them. Huge pieces of plastic hang in the grass and are draped around the trees. Older large pieces are now being no shredded into smaller and smaller pieces that will be/are unable to be collected. And now there’s plastic in birds’ eggs.

    Shall we just go out onto the main roads and pick up this rubbish ourselves? Is there anyone in Shropshire who will join me?

    • Alice says:

      I am in a different part of the country (Kent) and feel exactly the same – like going and taking direct action. If anyone wants to join me there I would be keen just to feel I wasn’t helplessly standing by which is how I feel at the moment.

  291. J Grogan says:

    I was always hopeful that the roads around and through Kent, especially Thanet, would be cleaned up and the area would improve and subsequently attract more tourists and become more affluent as a result. I have been proved completely wrong, the kerbsides are almost unbelievable with the sheer amount of rubbish that has built up; cans, plastic bottles, plastic generally which blows into the bushes and trees and then just remains there for ever, empty sandwich boxes, cigarette packets, bags of rubbish just flung out of car windows etc. I am saddened that we, as a nation, have so little respect for our environment that we seem to think that chucking rubbish out of our cars is something we are entitled to do. Who told people this? How can it not bother people seeing this blight all over our roads and fields? It makes me so sad to think that it is the British people that are such pigs, you simply don’t see this abroad. I do my bit, I go out with my litter picker every week, am always amazed by how much trash I can collect in a very small distance, but my efforts alone cannot make a difference, rubbish collection needs to improve, but more importantly the attitude of the average British person towards their environment needs to change and people need to be less ignorant. Sadly I can’t see that happening anytime soon. I can’t see a solution and eventually we will be driving down our roads with hills of rubbish on either side.

    • Sarah says:

      I agree with your comments completely. It is a British disease. It is attitude and lack of respect for our living environment. It seems the lesson of keep britain tidy has never got through to a lot of ppl and our local authorities and government are no better. Surely mps and council members have to drive through it also, but they are blind to it.

  292. Paul James says:

    Unfortunately there has been no improvement whatsoever in the state of the verges along A27 from Lancing to Falmer and north along the A23 to Bolney which are now the worse I’ve ever seen them. A section of the A27 is closed fairly regularly to allow maintenance of the Southwick Tunnel so surely this would be an ideal opportunity to tackle some of the litter? I can also add the M42 northbound in Warwickshire to the list of roads which are heavily strewn with litter.

    • Larry leigh says:

      you can all complain on this site about individual litter strewn verges but it will make not one bit of difference,the complaint procedures against these councils and H/E are divided and fractured on purpose so that nobody gets anything Done and the complaint fritters away how else can you explain this filth on our road ,verges , countryside that has been blighted and not been looked at seriously by government for years

    • David Rate says:

      The A27 section of the Polegate bypass is simply appalling for the amount of litter, and I noticed it being bad from Eastbourne to Shoreham the other day. Iwoukd be prepared to join litter picking squads, but do not know how this can be arranged.

      • sian says:

        Hi David – There is a facebook page called A27 Cleanup Campaign and also they are meeting this sat 9th Feb at 10am Snowdrop inn Lewes.

        In Brighton and Hove we have a Tidy up team – volunteers who litter pick but not on highways as yet ……. there is training available to litter pick on highways apparently – Gary Myer who leads the Tidy up team knows about this ….
        TUT info is on the Brighton and Hove Council website.

  293. Jane Bosley says:

    The A259 stretch between Bexhill on Sea and polegate is possibly the filthiest, most litter strewn stretch of road in the country. Absolutely disgusting and never tackled by local authorities. They are failing in their obligation to clear roadside litter. Where are the proscecutions for litter throwing drivers? Where is the legislation to ensure open commercial vehicles do not festoon the countryside with sheets of plastic? Why do grieving families leave plastic wrapped flowers by the road side for months or years.

  294. Paul Strong says:

    200 mile journey from Cardiff to Lincoln.

    The amount of litter is sickening.

    But: where does it all come from and why is no one taking any responsibility for clearing it up.

    Recently wrote to Secretary of State and surprise surprise I got a 3 page reply of platitudes and excuse and buck passing.

    Wasted my time.

    Nobody in Government (DEFRA) and Local Govt will take any responsibility each one blames each other with the resulting inertia.

    Frankly our road verges are a national disgrace.

    And to thinnk how much I pay in taxes and rates for these jobsworths to do nothing.

  295. Douglas.G.Lucas says:

    I have just travelled from Canterbury to London [The Garden of England] and what a depressing drive it was. The litter strewn along the verges was endless and once again it became quite apparent that no action is being taken to make the environment a welcoming place for all the tourists and travellers who travel through the county.
    The Garden of Litter is more appropriate!
    As a regular litter collector, who unofficially collects litter on a by- pass into the city [health and safety regulations prevent me from tackling it with the support of the council -so no bags are provided!..I provide my own!] I fail to comprehend how much trash is thrown from passing vehicles each week. Cans, bottles, nappies, fast food containers, workmen’s gloves, tissues, car debris, crisp bags to name a few.
    Large items [tyres, bumpers, car side panels, dead animals are just some of the extras that remain lying on the side month after month despite repeated requests to have them removed!
    What message is being sent out to passers by? We don’t care. Just chuck out your trash No-one gives a hoot!
    The National Spring Clean is a great idea, but it will not clean up the Highways. Once the NSC is completed, unless there is a change of attitude by the I Don’t Care Brigade[the litter louts] and our leaders at the top who have a responsibility to take action we will be back to square one very quickly.

  296. J D HUNT says:

    THe A10/A414 in Hertfordshire are in a terrible state with rubbish everywhere you look, seems to be worse at roundabouts, I contacted East Herts Council but have had no reply, I am seriously considering clearing the rubbish myself even though it would break the law, just to make the point and gain more awareness of this serious dereliction of duty by our councils/government,

    • Alice says:

      Agreed – I am in Kent and I feel the same – if I could find a few people to do it with me I would because I am just so fed up with it.

  297. Sarah says:

    Why oh why does the state of our nation’s littered highways hardly receive any tv media coverage. I appauld surfers against sewerage and like for the brilliant job they do highlighting the constant battle with ocean pollution but we cannot ignore our highways and living environment, the cost to wildlife and our own health.

  298. John Seabrook says:

    The A127 towards Southend is in a shocking state. The rubbish is piling on both sides and getting worse by the month. Its almost on parr with a third world country. I’d happily pay higher taxes if it guaranteed a clean rural Essex.

  299. April Lambourne says:

    We drove from Maidstone to Sittingbourne and back yesterday (A249) and I could have wept at the sight of so much litter along the verges!! What are we humans doing to our green and pleasant land covering it in tut! Most of this has obviously been thrown from or fallen off vehicles. It hasn’t been picked for years by the look of it and it would probably now take 1000s of man and woman hours to clean it up properly and make us proud to be English again.
    We’ve been picking in our local area for years with other like-minded people and it’s SO demoralising to see our main roads in such a mess. Something has to be done soon or our future will be sitting in self-drive cars with the blinds down so as not to see the walls of rubbish alongside the roads!

  300. Karen Coombs says:

    Last year after emailing South Derbys Council about the state of the A38, and quoting the clause about statutory duty, the road was duly cleaned. This year I have emailed twice about the same stretch of road but their reply states that they have no plans to clean the road. They have made the complaints procedure much more difficult on their website and they are just ignoring their statutory duty. I shall contact the local press next.
    What about Stacey Dooley as a celebrity champion? She could do a documentary about the failure of councils and HE to comply,

  301. John Norfolk says:

    Our friendly and helpful local landscape gardener has a council contract for verge maintence here in Stockwood, Bristol. The poor man has to collect a sackful of cans and bottles before he dares to drive his motor mower. What is wrong with people who chuck stuff out of their cars?

    • Richard says:

      I’ve asked our council why they simply don’t shut a lane for litter picking at rush hour, thereby slowing people and making them late for work…simple message don’t litter we won’t shut a lane.

      • Norman Roper says:

        I completely agree – I’ve been thinking the same for some time. It needs to be made socially unacceptable and everyone having to suffer a consequential penalty and being made aware of the reason will do that.

  302. Sarah says:

    Driving from Exeter along A30 through Devon into Cornwall this morning. Litter strewn all along A30 in beautiful countryside. Drove past a fox strangled by plastic webbing. England’s green and plastic wasteland.

  303. Jermayne says:

    I drove along the A27 towards Falmer this morning and was absolutely DISGUSTED by the HGE amount of litter, mostly plastic, strewn all along the road on both sides. I have travelled through many 3rd world countries and it was just like that. Why has it become so bad? what is being done about it? who is taking responsibility? Are the rubbsih transfer lorries not properly securing their load? I fail to believe it is due to casual littering by motorists?

  304. Terry Vickery says:

    Hi Guys,
    I have the following issues which I have email my local MP, Chelmsford borough council appear to be able to litter pick their part of the A12 during weekdays but Colchester borough council can only manage to litter pick their part of the A12 for three (3) over a weekend period only, which contributes to overtime for their employees ( work that one out ).
    I have also found that certain areas around Colchester do not have any effective planned maintenance policy in place to deal with excessive amounts of litter, this is of course due to cutbacks of various sources but they won’t allow volunteers to help in cleaning slip roads and wide grass verges because of heath and safety which flies in the face of the Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse and the recent campaign to clean up our highways and countryside.
    Will still keep banging on doors and sending emails.

    Terry V.

    • Milly says:

      I’ve contacted as many of the town and district councils as I can, today, who have any responsibility for the A12 from Colchester to the M25. A couple make it quite hard to do any online forms (Colchester and Brentwood) so will be ringing them on Monday. I was close to tears today witnessing over 40 miles of uninterupted litter along the sides and central reservation of the road – hundreds of thousands of pieces of plastic, tins, tyres, broken road signs, pieces of car trim, packaging, fast food and sweet wrappers, plastic sheeting caught in trees and bushes. It was endless and will be causing untold damage to wildlife, soils and farm animals as well as looking horrible and uncared for. Equally, many hundreds of quite mature trees and bushes along that stretch of road still have their plastic rabbit gaurds in place and these are also breaking down and adding to the litter while possibly restricting plant growth and harbouring pests and diseases.
      It has put me off visiting Essex again – it just looks like the county doesn’t care about its wildlife, environment or (ironically with shows like TOWIE on the TV) its image. Perhaps the stars of the show could be persuaded to spearhead a campaign to tidy up the A12 and dissuade people from littering in the future.

      • Fiona Battrum says:

        I agree a million percent. I want to know what’s caused this. It’s not just motorists when you analyse the content of it. Jeez… it’s like medieval Britain. It’s prob due to cutting costs or insufficient funding for refuse and recycling. We will end up with plague again not to mention poor wildlife. Leaders managers and politicians responsible for implementing these policies have literally made a right mess of it.

  305. Jeane says:

    Peter is amazing and it is so good that he has the energy to keep this going. It is quite dispiriting, depressing, and embarrassing, to see how dirty a country we are. Have emailed this to Jesse Norman, and Michael Gove, to ask what proactive action they are prepared to take to implement a clean up!
    We will see if I get a response!

  306. Mirko says:

    Dear Peter, I do not know about you, but for me, I always try to pick up all the waste or rubbish on my way, no matter when or where I go to or fro, so it means if I was you at that time, going to be a brief encounter on that private service road at back entrance into your local Waitrose over there, then, I would have picked up all the three plastic-fantastic floor tiles and also carried them directly into a nearby garbage can for the plastic products, this would be all and the problem would be solved at once then, thanks and no offence, please…Have a nice and successful day and good luck on your way! Your follower and friend from Slovenia, EU, Mirko.

  307. Jean Glayzer says:

    This is like the roads around Dover,i.e.A2 also the road between Dover and Sandwich.
    Nothing is ever cleaned up. Parks T!Rs are a spruce of the problem but then on the road between Dover and Sandwich there are no litter bins anyway!

  308. M karakas says:

    On A5 Between Tamworth and Dordon sides of the roads are discustin… both ways…
    Mattress, Beds, old tyres, plastic bags and rubbish everywhere… Dead fox been side of the road weeks!!?
    Shame, it shouldnt be like that….
    I just want to know who ever responsible can see that mess…is nobody can care about it…

    • Mary Ann Dowrick says:

      Why doesn’t the government who,funds the highways agencies responsible for cleaning hold these agencies accountable and fine them if they are not doing their job? Why can’t offenders doing community service pick up litter everywhere and anywhere. There are plenty of them in each town. Is there a state education curriculum for children regarding anti littering. Why won’t councils invest in adequate bins in public areas? Finally, why aren’t there huge fines for littering and someone responsible for enforcing these crimes in each town, city and highway. It really does work. And it is a money maker for the local councils.

  309. alan says:

    Are we really surprised about the street cleaning stats? Of course not. My feelings are that, on this issue, as on others (branch libraries spring to mind), the desperation of losing these critical (to well being) services is resulting in well intentioned members of the public taking on the burden. Local residents cleaning and tidying the streets is happening, local residents running the town library is happening. This more or less accords with my interpretation of a strategy a few years back, the ‘big society’ but actually a way of discharging essential services onto (principally)the voluntary sector, and therefore saving money and transferring liability . My simple brain tells me that for the good of the longer term we must try to resist ‘cleaning up ourselves’ and continue to place responsibility where it should reside. As we appear to be leaving the cosy womb of the EU, we should be looking to restore pride in our country and surroundings, this encourages goodwill, trade, and the willingness to make the future more prosperous. Having a clean highways environment (along with good airports, welcoming modern efficient ports etc) should be pressed with vigour but in cohorts with authorities all around Britain, seeking progress and new investment in their region. Peter your tenacity should be an example to all of us!

  310. Pat Crompton says:

    The state of the A14 thru Nothampton is an utter disgrace to the county. We travel along this road approximately 6 times a year and it never improves in fact it gets worse.
    Why can’t it be sorted? Other areas have to keep their roads clean and make a better job of if. Disgusted.

    • Helen says:

      We travelled through Northamptonshire last weekend, the amount of litter along the roadside left me feeling utterly depressed, we were supposed to be going on a pleasant weekend break. We see it everywhere, we travel around the UK a lot but of course some places are much worse than others. What sort of mentality do these morons have who just chuck their litter out of their windows😳
      We do our bit in our local area by regularly litter picking, with a couple of other residents. We live in the, supposedly pleasant, Home Counties, but not so pleasant anymore, mass overdevelopment and the rise of fast food eating places, and the revolting habit of people constantly eating on the go has vastly exacerbated the litter problem in our local area.

  311. Yvonne Sanders says:

    In November 2018 we travelled to Portugal in a Motorhome via France & Spain – ALL the roads we travelled upon were spotless.
    It makes me ashamed to think what travellers from elsewhere must think when they come to the UK and see our roads looking so disgusting.
    The legislation and commitment from agencies and contractors MUST be improved in the UK to combat this menace – it is proven that if an area looks clean and cared for then anti-social behaviour is reduced. Also, the impact on the environment and wildlife of this litter blowing all across the countryside is significant and devastating.
    I arranged 3 litter picks in my local area in 2018 and will be doing more in 2019 including one as part of the Great British Spring Clean – BUT the volunteers cannot venture on to major highways to tackle the problem there.
    I will be writing to my local councillors and MP regarding this matter and would encourage others to do the same.

  312. Tricia Mulvany says:

    Following on from my recent comments, I have also seen an increase in items left behind on grass verges from roadworks, particularly traffic cones, sand bags and bent metal sign frames. Surely the company or council concerned has to replace these? I’m thinking of reporting the next lot I see to the local council as fly-tipping. And another thing……debris left after car accidents. I recently saw a large amount of debris on a local road, including the numberplate of the car involved. The police said it was a council issue, and the council said they would go and remove it, even though they could have found out whose job it was to clear up afterwards! Does no-one see the need to clear rubbish including broken glass, from our countryside?

  313. Tricia Mulvany says:

    Just traveled down A46 near Leicester. It’s disheartening to see this stretch of road in such a bad condition as far as litter goes. Is there ANY chance of it being cleared up? I do voluntary litter picking in my own area, which is not as bad as this road by any means. Its depressing! I would be happy to be part of an organized litter-pick.

  314. Frances Knight says:

    I just emailed Canterbury City Council about the stretch of A2 between Brenley Corner and Canterbury, but others are in the most disgusting state as well. I can see it’s countrywide. If there is any other action to take I’d be willing to try it as well. I’m tempted to get out with the litter picker but I think it looks a bit dangerous.
    Best wishes and thanks for all that you do.

    • Virginia Wenban says:

      Frances, I have just done the same. The amount of litter along the A2 is truly disgraceful and utterly depressing. I find it absolutely unbelievable that we have to live surrounded by such revolting scenes. Debris from lorries, plastic bottles, take away food packaging (of course), drinks cans, a swimming noodle, even blue and white police ‘accident’ tape is still hanging in the hedge several months after the accident. Canterbury Council schedule it twice a year apparently in conjunction with Highways England who close a lane to allow the litter picking to be done. But this is totally inadequate. It needs to be done much more regularly. But they argue that they cannot close the lane more often. In France, on the motorways they use a lorry with a huge flashing arrow warning traffic to use the outer lane, thus clearing the inner lane where workers can then litter pick – SIMPLE – why can’t we do this here? I also firmly believe that there should be a tax on take away food, coffee, soft drinks and canned drinks all of which should be ring fenced and used for litter picking. These companies contribute to the complete mess, make huge profits and do nothing to help eliminate it from our countryside. Of course it shouldn’t get thrown in the first place but sadly there are selfish, moronic people who do this – we also need a hard hitting national anti littering campaign, education in schools for children plus heavy fines for offenders and clear instructions on where/how to report offenders.
      Regarding Canterbury there is a Facebook group called Canterbury Grot Spots apparently monitoredby the council and councillors – all those concerned about the A2 and surrounding roads can post there as well. But it is generally a frustrating and depressing process when so little seems to come of complaining. Thank you Peter for your constant campaigning.

  315. Annabel Pearce says:

    I’m just writing to say thank you to Peter Silverman for having the patience of a saint and not giving up with his battles with HE. I first saw him on the television about 4 or 5 years ago. The situation on our roads and countryside is getting worse and worse. I travel regularly between Frinton and Hertfordshire and I am finding that the appalling detritus affects my mental health. Quite frankly, this country is disgusting.

    I am a regular litter picker and target areas that I spot with my ” litter goggles”, normally whilst driving. I also pick up stuff when I am walking my dogs. I am always amazed at how people can walk past plastic bags flying in bushes, plastic bottles and wrapping at their feet. Please, if you care, get yourself a litter picker, carry some bags in your pocket and just pick it up.We all have to do something because |I can’t see these slobs changing. I don’t even think education on the harm it does to wildlife and the environment would make them care because, well, they just don’t. The most depressing thing is when I go to my local park and find that the kids have left all their crisp packets, bottles, cups bags etc etc in a circle where they were sitting. The younger generation are our future and if they don’t care, there is no hope at all. There needs to be a huge campaign on the television about this to try and get the message across but isn’t that sad, that people need to be told to care about this beautiful world. We will drown in plastic and it will be our legacy.

  316. Les Walker says:

    The ‘Great British Spring Clean’ (22 March – 23 April) is being launched today by The Daily Mail, see also ‘gbspringclean.org.’ There is also a separate article by Jeremy Paxman.
    Apparently, 300+ local authorities are supporting along with Keep (Keep?) Britain Tidy, David Attenborough, The Prime Minister and even the UN.
    Every effort to clean up Great Britain and bring greater awareness of the mess to those who don’t see it or don’t care must be congratulated. However, how can filth along busy roads and motorways be cleaned?
    In spite of all the posts on this website, and Peter’s tremendous efforts to persuade government and others to take effective action to force agencies like Highways England and many local authorities to carry out their statutory (and paid for by the tax payer) duties the results have been hugely disappointing..
    Through the ‘Great British Spring Clean,’ and the publicity it will generate, perhaps there is some way (I am afraid I just don’t know how) in which all interested organisations can work together to finally start to force HE and others to take the issue seriously and actually do something.

    • Mary Ann Dowrick says:

      Today we drove home on the A30 from Chagford to Exmouth. The grass verges along the highway are covered in litter on the A30 and M5. I emailed Highways England to request it be cleaned. Devon is such a beautiful place, it is difficult to see the destruction of such beauty. Really, education, fines, and a regular cleansing program are the answer. I am wondering why this isn’t being done?

      • Mary Ann Dowrick says:

        One more thought. Would the Daily Mail agree to name and shame and show photos of the highway verges covered in litter for all to see. Perhaps this would convince those responsible for keeping the verges tidy to do so.

  317. Richard Powell says:

    Dear all travelling the A14 between Cambridge and Newmarket after 3 years finally some litter was put into several piles along the route where road works are being started. 18 months later the same piles created from the collections are still there! The district councils have no ability to manage this and are to fragmented in dealing with this but take the shame on their management of the dirty community perception they serve.

    Trunk roads litter picking should be managed by Highways England for a coordinated position that actually makes a difference.

  318. John D says:

    perhaps those if us who are so tired of seeing our countryside and roads drowning in a sea of litter should consider a class action against DfT/HA.

    • Sally Hart says:

      Yes another good idea

    • Terry Dean says:

      John D,

      I have also been considering a class action against HE. I discussed it with Peter S.
      We will need a fighting fund (£30-50,000? in case we lose). We will need a co-ordinated effort … people taking photographs on or about the same day in the year of as many different highways across the country as possible.

      I’m up for it.

  319. Amanda Flude says:

    Hi Peter… I don’t know how HE can get away with it’s lack of response to the growing litter problem on the road edges of all roads. I live in the South East and the A27 and A23 are disgusting, despite contacting the council on numerous occasions these roads around and near to Brighton and Hove continue to be litter black spots, there is so much rubbish along parts of these roads that I can’t believe nothing has been done, it’s a fly tipping area which goes on for miles. Good luck with your continuing battle Amanda

    • Tony Measom says:

      Hi Amanda,
      I’ve also been in contact with Brighton &Hove Council regarding litter on the A27/A23.
      The last time this area was cleared was January 2017.
      Councillor Gill Mitchell, Chair of the B&H Environment and Transport Committee tells me that they aim to clean the verges at night, four times a year, but every time they request a lane closure, HE refuse due to traffic disruption.
      I’ll leave it to others to believe that B&H have had their requests turned down 8 times in the last year, however the point is that the current division of responsibilities on this stretch of road (HE for maintenance and verge cutting, B&H for litter clearance) means that both authorities can duck the issue, and can happily spend their time blaming each other. No one person is in control.
      They say that they aim to clean the roads in February or March.
      We shall see.

  320. Had Enough says:

    Basically, someone needs to plant a very big bomb under HE and blow the utterly useless bastards to kingdom come. Perhaps then someone might do something.

  321. Les Walker says:

    Following my post of 12 March 2018, I recently decided to try BBC Countryfile and BBC Inside Out in the hope that they might feel it appropriate to use part of one of their programmes to highlight the disgraceful amount of litter along our roads.
    I received polite initial responses but have yet to hear anything else.

  322. Mark says:

    What do Highways England do?
    I have had the misfortune to travel regularly on both the A14 and A414 (Harlow to Hoddesdon) and both roads show us up, as a people and as a country.
    That so much rubbish can be thrown from vehicles and left to accumulate is a disgrace.
    Talk about reducing plastic in our environment is a joke.
    How long before HE get round to clearing these roads?

  323. Brian Mead says:

    I have just returned from a trip to France via Calais ferry to Dover, and I could not help noticing the amount of litter strewn along the roadside verges as soon as i exited Dover. It is simply a national disgrace, and the more so as it would be the first road in the UK experienced by visitors. This is in stark contrast to the French motorway that I had earlier been driving on to Calais where i did not see any litter. Of course it is not just this section that suffers from litter, I increasingly see it along many roads, both trunk roads and others. Yes it is ultimately down to the drivers who drop litter, but if verges were kept clean and adequate bins were located in laybys then it is likely that drivers would be less inclined to drop their rubbish where they stand, or drive. PLEASE can someone do something about this.

  324. Mike phillips says:

    I have lived in U.K. for all of my life so far and am utterly appalled at the ongoing litter problem which besets this once green and pleasant land. A great deal of the litter is concentrated around road junctions and verges all along the motorways and A roads though more minor roads are by no means exempt. Unfortunately, there is such a lack of pride in this country that few people really care about litter as long as it isn’t in their back garden. We advertise on the world stage for people to come and visit our country but apart from certain designated areas, have little to offer. It is all too easy for anyone with no acceptance of moral obligation, to throw litter from car, lorry, bus, train etc: with an outside chance of being apprehended. In my opinion none of this will change until people are proud of the country they live in, which comes down to education from an early age. Policing is all but absent given the swingeing cuts dished out to forces over the years. Ok, how do we tackle this mounting problem?
    I suggest that roadside and parking recess litter could be tackled by restricting lanes on A and M roads in order for the litter to be picked by operatives. This would undoubtedly lead to people missing flights, lorries missing unloading slots, commuters missing trains to work. AT THE END OF EACH OF THESE RESTRICTIONS POST A SIGN…”PICKING UP YOUR LITTER”. I do believe the message would very quickly get home to those who are inconvenienced.
    I have tried to read your Environmental Litter Report but have come to a very quick conclusion that it is just so many words with nothing of any meaning. Local and county councils have a responsibility to keep our environment clean, for which we pay in council taxes. Why is the job therefore NOT being attended to?? As ever, cuts at local level, leave councils with nil resources to tackle this problem whilst still being attacked aggressively from central government to make even more savings. Whitehall never get the message that cuts mean exactly that. Less product to the man in the street.
    I have take the time to voice my on personal grievance but do not intend to hold my breath with regard to a remedy any time soon. We are far too Wishy Washy a country to roll our sleeves up and tackle the problems under our noses. Far too easy to have committees who can talk, talk and then talk some more whilst getting nowhere! Wake up England!! Not Great Britain any longer. So very sad!!

    • jane Farley says:

      I so totally agree. But we have to thank Peter Silverman for tackling this issue and taking it to the highest level. One must have hope that something can be done before we are all swamped in litter, plastics and garbage of an appalling variety.

  325. Lee Robinson says:

    I’m a truck driver and I’m disgusted and equally ashamed at the amount of trash along out roads, especially the lay-bys of which Im embarressed to admit is the fault of many a truck driver. Hence I am networking on FACEBOOK with fellow drivers to shame our industry in to being moor aware of the problem. However, many chavvy car drivers are also guilty of this crime. I am in the process of having designed a sticker for truck to highlight the problem and make other think more. Sadley as time has gone on and we seem to of bred more idiots and those idiots eating more fast food and using trendy coffee places also don’t seem to have the enrgy to walk to a bin or the respect to take their rubbish home. It’s all about education, some thing we lack here at the moment. T

    • Sally Hart says:

      Thank you for doing something proactive about the rubbish I am impressed and I wish you the very best, I so hope your indicative can make a difference.
      My small bit is picking up litter on a dog walk . I feel ashamed that our roads and verges have reached this level of filth, yes all we seem able to do about many things is talk and disagree rather than getting on fixing it.
      Peter at Cleanhighways thank you for everything you do too

  326. chris Gandy says:

    It seems to me that most trunk roads are very dirty. Junction 8/8 on the M4 at Maidenhead is a disgrace. The A34 south of Newbury was full of litter last time I used it. The A35 Dorchester by-pass (otherwise a pretty road) is marred by litter – some hanging in the trees. I could add a lot more. The main point I would make is that litter attracts litter – if a location is a mess the public feel less guilty about dropping litter.

  327. Claire Bass says:

    I’m currently travelling to Grays in Essex via the M11 and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the sides of roads so littered with rubbish. It’s not just individual pieces of rubbish littered but also piles of black bin bags every so often along the side of the m11. When did we become a nation of not caring about how clean our places are. Not only does it have a detrimental impact on our wildlife and plant life but also puts the litterpickers at risk when they have to travel up and down very busy roads to clear it up. Having said that the m11 does not look like it’s been cleaned up in a very long time. The authorities need to be cleaning it up but we also need to take responsibility for our own rubbish and have a little care and attention in how we dispose of rubbish otherwise it will get worse.

  328. Tom Cooke says:

    I have to agree with all the points raised above. Our highways are a national disgrace when it comes to litter. There may be literally thousands of tonnes of litter lining our highways. I use the A14 on a regular basis and across its whole length but particularly form M6 to Cambridge is appalling. The worst affected is the turn off slip road at Jn 2 going Eastbound. It looks like a skip of rubbish has been emptied on the verges and makes me feel physically sick when I drive past it. I would clean it up myself given the chance, but it is too dangerous. PLEASE can it be dealt with. What happened to our green and pleasant land and keeping Britain tidy? Harsher penalties need to be introduced to drivers that fling rubbish out of the window. We have to be the worst in Europe and its embarrassing.

    • Jane Tierney says:

      The a38 on the way to Burton from Lichfield is a disgrace. All the money we pay it should be perfect. They are quick enough to fine drivers for speeding but rubbish seems to be a crime that is gotten away with. Even if passengers throw rubbish out of a car the owner of the car should be fined. The driver would soon control his passengers if he was fined. I can’t believe how little people care about their environment.

  329. Martin Bannerman says:

    A414 between Harlow and Welwyn is like a rubbish tip it used to be cleaned regularly but not for a long while now it’s in a disgusting state

    • Mark says:

      My thoughts as well Martin.

      From Harlow the A414 is a rubbish tip and now even lorries dumping rubbish is the turn offs.
      How much more before HE do something……………….

      • Helen Piper says:

        Litter dumpling is a British problem, you don’t see it abroad, certainly not in Austria & Switzerland. We should be naming and shaming those motorists and pedestrians who drop litter. A couple of Police Divisions now have cameras that can detect from a very long distance those motorists who are using their phones or eating/drinking whilst driving, so they could also be used to detect litter dumpers. Apparently the cameras are operating from such a long distance that the motorists doesn’t know they’ve been caught until its too late. Some public information films on TV would also be useful. Keep Britain Tidy was used long ago.

  330. Jane says:

    M25/A1/south mimms
    roundabout is disgusting. A1M after road works at A1 is also dreadful. Makes my journeys a misery when I see the state of the roads in general – particularly country roads where I live in Lincolnshire. I’m a regular reporter to HE and local councils but it’s so demoralising to get the same old patronising replies ‘ we work to certain KPIs…’ or ‘this isn’t our responsibility it needs to be referred to xxx’. If they spent more time and effort clearing the litter rather than finding excuses the roads may be clear of litter. And as for Keep Britain Tidy focussing on clearing cigarette butts….well it’s good they’ve got their priorities right….

  331. Vivienne Carter says:

    A45 Dunchurch to Braunston, grass verges covered in litter thrown from cars. M45 grass verges covered in litter thrown from cars, especially at the junction with A45. Longdown Lane from A45 to Kilsby, grass verges lots of litter thrown from cars. Also various larger items and black bags of rubbish dumped on the verges, under the hedges.

    I live next to the A45 and from time to time litter pick the verge near us. it is always covered in litter, but is dangerous too.

    I can say, I have never dropped litter or thrown litter from a vehicle. Why do people do this? Roads through teh countryside seem to be a preferred dumping ground.

    I also litter pick the canal towpath when out walking, a similar problem there, again in the countryside, but here a regular problem is dog poo bags hung in trees and thrown under hedges. I don’t even own a dog, but have to collect bingbags full of dog mess in plastic bags.

    Is there any way that people can be educated not to litter? Social media campaigns etc? I understand that policing it is impossible 🙁

    • Mary Ann Dowrick says:

      Education starts with children at home and at school. Step one. Step two, laws which address those who do litter and the fines attached to these laws. Third, enforcement of the law. Sadly the police force is nearly extinct. Finally, HE and local councils held accountable by taxpayers to do their JOB. It helps to have the name of a person to contact in Highways England or your local council who is responsible for cleansing of the roads, verges. Don’t give up. The squeaky wheel does get oiled.

  332. Jonathan Burns says:

    on 30 December 2018, we noticed that the M6 was heavily strewn with litter at junction 5 (A452) on both eastbound and westbound verges.

  333. Linda Hardie says:

    I have just travelled on the A1 from Borehamwood to Stevenage. I am appalled at the state of the grass verges both sides of the road and the middle reservation where there is one. I noticed dead wildlife just left there to rot and litter shrewn all over the place, caught in hedges and hanging from trees. We have been abroad recently and noticed how clean their roads and pavements are compared with ours. It makes me very angry that people must just throw litter out of their cars without any care for the countryside.

  334. Diane sadler says:

    Every week I drive to eastham and it seems it is rarely cleaned up on the sides on the 406 Off the barking road Is disgraceful other areas are not so bad I’m sure they should have money from our road tax to clean up . Speed cameras should also have for littering . It is such a shame to spoil our country.

  335. Matthew says:

    None of this is new but I wanted to nevertheless post. We’ve recently returned to the UK after 10 years living in Belgium and Germany. There are pros and cons to living here, but one of the biggest disappointments has been the disgraceful level of litter. It seems towns are generally OK, but country lanes, A roads and motorways are appalling and remind me of third world countries I have visited. It is an affront to civilized living and like traffic, anti-social behaviour and noise pollution, represents an erosion of quality of life. It appears the underlying selfish, anti-authoritarian individualism that has always been prevalent in a significant minority has combined with increasing availability of drinks and snacks, a culture of food on the go and austerity driven budget cuts to leave our country looking like a barren, neglected wasteland. I will join a lot of you in local initiatives, and indeed spent 3 hours on New Year’s Eve filling four bin liners from the lanes around Henley on Thames with my two children, but this is only scratching the surface and the issue does need national publicity to act as a catalyst. I applaud the efforts of Peter Silverman and all of you and am glad I’m not alone in despairing.

    • Laurence Wells says:

      Matthew’s analysis as well as support for Peter cannot be said better. Peter also please have my support for your response to the proposed new body supervising environmental Issues in particular to ensure litter is included. I will be responding myself to seek that litter is included. Thank you!

    • Rlj says:

      Completely concur. I spend time working abroad and when I return home to the UK I’m ashamed at the appalling way our countryside is treated like a rubbish dump and those in the various layers of bureaucracy from Westminster to the local parish who should be tackling this issue seem to just wash their hands of it. Politicians have begun to fret (rightly) about plastic in the sea etc but the tidal wave of detritus smothering much of the country needs addressing just as urgently.

      Well done Peter… keep it up.

  336. Mark Godfrey says:

    The people , government, councils just do not care about litter or rubbish and you need to see more adverts or posters everywhere on the motorway and A roads across all the bridges and flyovers about keeping BRITAIN TIDY and that you will be fined or prosecuted for littering or Dumping Litter / Rubbish .
    There is not enough done to highlight this huge problem in this country …..

    • Simon Martin says:

      I am a member of a small team of local volunteers co-ordinated by a councillor who clear a town in Shropshire (Much Wenlock) on the last Friday of each month of all litter. The exercise is beginning to bear fruit in that the team has grown steadily (now 25 strong) and now there is less littering because people generally feel much more self conscious about littering if a town is kept litter free as much as possible. We are now beginning to clear approach roads as well. I am in the process of attempting to start a parish based scheme whereby each parish in every county has a litter co-ordinator who receives a small amount just to cover their costs of telephone calls and general running costs who arranges a duty rota and regular parish clean ups and team get togethers. I intend to approach farms and businesses to encourage them to sign up in support and make a small annual contribution to cover the cost of website annual awards publicity etc and will let you know how this idea progresses. I do think that it is well worth writing to councillors and your MPs who do not like mail which is in any way critical of very poor service provision (such as filling pot holes and of course litter clearance etc) so keep moaning and picking up locally, of course, if you can – it really does work ! A very Happy (litter free) Christmas to you all !

      • Anne says:

        Thank you for this, it’s so good to read such positive and encouraging comments!

        Two years ago, after several months of regular litter picking locally (on my own), I asked my Parish Council to help with setting up and co-ordinating a regular village litter pick. Unfortunately my request fell on deaf ears. Since then I have continued to clear numerous bags of cans, bottles and fast food rubbish etc. from the 3 approach roads into the village. I’m sure I am not the only one who would love to see a litter-free village, and would welcome any action that encourages all Parish Councils around the country to prioritise litter removal from their areas.

    • Mike Phillips says:

      Unfortunately Mark, trying to pin down a name who will accept responsibility for litter management and clearance is virtually impossible. Always somebody else’s issue!!

  337. R A Cooper says:

    I feel sorry for everybody who feels strongly about this issue because we all know that nothing radical will ever be done. In particular I feel sorry for my fellow Dovorians who have to contend continually with lorry drivers completely blocking lay-byes in the whole area where they spend hours at a time littering, sleeping, eating and drinking and performing the functions that naturally result from the last two!
    The Highways Agency is not fit for purpose.

  338. George Niblock says:

    Pilot project to test cooperative working between HA contractors and Local authorities not yet reported.
    The EPA 90 requiring Duty Bodies to ” ENSURE that the keep roads and public openspaces clean and free of litter…..” only came in 28 years ago. Be reasonable and give them some time to get their collective act toqether …in addition to their Env Prot Act. Joined-up thinking and joined-up writing seem equally rare.

  339. Harish Shah says:

    M1 London end – Report of littering before my eyes ! Yesterday on Sunday‎, ‎11‎ ‎November‎ ‎2018 at 17:55, I captured these photos of a young lady casually dumping her rubbish on the M1 just north of Staples Corner , London. The traffic has come to a standstill just as we joined the M1 and while in the Queu, I witnessed this young lady dump the rubbish from her window , right next to her car !! Before I could come out and say something the traffic started moving again. I have two pictures that I would like to upload somewhere for the authorities to follow up but where ??

    • Lewis says:

      I’m no expert on this sort of thing, but at the least could you contact the Highways Agency, and simultaneously contact the local police constabulary? It would be great for the authorities to catch this person and convince them to stop their filthy habits.

  340. Dorothy Marks says:

    The footpaths and island at junction 1 of the M54 is disgusting. There is also graffiti on the walls which could be painted over. Which council is responsible for this highway?

  341. Andrew Levene says:

    I’ve commented before on the disgrace of our roadside litter, so won’t repeat what we all already know. Suffice to say it’s an absolute national scandal. But popping back on to the forum today, and reading some recent comments from overseas visitors stating how shocked they were to see so much trash everywhere on our highways/roads makes me blush scarlet with shame to be British. It is just so depressing.

  342. JOHN WOOLMER says:

    Photo surveying is one thing (very easy with the right equipment) but actually collecting it – and doing the job they are paid to do – seems to be beyond their capability…and has done for far too long.

    Full of words & excuses: totally inadequate collection. We remain the dirtiest, most littered country in Europe. Shame on Highways England – and our politicians for ducking the issue!

  343. Helen Flynn says:

    Other countries do not have the problem of roadside litter on anything like the scale that we do, so why does this country?

    There are three things that need to happen as a matter of urgency:

    1. The Government need to provide the proper funding for decent and proper enforcement. It doesn’t matter how much the penalty fines are increased if the enforcement is not out there.

    2. The Government need to make it illegal to charge for using tips and also provide the funding for them to remain open seven days a week. What is the point of councils charging for the use of tips to try and raise extra funds, which then causes fly tipping which councils then have to deal with, costing some 50m already this year. Where is the logic in this??

    3. Our lay-by bins are too small and not fit for purpose. Large industrial size bins need to be placed in lay-bys NATIONWIDE together with ‘Do not litter’ notices placed by them in large enough lettering that people can actually read them!

    If you agree with the above please email Defra and your local MP. The only way we will see any permanent change is if we keep up the pressure.

    Please feel free to email me with your thoughts heharwood@yahoo.com


    • Lewis says:

      Hi Helen,
      I agree, but isn’t the other side of this about people not littering in the first place?

      I don’t know how this can be done, but there needs to be a ‘raising of consciousness’ in this country about littering. Years ago there used to be quite a lot of dog mess around on the pavements, but something happened and dog messing is much lower than it used to be, and lower than in many other European countries. The same thing needs to happen with litter.

  344. Paul James says:

    With the vegetation dying off as we approach winter and some trimming of the verges, it’s now obvious that the A27 Brighton bypass hasn’t been cleaned of litter for months. The stretch from the A293 at Hangleton through to the A27/A23 (my daily commute) is as filthy as ever with litter strewn along the verges. Not only that but the slip roads are just as bad with many of the storm drains block with debris. Come on Highways England sort it out please!

    • Lydie Dalton says:

      I completely agree with you James, the state of these roads is appalling. It is Brighton & Hove City Council who has statutory responsibility for cleaning these stretches of roads. They need permission for road closure from HE. We’ve been trying to get answers from Brighton & Hove City Council’s Councillors and Officers for a whole year now as to why no full cleaning has taken place in 2018. We can never get a straight answer. The Council and HE give contradictory answers, blaming each other. However one straight answer was that permission for road closure was obtained in June 2018 but as you say the roads are filthy and so it would strongly suggest a full clean of these roads has not been conducted in 2018. We asked the Council’s Chair of the Environment about that twice, but we cannot get a straight answer. It would appear the Council has not performed their statutory duty and there is no accountability whatsoever to the tax-payers.
      Meanwhile the systematic shredding of plastic debris continue every time HE cuts the grass on the verges and central reservation simply because the Council has not performed its duty of clearing the litter first (e.g. large plastic wrapping fallen from lorries, plastic buckets etc). Yep at a time when the whole plastic issue is making front page, public authorities continue to deliver services that shred plastic debris into hundreds of small pieces that will never be collected, harming wildlife and finding their ways eventually into the sea. From an environmental perspective, the future is bleak.

  345. John Ford says:

    Peter, Share your frustration. Point needs to be made that plastic pollution is not simply an open sea phenomenon. Litter washes into waterways, pollutes freshwater channels and ultimately the sea as well. Keep up the great work!

  346. Helen Flynn says:


    With regards to my post a few months ago concerning the above issue, l have now received a response from Highways England and have put an attachment below. The response suggests that they have now put into place a directive that no mowing will be carried out without litter picking having first taken place. I am not convinced that this will happen and if l see litter that l know has been mowed through by Highways England contractors, l will be taking photos and sending them to Sarah Dunne and copying in Theresa Coffey MP, and l would suggest that others do the same.

    Please feel free to email me about the above at heharwood@yahoo.com


  347. Peter Bourne says:

    Hi Peter,
    I have just returned from an extended holiday in Germany and was driver around the major and minor roads by my German friend. I was struck but not surprised by the absence of litter from all the roads especially the autobahns. Even the slip roads (notoriously disgusting in the UK) were 90% detritus free.
    Returning here, what a difference! Notably litter strewn near to my home are the M6 (in Warwickshire) and especially the A14 trunk road from the M1 junction eastwards to Kettering where most shockingly the filthy lay-byes contain bins massively overflowing with rubbish indicating that a refuse collection has not taken place for months. Who are the guilty parties abdicating their responsibility, Leicestershire, Northamptonshre or the DfT?Most shaming to me is that many continental registered lorries are parked in what frankly resembles a council refuse tip. What message does that give about The British?
    I am at a loss to understand why we are so dilatory in looking after our major roads. From my experience every other country in Western Europe puts us to shame. More power to Mr Silverman and Cleanhighways.co.uk to make a national effort. After all, we did it with smoking. Why not litter?
    Peter Bourne

  348. Gregory Pavitt says:

    O regularly A12 from the M25 to Colchester.
    Although it us getting better it must be vying for the title if the dirtiest road in Britain for litter
    What do other people think?

  349. Helen Flynn says:

    Further to my post on Wednesday 26th September re: MOWING THROUGH LITTER. If anyone is able to film this happening even better. I have managed to do this. HE and the Council’s (who often hire HE employees) cannot argue if evidence of this happening is on film. My email is heharwood@yahoo.com Many thanks for your support. Helen

  350. JOHN WOOLMER says:

    I wish you, Peter, could be given more authority & influence to help clear up the filth that litters our roads & public spaces.
    Clearly those faceless individuals, Ministers, nimbys at HE and DEFRA ‘, and civil servants keep passing the buck and care not a jot!
    No wonder we are the dirtiest & most littered country in Europe – they just keep drawing their protected salaries and pensions but have no passion to do a good day’s work and really make a difference.
    Just returned from an extensive tour around China and they shame us – as do the Italians in Puglia who now have real civic pride and almost zero litter.

  351. caroline taylor says:

    Present Government, Austerity, Brexit, Any more reasons???

  352. Helen Flynn says:

    Dear All, l am in the process of compiling a complaint to Defra concerning Highways England’s habit of mowing through litter. Without a doubt this happens nationwide and has been going on for years. We are told that small pieces of litter including cigarette butts can and are mistaken for food by birds and wildlife,but mowing through all kinds of litter leaving tiny ribbons of it to be picked up by wildlife is the same thing?

    Highways England are supposed to be part of the solution not part of the problem, so if
    you are sick of seeing this happen and want this un-environmentally friendly practice stopped, please email me (Helen) at heharwood@yahoo.com. Thank you.

  353. Karin Lum says:

    I recently visited southwest England on a bus tour with my mother and brother who visited from Germany, and I visited from Canada. If I offend anyone I apologize in advance. It may not be my place to speak up since I am not local, but I wanted to let people know that outsiders see the problem and we are concerned, too.

    Cornwall and Devon are incredibly beautiful areas and I very much would love to revisit them. Aside from the beauty of the pastoral landscapes we also noticed the vast amounts of trash littering the streets and highways.

    Our first night we stayed at a hotel near Heathrow in London. We went for a walk to stretch our legs and could not believe our eyes to see this much trash along sidewalks in a first world country. Not only trash, but rats scurrying within the trash just outside the hotel grounds.

    It was obvious from the state of the trash that it had been there for some time, and that new trash was being added on a regular basis. We wondered 1. what would possess people to dump trash on the ground, and 2. why city crews were not cleaning it up.

    We located a store and asked the shop keeper about bottle deposit. He said that there was none. Imagine our surprise at his response!

    During the tour we stopped at several tourist-heavy locations – Stonehenge, Oxford, Bath, Tintagel, Heligan, Torbay, Tregenna, Salisbury, St. Ives, Lands End, Windsor, Clovelly. Every place had litter problems. The river Avon in Salisbury didn’t have so much waterfowl floating on it as it had empty bottles churning in it. That was by the Mill pub/restaurant where the little bridge crossed over the river.

    At every stop on our bus tour we encountered the same problem. Where to put our empties? There were no recycling receptacles, the bottles went in with the regular trash which was already overflowing at 10:00 am! Some of us on the bus had reusable bottles for our water, so we didn’t add to the trash problem. But the vast majority of tourists from the bus tours were drinking beverages from single-use bottles. We watched the locals and they, too, were mostly using single-use bottles/cans. Very few people were using reusables.

    Germany and Canada both have a bottle/can (plastic/glass/metal) return deposit ranging from 5 cents to 25 cents depending on size and material of the container. It’s rare to find an empty bottle or can on the side of the road in Germany and Canada. I’m not saying that this is the end-all be-all solution to England’s trash problem but it may be a start.

    Trash has become a global problem and many countries ship their trash overseas to get rid of it, Canada included. Manufacturers need to stop packaging everything in plastic – sometimes double and triple packaging an item and consumers need to stop using extra plastic bags when something is already packaged in plastic or even when it’s not. Just say no to plastic.

    • Larry leigh says:

      Karen the problem is that in the uk there is no enforcement regarding litter, its a national disgrace.If littering people in Britain were fined like the rest of the civilised world this would be a much cleaner country,fine them a £1000 like in North America then you would see a reduction in the crap on our cities, streets ,and beautiful countryside.

      • Glynis Reed says:

        Completely agree. There needs to be enforcement to stop the wanton littering of ourr roads and public spaces.
        I recently wrote to Greenpeace suggesting that they do a campaign to encourage personal responsibility. They replied saying the did not want to engage in ‘consumer blaming’!!
        The BBC should also step up and do a huge campaign but they don’t.

  354. Hilde Bartlett says:

    The area around the roundabout Juction 20 below the M25 must be a further “Litter Hotspot”. When is the Ministry responsible for litter clearance going to take this seriously??? Do they have no pride in our country??? I have reported this on many occasions.

  355. CAROLINE BONHAM says:

    A41 Aylesbury – M25.
    The rubbish tip that is the A41 is a constantly depressing drive. The level of litter on this roadway equals the worst I have seen anywhere in the developed world.
    The only way we are going to stop the appalling behaviour here is impose on the spot fines for littering. May sound draconian, but these are extreme circumstances. I also think that the corporations creating the rubbish, mostly take away food and drink should be responsible for contributing to the cleanup. They are hugely profitable, mutli-national corporations and its about time they started taking some responsibility. If they were seen to be helping control the litter problem, either with educational programs, or actually cleaning up the areas around their outlets, it could be a great marketing strategy as well. Everyone needs to work together, but I do think that hitting the hip pocket and making littering an offence is the only way we will start to reduce this problem. There should also be a government anti-littering campaign on a national level with the introduction of fines. Let’s make it a conversation. So much of the rubbish on the roads ends up after all in the oceans! I feel a letter to Mr Gove coming on.

    • Larry leigh says:

      Just driven up the A41,M25 to Aylesbury. the highways in there great wisdom have mowed the verges mowed the central reservation, now that sounds great don’t you think!! it bloody well would be if the morons that mowed it had picked the effing litter up before cutting it to pieces and making it a thousand times worse I just give up!!!!!!!

  356. Rick says:

    It’s interesting to read the many comments/opinions on the subject, and the proposed “solutions” being somewhat stating the blindingly obvious and simplistic which only go to demonstrate the naivety of the authors.

    The issues of the UK are predominantly from the behaviour of its inhabitants (and visitors). The government (whether local or central) spend vast sums on various actions that ideally they shouldn’t need to do, but ultimately, will always need to do, because at the end of the day each person who acts inappropriately is diverting taxpayers’ funds to the arguably non-essential (and avoidable) tasks, such as litter clearance.

    It’s interesting the main anger is aimed at those having to clear the litter, than those littering. Is this simply government bashing, or has anyone here actually taken personal responsibility to improve the wider situation themselves – I suspect not. You’ve not reduced your consumption of products? You’ve not chosen to not have kids and so again reduce the consumption of products and services? You’ve not chosen to campaign directly and in a targeted manner to the private companies making money in the associated industries linked to litter, and over-packaging etc.

    It’s far easier to remain the armchair critic, smug in the self-righteous knowledge you’ll always be right, and that the government and others are always wrong. Just think how much time and taxpayer’s money is spent on responding to agitated members of the public who moan (about a nanny state, yet continually behave in a way that shows they need to be nannied!) Imagine how much extra funding available (to clear litter etc) if they didn’t have to pander to those generally complaining the world isn’t the way they want it to be, and that a Utopia is easily possible, if only their (normally uninformed) views were followed by the government / local councils.

    • Matt says:

      Much as I agree with most of this I would like to say, yes I think we are a bunch of whiners on here but I think it is actually because the situation when you look at it is so pathetic you just can’t help yourself. It’s true I don’t want to March on parliament about this as there are people risking their lives crossing the Med to find a better life and that makes this all look so unimportant.. And I totally agree it is a state of ignorance and lack of education that creates the problem. I understand also that our taxes need to be spent wisely and of course we need to spend on a more considerate and sustainable future. But having said all that the cliche is we do all pay our taxes (car taxes too!) and I think we would be happy for a few quid spent on signage saying something along the lines of ‘Only Scumbags Throw Litter, Are You One?’ (Or words to that effect..) along our highways. And how can it be right that zillions of our hard earnt is being spent on the A14 revamp and yet a dozen bin bags that were filled in June at the side of said road were never taken away and are now spilling everywhere. It really wouldn’t happen in other parts of the world and whatever you say it is embarrassing and makes a lot of us feel miserable when you feel you not being listened to.

      • Derek Gilman says:

        Agree entirely, Matt. I would guess that most people posting on this site are not just smug and complacent armchair whingers, but people who care about the environment, including the issues raised in the original post, who actively campaign to try and improve the situation, make an effort to clear local litter and recycle and reduce plastic consumption and waste.

    • Fiona Battrum says:

      This is due to Tory cuts on local councils. Refuse and rubbish collection is a serious duty and there will always be people who are anti social and whose behaviour needs modifying. However if resources are not put back into proper refuse collections and recycling and litter picking of the verges who knows what public health issues and diseases including spread of vermin may arise. We should never under resource this it must go hand in hand with any behaviour modification and lifestyle changes that could be suggested to help address the problem.

  357. Jo Della Maestra says:

    I feel so sad for people involved in highway cleaning and public spaces. The despicable drivers and population that think it is their right to drop their rubbish anywhere and everywhere is sickening. I think fines are the only way and asking people to report litter dumpers on the roads and other spaces in the UK is the way to go. Signs everywhere warning drivers and others if they drop litter they are likely to be fined. Why not also use our prisoners to work on cleaning our highways and other spaces instead of locking them up for most of the day. They need to play their part in contributing to their upkeep in prison and to make up for their behaviour. So this is a great way to achieve this.

    I do say that our pull-in areas are very inadequate along our major roads in the UK unlike countries like France where litter bins are in abundance and frequently emptied. HOWEVER we need to start with our children and visitors by putting up signs everywhere as well as through the education of children at school and at home that it is totally unacceptable to drop litter. Our planet is at breaking point and it is so sad. We only have one earth that is our home to live on and we are poisoning it and our ground water with micropastics and pollution. Are we surprised the at the high levels of cancer in the population now as well as the rise in childhood cancers. Thank you for listening.

  358. Alan Smith says:

    Litter bins on A5 & A5link to M1 J18 are full to overflowing near DIRFT.
    It seems that emptying time scales are totally useless.
    It seems to be the same story on lesser roads in the area & with the NCC situation,
    will probably only get worse.

  359. Sally Hart says:

    I have just returned from a holiday in France , what a pleasure to see litter free roads .
    The Brexiteers berate the EU for anything and everything and blame Brussels for inflicting their laws on the UK .

    Litter clearing is the legal responsibility of our government, councils, companies and individuals. All the other European countries have the same safety issues regarding traffic and clearing of litter, if they can keep their countries clean why can’t we?

  360. M. Waight says:

    A couple of days ago the Daily Mail did a centre page spread on litter with one of their journalists accompanying HE staff on a clear up. Some interesing points arose from the journalist and it occurred to me that you (Peter) might wish to contact them with a few to increasing visibility of the problem throughout the UK and maybe getting them to start another anti-litter campaign. Yes, I know they’ll claim it as their briliiant idea but as the saying goes “every little helps”!

  361. Alice says:

    Well done Peter for trying yet again to engage the only people with any ability to do anything about this in the debate. Like many others on here, I am so tired of getting endless Health and Safety excuses or ‘It’s not our responsibility’ from councils and the latest admission that there are no plans to make HE responsible for the trunk roads local authorities currently neglect so badly has further made me feel no one in a position to change things at a strategic level is remotely interested. I cannot understand how those in a position to do something can be content to look out at the filth alongside our roads. And yes, we are a disgrace compared to every other country I’ve been to. How do we get this message across?

  362. Joy Armstrong says:

    As with all the other many comments I agree there is a noticeable difference in littering on highways between countries such as France, Germany and even as far away as NZ.

    I too am ashamed to be British. Coming off the cross channel ferry from France ( clean) to England ( filthy) is a real culture shock.

    I think HE, ministers, MPs and local councillors all fall under that phrase – there’s none so blind as those who will not see. Perhaps they need a personal escort to our favourite highway litter hot spots – An Invitation to A Day at the Verges. I’ll volunteer as an escort.

    • Paul Plumb says:

      Totally agree, it’s shameful and embarrassing. I’m afraid our politicians live in a bubble, they rarely venture on the roads i doubt and perhaps they don’t really see what we are saying. Whenever I write to councils they say it’s someone else’s problem and of course they say it’s someone else’s responsibility. I asked one councillor, forget who is responsible, what would you like to see? Rubbish, no someone else’s responsibility.

  363. Gwen Maka says:

    Just returned from a really clean Ireland, Devon and Wales dreading the drive along the A11 back to Norwich which is usually filthy and was pleasantly surprised to find it much cleaner than usual. What’s happened?
    PS Ireland and it’s beaches (and inland) were spotless down the west and south. Massive sandy beaches without a single piece of rubbish. Also the fishermen are part of the process now and bring their fishing throwaways back to harbour.
    Instead of competitions for the prettiest village, they have Tidy Towns and also a legion of volunteer litter collectors.

  364. Terry Dean says:

    Just read Theresa Villiers debate in Westminster on litter (18/07/18).
    Well done Peter for your continuing work.

    Spending even £1b on keeping our highways and public areas clean (£40-50 per household per annum) is small beer when compared with the induced-loss in our tourist trade.
    Therese Coffey should, not only open her eyes, but ask herself why our continental neighbours want to keep their roadsides clean.
    Answer: Aesthetic; Tourism; Environmental Cleanliness (avoiding rodent infestation)

    Addressing the problem, by keeping the place clear of litter, is vital, BUT prevention is the real form of cure:
    Answer: Getting the organisation right in the first place (HE do NOT do a good job, this blog testifies to that); covering all lorries; instigating monetary returns on cans and bottles; increasing litter fines and imposing them; much better education, advertising.

    …. and most of all creating the will. To get this Country’s citizens (apart from those few who are already committed) to set aside their collective malaise and laissez-faire attitude and start picking it up instead of walking passed it!

    This is a democracy where, according to Churchill at least, we have government for the people. The people have spoken. We want HE to abide by the law. Period.

  365. Zilch UK says:

    Drove along the A331 Blackwater Valley Road yesterday and dread to think of the impression it gave visitors from around the world coming to the Farnborough International Air Show. Large accumulations of rubbish along it and its sliproads as well as plenty on the central reservation.

    Surely having it spotless before such a prestigious event would be a high priority for all those hoping to attract business and commerce to the area?

  366. Trevor Mepham says:

    The government’s management of this policy is a load of rubbish.

  367. Derek Gilman says:

    I thought I’d seen every kind of squalor until today, travelling back from Woolwich, via the A205 South Circular and A2, Kent bound. Every lay-by and even the hard shoulders were encrusted with years-old filth and debris, old tyres and HE cones. I would imagine that this has been festering for so long that it would be a gargantuan task to remove it. Not that it will ever be removed, but will grow into a mountain of rubbish. I am sick of writing to HA/local authorities about these matters, only to receive anodyne responses and health and safety excuses. I have given up on any hope of improvement, in spite of the ‘Litter Strategies’ and ineffectual bodies such as Clean Britain and Keep Britain Tidy. What does it take to get things done?? I am now resigned to living in a pigsty of a country, which will soon lose its tourist base and gain the reputation of being the dustbin of Europe.

  368. Boris says:

    I would like to express how disgusted and disappointed I am with the England’s unbelievably dirty main roads, roundabouts and road junctions compared to Turkey ones unbelievably clean and maintained! UK government should be ashamed of the condition of these roads in terms of cleanness! You need to do lot of work!!!

    • Lucy says:

      Totally agree with above observation. Turkey, Croatia, Greece, etc all have much cleaner and better maintained roads than the UK. Shame really. We used to be compared against Germany, Holland, Denmark and now fare well below the likes of Turkey. Any credible government would declare the situation a national crisis and take appropriate action.

      • Lewis Halsey says:

        I can add Hungary to that list of nations where the highways are much, much cleaner than those in the UK (I was on holiday there recently). Hungary has about half the GDP per capita of the UK, and therefore surely has much fewer resources for maintenance. And yet their country’s highways are so much cleaner. Don’t people working for the Highways agency ever go abroad for a holiday or something?!

    • Alexey says:

      I completely agree with Boris and very very disappointed as well (being here in UK for the last 5 years and seeing all of this rubbish everywhere, and the situation becoming worse and worse as I can feel).

      I was living in Russia (Siberia) for 27 years and NEVER ever seen such dirty roads like here in UK (all sorts of rubbish everywhere that you cannot sometimes see the ground and grass, plastic bags on trees!) and it is not only roads – look at the railways from London!

      In Russia I always swore when saw just a few plastic bottles on the roads (thinking what a pig could it do) but here in UK it is just something unbelievable, terrifying, and this is what you call a DEVELOPED country that has the world’s fifth-largest economy with so high taxes?? It cannot be true!

      Once I invited my parents (from Russia) to travel around UK by car, they are still in a real culture shock, very disgusting.

      A huge contrast traveling anywhere in the continetal Europe (including much “poor” Montenegro).

      London`s streets are similar, I am living in Tower Hamlets and sent already about 10 complaints to the council about filfhty streets around my property (with a council tax of ~120£ p/m!) – no result at all, it is becoming even worse and worse, I can see the same rubbish laying down on the same place for YEARS! Sometimes I pick up someone`s rubbish myself and questioning why am I paying council tax, should I pay….

      As for me it is crystal clear – UK government does nothing at all. Initially I was dreaming to buy a piece of real estate in London but seeing all of this I would never invest a penny…

      However, this website gives me a hope that we can change something, thanks a lot Peter!

  369. Sally Hart says:

    Peter I will try and come.

    I did invite a friend who is constantly contacting East Herts CC or Herts CC to no avail his was apoplectic, why do ministers need to debate the litter issue just do something !

    As stated by me before the health and safety issues that the litter creates are another matter altogether and perhaps we need to consider taking the government to court for neglect of their responsibilities to keep citizens healthy and safe.

    Hope to meet with you at around pm

  370. R Pickles says:

    I’d love to come on Wednesday but sadly can’t make it. I would like to mention the Wanstead Flats fire as I live opposite. This was a very scary situation but the fire no surprise as all the roads in the area are always thick with rubbish, as is the park, which has dozens of discarded barbeques. These should immediately be banned and ANYONE who litters given a prison sentence. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. For Gods sake, clear up the fucking litter you useless morons.

  371. R Pickles says:

    Well done Peter for your continued efforts. What I really don’t understand is how Councillors, Ministers etc fail to see what everyone else sees. Obviously they do but are just as ignorant as the people who drop litter. I’ve commented many times on this site but our roads seem worse than ever. The A12/A14 are as always, heavily littered, and the approaches of all roads to the Redbridge roundabout near to where I live in East London is literally drowning in rubbish. I am so ashamed to be English.

    • Les Walker says:

      I totally agree!
      Following my post in March, I felt a little better as summer arrived and the grasses and wild flowers somehow managed to hide some of the litter. However, now that they are staring to die off, the filth is becoming evident again. I’ve just returned from another trip to Europe and remain shocked and saddened with the state of our motorways, main roads and, even, our country lanes. I really cannot understand how those responsible do not see this and act. There appears to be little pride left in our country and I too am ashamed and embarrassed by what visitors must think of us.

    • Janice Stannard says:

      I agree totally with your comments and it goes beyond my fathoming as to how the powers that be fail to admit that our link roads, motorway verges etc remain in a disgusting state. They obviously see what we see but do not appear to consider it important enough to jolly well make it an issue that needs dealing with. I commend Peter for his faithful commitment to doing all he can to make sure the concerns continue to be flagged up. The A249, A20, M2 and parts of Thanet that I regularly travel on are a disgrace. What puzzles me is that the verges are cut exposing litter that has also been there since who knows when, and no attempt to clear the litter/plastic at the same time is made! I am ashamed to take my overseas visitors out for a drive and certainly cannot flag Britain up any more as a clean and pleasant place.

  372. Sally Hart says:

    Peter I

    Thank you and I hope your meeting with Jesse Norman results in some action.

    I am sure you must have mentioned the correspondence received on this site if not please forward to him.

    Visiting Cornwall last week it was noticeably litter free next to Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire,Kent,Essex ,Buckinghamshire ,Berks and the M25 all of which are disgusting with not only litter but cones, abandoned signs ,tyres, weeds and general neglect. These ministers need to take their eyes off their papers and phones and look out of their ministerial car windows and take in the decay

    In addition there is the perilous state of the roads with pot holes that are a real danger to all users

    As stated before no wonder this government can’t sort out Brexit , when the road safety of its citizens is so blatantly disregarded

  373. nick lizardos says:

    I live in Cornwall and i pick up litter on my own when walking the dogs, it started as a bad or so once a week but the more you walk along the roads the more you realise hopw much litetr is actually about. Ive now been doing it for around 2 years and i now pick up around 5/6 bags every week and as i have managed to completely clear certain rural roads i now know how bad the problem is because i can tell hw much new litetr is dropped in say 1 week. Its mindboggling and although its satisfying to do its very frustrating when around 1 week later there is noticable amounts of litter reappearing. My local council who i told about the issue, informed me they conduct an annual sweep in my area!!! After replying to say that obviously that is not good enough and that htheres is tonnes of litter and broken glass and why should I feel that I have to clear up the roads i recieved no reply. The problem is massive and sadly 99% of people simply don’t care. Look on youtube – type in litter UK , you will see tha tthese videos (even videos posted by SKY News) only attract around 1500 views. Something needs to change i dont know what the answer is but its tragic.

    • nick lizardos says:

      Sorry for all the mistypes, i did not go back and double check for errors!

    • Lewis Halsey says:

      Hi Nick,

      It is heart warming to hear of people picking up litter in their area, but also really sad to hear that the litter returns so quickly. And I know how you feel – I have the same experience where I live; the rate of litter drop is very high in areas that I’ve cleaned, highlighting how many people are litterers.

      I have to say that when I’ve been to Cornwall I’ve found it very clean – I though Cornwall was one of the ‘clean bits’ left in England. May I ask the area where you live?

  374. Sandra says:

    Can not found out
    What’s going on the m6 northbound to night

  375. Mike Grant says:

    Just back from a holiday in Denmark, a country I know well. My wife is Danish. We drove extensively in Jutland, the mainland part of the country. The roads, motorways, A road equivalents and country lanes were immaculate. There was hardly a piece of litter on the roadside verges. It was a delight to be in a litter free environment for nearly two weeks. Although I saw a few old tyres on the main E45 motorway I saw no abandoned traffic cones or road signs nor bits that had fallen off of cars. The cleanliness of the place is due to the culture of the people, they care about their environment. That said the authorities are much better at managing the roads than our useless councils and highways authorities. There was a virtual absence of potholes and the few I saw were not bad eough to cause damage to vehicles. The difference with the UK was stark. On one stretch where there a few minor potholes, there was a warning sign for motorists. There was clear evidence potholes had been patched and patched well. I never saw a pothole with a highways inspector’s paint around it awaiting nothing to happen.

    From a different angle my wife is not bothered by UK roadside litter, despite being Danish. It is not that she doesn’t notice it or care. Her laid back personality means it does not get to her as it does to me. She focuses on the positives; I am a half glass empty person. I think I need to deal more with my reaction to litter as much as fight the blockheads who run this country. Alternatively we could move to Denmark.

    • Derek Gilman says:

      Move to Denmark, Mike. The Danes seem to have a higher standard of living/way of life and social services, funded by higher taxes which they seem happy to pay. They care about the environment and social responsibility (including properly sorting their recycling and disposing of litter). They are members of the EU, although still proud of their sovereignty, retaining their currency and opt-outs.Where did we go wrong? What’s not to like?

      • Brian Reynolds says:

        Here! Here! I know where I would move to. This country is dead in the water. A country with the sixth wealthiest economy in the world and an environment that is third world and a government that supports the litter problem by allowing taxpayers money to be fraudulently taken by Highways England and given to private asset management companies that refuse to abide by English Law and remove litter. France, Netherlands and Germany are also spotless as the piles of rubbish would not be tolerated.

        I met my German friends at the Trumpington Park and Ride in Cambridge. They got there first in their car and I arrived later. When I arrived they were facing a pile of fly tipped rubbish in the car park, the whole park and ride was littered, unkempt and overgrown and hadn’t been maintained properly for years. And this is the elite, seat of learning in the UK. What an embarrassment for me and a great impression for my German friends. There are no limits to the depths of deprivation authorities will not stoop to to save money and the environment and quality of life in the UK are in the firing line all the time.

  376. Craig says:

    World Cup: Japan fans impress by cleaning up stadium:


  377. Brian Reynolds says:

    Been travelling from Kent to Newark in Nottinghamshire every week for the last five months and I can honestly say that the uncollected litter on the M11 between the M25 junction right through to Harlow, Stansted to the A11 junction is quite an achievement for Highway England’s private contractors. Yet again yesterday and today I witnessed their contractors grass cutting the verges and cutting through scarves of uncollected litter between Stansted to the A11 and beyond. Highways England spouts on about health and safety but they are quite happy for me to be distracted by large lumps of blown and shredded plastic hitting my windscreen, hypocrites. As for their health and safety and not litter picking on the hard shoulder. During the lazy litter cutting exercise I saw the mowing machine in front and a group of operatives walking adjacent and on the hard shoulder. So if they can walk in this situation then why not carry out weekly litter picking? The M11 is yet another example of lazy contractors doing their own thing unsupervised by Highways England. I am now waiting to see if the tonnes of uncollected and cut litter between the M25 junction to Stansted and the A11 junction will ever be removed. Probably not! Not sure who is worse, the littered or Jim O’Sullivan band of profit making private contractors. Embarrassing that my German friend on a visit to Cambridge asked why we have so much uncollected litter. I answered because here in the U.K. we have a corrupt maintenance organisation called Highways England that protects the interest of private companies and refuses to provide proper highways maintenance that the taxpayer are paying for.

  378. Derek Gilman says:

    Is litter-loutishness a regional thing? Have posted several times about the dire state of the roads in Kent. Recently travelled to Sheffield on the M1 via Chesterfield. The further north we drove, the less litter we came across. Don’t know the demographic breakdown of Sheffield but the Ecclesall area was pristine. Even driving through the city centre, main roads were clean. Drove back via the A1 and again, verges and lay-bys were mainly clear of litter, until we reached Beds, Herts and the M25/Kent. Why such a regional disparity? is the difference highlighted by: Local authority responsiveness? Effectiveness of the different Highways England sector teams? The volume of (and including heavy commercial) traffic? Local/regional pride in their surroundings? There does seem to be a wide difference. The West Country also seems to stay (mainly) litter-free. Don’t know what the solution is but it would be interesting to find out why some areas are better at tackling litter than others – and to apply their lessons nationwide.

  379. JOHN WOOLMER says:

    Your succinct point about the failure to prosecute the VAST majority of fly-tipping is mirrored by HE’s pathetic inability to clear up roadside & motorway litter AND by a pathetically few number of prosecutions for those who do the littering!

    The powers that be really do need to get their act together and clear up, clean up and prosecute offenders…the jobs they are being paid to do and which they fail to do.

  380. Jean says:

    A2/potholes etc Canterbury-Dover

    They? have resurfaced it in parts, but left the worst !?

  381. Lydie Dalton says:

    The truth:

    After months of probing our Local Authority and HE about clearing the major roads adjoining our city for which the LA has responsibility but requires permission for road closure from HE (which has been declined), here is the answer I was given recently by a HE manager on the phone (sorry not in writing):

    They won’t as they did before grant permission for the necessary road closures specifically for LAs to litter pick – instead the line is that as and when HE carries out road re-surfacing work, only then will they offer LAs the opportunity to litter pick at the same time.

    So no time soon then…in the meantime the verges continue to be turned into plastic landfills (a lot of it with large plastic wrappings fallen from lorries) – and this government thinks the UK is leading the way on dealing with the plastic issue…

  382. Helen Flynn says:

    Back in February l wrote to my local MP Layla Moran about the state of the A34 verges in Oxfordshire. The A34 is one of those highways that falls between HE and the local council to keep clear of litter. However, the council first has to request a road closure from HE in order to carry out a litter pick. I wrote to complain about this unworkable and time consuming arrangement. As Peter Silverman has rightly been saying for years all highway verges should come under the remit if HE to litter pick and keep clear of litter that way the buck stops with them and no one else.

    After many months of HE playing email ping pong with us Layla Moran got fed up and told me she was going to ask the question at Prime Minister’s question time. The upshot is the government responded that they will look at giving HE more funding so that they can indeed take over the job of litter picking nationwide.

    All of us now need to make sure this happens by contacting our local MP’s who can in turn keep the pressure on the government to make good their promise.

  383. Helen Flynn says:

    Dear All,

    I have recently started a government e petition to get the subject of the environment onto the national school curriculum as mandatory, see link below. If you agree please sign and feel free to share the link. Many thanks. Helen


    • Sally Hart says:

      Afraid to say most of the litter on motorways and roadside verges is the result of adult behaviour !
      What I find apalling is that if I do not keep my vehicle roadworthy or insured etc I would be fined and possibly imprisoned and yet the governments choice of contractors totally disregards legislation the roads are dangerous full of potholes rubbish and litter strewn and no one appears to be accountable

      I am getting very frustrated why should we be law abiding citizens? I hope this is passed on to the powers that be !

    • Lewis Halsey says:

      Nice work Helen. I’ve signed, but we need a lot more signatures.

      Could Peter perhaps pin this request at the top of the homepage or this page?


  384. Larryleigh says:

    I have found out the way to get the M4 cleaned at junction6 Windsor HOLD A. ROYAL WEDDIING!!!!!!

    • Andy Levene says:

      Yes I just bet it was cleaned! Similar story I recall for the Queen’s visit to Ireland a few years ago – motorway verges were all cleaned until spotless. So the answer is have all the Royals travel everywhere on our public road network and then maybe, just maybe, we’d get them all cleaned up!

      • Catherine Blandford says:

        The same happened along the A41 in the borough of Dacorum (Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted etc) a couple of years ago when the Queen drove through….a few weeks later it was back to the litter strewn disaster area it usually is.
        What makes me laugh(cry) is that the HE cut the grass verges BEFORE the litter pick takes place, so now we have lovely chopped up plastic everywhere. How pointless as this must surely damage the cutting equipment? I guess we’ll all have to foot the bill for replacement equipment as well….

  385. Bren Groom says:

    Steep fines for dropping litter is necessary. Don’t understand why people can’t take their litter home.

  386. Helen Flynn says:

    I have just received a reply from ‘Safina’ of Highways England asking for further information re: my complaint about litter being ‘mowed through’ by verge cutters. Apparently, once the full details are known i.e. location, date, time with pictures if possible, they investigate the matter. This leads me to believe that this should not be happening, although many of us have seen it happen many times. Am l being too optimistic in thinking this might be a turning point??

    If H.E are not supposed to mow through litter before mowing verges then they will HAVE to litter pick them before mowing and many of them for safety reasons do need mowing on a regular basis. So H.E no litter pick no mowing!!

    This has come about because l complained to my local council (copying in H.E) when l saw it happening along the verges where l live and they came back stating that it was unacceptable and that all verges should certainly be litter picked BEFORE mowing. Leaving ribbons of litter is actually dangerous to humans and wildlife i.e. cut tin cans, etc. So if it’s the Council’s remit to do it then it should be H.E’s too.

    If anyone sees this happening PLEASE report to Highways England and copy in your local press. Name and shame them…it’s the only way!

  387. PS says:

    I’ve never seen so much rubbish on a slip road as the other day coming off the A3 Westbound, onto the M25. It looks like just about everyone opens their window and throws something out. Who the heck do they think is going to clear it up?! What’s the matter with people?! Don’t they care about their surroundings and the general state of the countryside?! We should have a sign up on these high litter locations that says something like – “If you see anyone throwing litter out of their vehicle, report their reg. no. to 0800 700 6000 and they will be fined £500. You get £100 reporting fee!” That might entice a few people to ‘shop’ wrong doers, and make the litter louts realise they could easily be reported for a minor misdemeanour.

  388. Roberta Foster says:

    Travelled along A14 last weekend it is a national
    disgrace, filthy laybys and the verges are just appalling, litter blowing everywhere.
    Apparently HE are only responsible for a short stretch were the A14 meets the A1.
    HE informed me the rest is the responsibility of Cambridgeshire County Council. I cannot believe that they have allowed the situation to become so dire. What must visitors to Cambridge and other areas of interest think about this country. Surely it would be sensible to transfer the A14 to HE if Cambridgeshire County Council cannot or will not sort out litter removal.

  389. Alice says:

    Great work on the A40 – I travel on this road and have been appalled by the state of it. Thank you for pursuing it and getting it sorted out.

    • Larry leigh says:

      Go back there now to the A 40 June 23rd not been touched, back to the same filth as pre may clean up!!!!!!

  390. Sally Hart says:

    Over the weekend I travelled to Wales . M25 M4 litter strewn alongside motorways to a considerable degree. Over the Severn Bridge and the roads are considerably cleaner in particular A40 . All welsh roads had very little litter lay-bys were clean . Please can someone explain why there is such a marked difference ?

    • Stephen Davies says:

      I visited Wales recently and was also struck by the contrast with England. I saw an illuminated sign on the M4 that said ‘don’t litter’ soon after crossing the border. I’ve never seen that in England. My hopes were raised and then dashed as I took the A449 north towards Monmouth – the usual squalor. But this was exceptional – further into Wales the roads were noticeably cleaner. I did later contact Monmouthshire council about the sordid state of the road up to Blorenge mountain – a beauty spot defiled. To my surprise, and their credit, they responded almost immediately saying that they had litter picked to road only two weeks ago but there was a problem with cyclists using it for hill climb events. I believe them – unfortunately every wannabee Chris Froome now thinks it’s OK to chuck their stuff to the side of the road as they go. I make this call moment as a committed cylist. My point is that there must be a connection between this sort of responsiveness by a local authority and the state of the roads in Wales. I’m now going to have another go at Cambs and Suffolk about the unspeakable A14 – more in hope than expectation. Who do they have holding them to account? HIghways England (hollow laughter).

      • Craig says:

        I raised the very point you make about ‘racing’ cyclists throwing their drinks bottles and energy-bar wrappers onto roadside verges some months ago in this comments section. This was after watching a few minutes of the Prudential Ride London-Surrey road race event on the BBC in which the professional cyclists were broadcast live littering the highways with amateur cyclists followed in their wake.

        I contacted the Surrey councillor who is responsible for the event in his area, pointing out that professional cyclists are role-models and, as such, add to the national littering culture by setting a bad example to others. However, he replied that contractors clear up the litter and that the event puts money into the Surrey economy so my point was lost on him.

        There is a substantial amount of litter on countryside pathways and verges which was clearly once the property of cyclists and runners. If their role-models continue to litter, and are seen to do so on live television, they will do so too.

        I would suggest that the cycling governing bodies need to introduce a ban on professional racing cyclists littering in this way. If they need to take on fluid, they should keep the bottle on their bike after they have drunk from it. If they jettison the bottle, they should receive a time penalty. If all of the competitors had to do this, no one would gain a weight-saving advantage by throwing away their drinks bottles.

  391. Ayesha Rahmani says:

    Dear Peter,
    You are a STAR! I think what you have already achieved is Fantastic and you have inspired me to take photos of dirty roads , Slip roads and motorway sides and then i send it to my MP Teresa May !! I have her email address and she is my local MP in Maidenhead. Every time I complain then i notice that the rubbish disappears, I would like more trees and bushes instead and have fought hard to clean up the griffiti but I just do with my phone and photos!
    If we keep on doing this sooner or later they will take notice!
    Thank you so much! Ayesha Rahmani.

    • Sally Hart says:

      Ayesha well done . How about copying in Mrs May on the correspondence on this website then perhaps she might have a greater appreciation of how a government funded contract is not fulfilling its obligations ?

  392. Helen Flynn says:

    I have just started a government e-petition to try and get the subject of ‘The Environment’ onto the national school curriculum as mandatory. If anyone would like to sign this petition here is the link:


    We must educate our young otherwise we have no hope of ever getting our country to be the green and pleasant land it should be and it will stay a grey and unpleasant rubbish dump!

    • Craig says:

      @ Helen Flynn – Just signed your petition. Well done on setting it up.

    • PS says:

      My mother used to smack us if we dropped litter or created any waste at all. That sort of chastisement doesn’t occur any more. Parents are useless at control of their kids, and generally teaching them right from wrong. They seem to get away to leniently. It shouldn’t be left to schools, but schools can certainly help get the message across that we don’t all want to live in a pig sty.

      The other big issue I have is that there are just not enough litter bins around these days, brought about by the concern that extremists could leave bombs in them!

  393. Cherry Mills says:

    Well done Peter Silverman for sticking with it to get Highways to clean the A40 in Bucks. Three cheers!!

    • Helen Flynn says:

      Yes well done Peter thank god there are people like you around…surely things have to change soon??

  394. Helen Flynn says:


    I made a complaint to my local council this week concerning verge cutters mowing through litter leaving ribbons of it in their wake. Because there are an army of us litter pickers in the area there wouldn’t have even been that much, but of course it ended up in tiny pieces everywhere ready to be blown wherever. Their boss replied saying this was unacceptable and that they are supposed to pick up any litter before mowing.

    My point is that l have seen employees of Highways England doing this very thing loads of times, so if Council employees are not allowed to get away with it why are employees of Highways England allowed to get away with it?

    Has anyone else seen this happening? Do we have them by the short and curlies l wonder? If they MUST litter pick before mowing any verge, and they MUST mow many verges for safety reasons, they will then HAVE to clear them of litter in the first instance!

    • Anne says:

      The grass was being cut beside the M5 northbound at junction 7, this afternoon. Lots of litter blowing around the newly cut grass verge. It was obvious that all that litter had not just landed, so why was it not picked up before mowing? It makes no sense at all!

      • Andy Jones says:

        Fed up with things locally, I’ve joined the Duckworth Trust in Worcester, who supply the kit so that I can do volunteer litter picks. Woodgreen Drive is a fairly easy starting point, as others help pick, and I’ve seen the council workers litter picking in the throat of their mowers, but at the end of Woodgreen Drive, no such patience has been used, and cans are turned into vicious metallic shards, glass smashed to pieces, and plastic bottles and crisp packets chopped up with the long grass, so there is no hope of keeping it properly safe and tidy. I did what I could, but would these people show such behaviour with litter on their own garden? We know they wouldn’t. They must be told stop. It isn’t just the oceans that are difficult to save from pollution; chopping everything up and scattering it ensures we treat our land environment just as badly as the sea. The vast majority of the verge litter I see is from adults, mostly a large spectrum, with smokers and contraceptive users among them, so perhaps they won’t all breed another generation of litterers. Give HE a financial incetive to share the fines collected for litterers.

      • Andy Jones says:

        M5 J7 roundabout mown again this week. Looks like the most uncared for junction I’ve seen in a while. The debris is strewn around on the verge. Sickening, that someone doing the mowing is willing to do so. I can only imagine the mower driver is so desperate to hold on to their job, that they have sold their soul, and cannot have a conscience to be pricked.

  395. Larryleigh says:

    Just seen Highways England video bragging about their spring clean in March where they use a fast motion camera showing a cleaned verge then in fast time how quickly the litter builds up. That’s great to see, but could they not look on real camera time and take the car numbers of the litter louts and then issue them with a littering ticket. Surely that would prevent the scumbags throwing litter out of their cars again !!!!

  396. Don says:

    Finally spring is here and lots of new foliage to cover up the litter again, I’m sure lots uninterested parties will breath a sigh of relief. I know its cynical but it truly feels as if roadside litter is a blind spot and of no concern to many ppl and authorities. I’m delighted to see here, the opposite to that, ppl who care passionatly about their environment.

  397. Frank goddard says:

    Is it not time to introduce a litter tax for all foods and drink that could be considered fast or convenience food?

  398. Craig says:

    I have just witnessed a teacher, or maybe she was a teaching assistant, standing on the pavement in north London with a class of primary-school children and then throwing her empty take-away coffee cup over a fence into someone’s garden.

    I approached her and told her that that I couldn’t believe what I had just seen. She smirked and said that she’d pick it up later (which meant that she wouldn’t). I told her that she was setting a bad example to her class and walked on. I don’t know which of the local primary schools she was from so I cannot e-mail her headteacher about what happened.

    This is an instance of littering being taught by example to young children who will therefore be much more likely themselves to litter during their adult lives.

    Why are people such as the woman I came across being employed to teach our children?

    And shouldn’t the anti-littering message be a compulsory part of education in all schools (i.e. on the National Curriculum) if we are ever to change our national culture of littering?

    • Andy Levene says:

      Incredible. If this is the example a teacher, or anyone employed by a school, is setting to young people then we are lost.

    • Larryleigh says:

      You can’t tell us you don’t know the name of the school, that does not sound right

      • Craig says:

        @ Larryleigh – It was impossible to tell which school they were from. They were on an excursion and the incident took place some way away from any of the several primary schools in the area.

    • Helen Flynn says:

      Dear Craig, do you the exact location, the day, the time, what she looked like? It might be captured on cctv somewhere you never know. A terrible example to the school children in her charge.

      • Craig says:

        @ Helen Flynn – Yes, I know exactly where and when this took place. You’re right that there might be CCTV footage of the incident but the children were not wearing distinctive uniforms which would have identified the school they attended, just grey trousers/pullovers if I remember correctly. I don’t know how they would be identified without getting the police involved and, regrettably, I doubt that the police would have any time for this, given the other demands on their service.

  399. Shelley Bean says:

    A63 between North Ferriby and Hull. There are huge amounts of plastic on the verges either side of the A63, as well as hanging in the hedges, trees and bushes. It is an absolute disgrace. It has clearly been there many months without any clean up whatsoever. Wondering how all this waste managed to accumulate, it wasn’t long before I discovered one of the culprits for it.

    On Sunday April 29th, 2018 we were traveling behind a Trans Waste Waste Management lorry who was fully loaded and only partly sheeted down. Litter of all sorts was flying out from the top rear of this huge container and onto the road in front of us. Trans Waste have a waste and recycling facility at Gibson Lane, Melton, East Yorkshire close to the A63. I took down the vehicle registration #, (YT62 DVF) and the company name and phone number (01482 333650). On looking at their website, transwasteltd.com , they pride themselves on recycling waste and being an environmentally green company. This is far from the truth.

    If I make a complaint directly to them I know nothing will be done about it. This needs addressing to the authorities who have the power to fine them and hold them accountable. Unfortunately I have no influence or power to be able to make sure that this matter is dealt with and not brushed under the carpet, hence writing to yourselves hoping that someone can bring this to the attention of those who do have the power and who will do something about it. Or by giving me a direct contact with that power so I can address it myself.

    Since Trans Waste is a local business who travels this section of the A63 regularly I will make sure I have photographic and video evidence of the next occurrence I see from their vehicles.

    Meanwhile I would be most grateful if my email could be forwarded to someone in authority who is able to hold this company to account for their irresponsible method of transporting waste.

    Kind regards,

  400. Sally Hart says:

    Today A406 approach to and from M11 disgusting an accumulation of litter , old tyres and just generally unkempt . My neighbour is Romanian she is shocked at the number of pot holes and litter.

  401. David Basson says:


    Four litter pickers on same day – 2 at work on west bound M27 towards J5 Eastleigh (coned off half hard shoulder) and the second 2 on M3 southbound near Winchester. Great to see, are we getting somewhere? M3 northbound was much better than usual – the litter started again after J6 (Basingstoke) which was very dirty.

  402. Helen Flynn says:

    I recently cleared both sides of a roadside verge leading up to a well used and very busy slip roadside to the A34. This was three weeks ago. I use this road nearly every day and so far only the odd bit of litter has come back, and even that l believe has blown there and looks like it is ‘old’ litter, and hasn’t been thrown from a car. What l have noticed though is that the blown out car tyres and industrial waste have noticeably reappeared. Looking around my area it seems roadside litter consists of the following 30% thrown from cars, 50% industrial & commercial waste, 20% blown from over flowing bins and bin collections. What do others think?

    Apart from Highways England not doing their job as they should, the other big problem is the lack of enforcement. I believe the only way to solve this is to set up some kind of voluntary enforcement involving car dash cams. What do others think of this idea?

  403. Gary Merseyside says:

    Please if you could define in detail section 87 reference to: ‘leave litter’

  404. Michael Pease says:

    I contacted Highways England (HE) to ask whether litter was being cleared whilst the fast lane was closed on the M6 near Shap (Cumbria). I was told by HE that:

    Thank you for your email of 7 April with regards to litter in the central reservation on the M6 near Shap. Our routine maintenance engineer who has advised that litter clearance in work areas will depend on the length of the closure and the work taking place. In this case the lane 3 closure was in place to facilitate repairs to the safety barrier in the central reserve. Closures for barrier repairs tend to be short in length and the contractor will carry out repairs to more than one location over the course of a shift. Litter picking in the central reserves is usually undertaken when the contractor can utilise a lengthy lane closure which can be moved, such as a lane 3 closure for grass cutting. Litter is cleared from the M6 routinely as per our litter picking programme and specific issues can be dealt with on an individual basis.

    So, when exactly do HE’s contractors clear litter in the central reservation?

  405. alyson stainer says:

    I travelled along the M11 weekend of 14/15 April 2018. The litter at the roadside was an absolute disgrace. I travel a lot but this is the worst motorway I have seen, especially at junctions for service stations. Something needs to be done.

  406. Kay Morgan says:

    The litter problem has come to light in recent times. 20 years ago it wasn’t there so this suggests there is something happening to the attitude of the younger generation. They have no regard for their surroundings or our environment and why is it a problem in this country.
    It is the general lazy apathetic attitude of so many today.

    • Iain Dreger says:

      It’s great that Blue Planet II seems to be starting to galvanise public and political opinion on plastics in the oceans. But the fact that most of the plastic started life as litter on the land is less reported. It seems images of animals suffering helps sway people’s views. Why not make more of the adverse effect of land litter on our wildlife? A recent BBC South East news item showed a vole eating a discarded plastic bottle. I’m sure most people would be upset seeing that. If that’s what it takes, can the various anti-litter charities use more of that kind of footage?

    • Sally Hart says:

      I am afraid I cannot agree it is the younger generation that is responsible for the litter we have today . Many young people are far more aware of the damage we are doing to our environment by than my generation . Have you thought how much packaging has changed , that we now eat on the hoof , drink bottled water etc etc . The baby boomers have created an environmental disaster lived in a land of plenty created a disposable society and now don’t like the mess this has created .
      So let’s start getting creative as well as making those responsible and paid to keep our roads clean be held accountable

  407. Liz Parton says:

    Install cameras in the hot spots like slip roads. They might be expensive but the money they raise by catching those responsible for throwing littler will pay for themselves several times over. The litter problem is an educational matter. Most of it is thrown by younger drivers.

  408. Tom Randles says:

    Here is part of a solution for deterring litter dropping scumbags:

    The government can pay drivers who collect dashcam evidence of vehicle litter dropping. Effectively turning everyone with a dashcam into a policeman. If the prosecution is successful then a £50 reward goes to the person who collected the evidence. Images could be uploaded onto the government website.

    Easy, job done, nice little earner too.

    What do you think.

    Should Clean Highways campaign for such a scheme which has potentially huge benefit for the environment with little cost to the tax payer.

    • Robert Kelley says:

      I like your idea.
      In fact. I like any idea with an incentive attached to it.
      My own suggestion further down this thread appears to have fallen on deaf ears.
      Whilst legislation can probably address sloppy commercial vehicles, it’s the scumbags who casually drop stuff from their car window; especially when parked up, who incur my wrath.
      I would be more than happy to litter pick but that is hardly a solution.
      A public service announcement in the middle of an Ant & Dec commercial break or some God foresaken talent show might offer some forlorn hope, at least.

  409. Rob M says:

    M54 – Junction 7 slip-road off Holyhead Road, Wellington heading towards Telford Town Centre.

    Absolutely disgusting and COVERED in litter for the entire length of the slip road.

  410. Karen Coombs says:

    The One Show is running with the plastic problem- I am going to email the editor to see if they would do a piece on the litter problem too. As Chris Packham said, it is us, the public, who have to change. There has to be a cultural shift to make littering unacceptable. The amount of roadside litter is becoming overwhelming and very soon no amount of volunteers will be able to keep it under control.

  411. Chris Dring says:

    Apologies if it’s already been mentioned but the Daily Mail are running a vigorous campaign against roadside litter and are promoting a clean-up in conjunction with Keep Britain Tidy


    The Daily Mail! Who knew

  412. Sally Hart says:

    Drove to Bristol and back over the weekend , litter strew verges and hard shoulder covered in debris plus of course the pot holes. Well done the residents of Shorne for doing a litter pick.

    I have been thinking for some time perhaps the only way to really get attention and to get the litter cleared is do a road clean up , a bit like the beach cleans but in numbers we would go onto the motorways stop the traffic and pick up litter.

    No idea what the legal implications are but think if a few roads came to a standstill for a few hours it might focus someones attention.

    I am prepared to try, just need to get a largish group together and meet at an agreed point with high viz jackets lots of bags , gloves etc maybe some refreshments?

    Is it feasible?

    • Lewis Halsey says:

      I like this idea. Perhaps for example Peter could suggest a particularly bad bit of road, both in terms of litter levels and the long-term stubbornness of HE not to clean it, and which is relatively easy for many people to get to. Then plans could be made for a ‘stop the traffic litter pick’.

  413. David Manns says:

    The A14 that runs through Kettering and Thrapston in Northamtonsire is a complete disgrace. Not only are there fragements of platic bags caught on fences, but all along the road are huge amounts of cans and bottles. It is getting worse and i have not seen a anyone from the local council or highways agency doing a litter pick. I hate to think what tourists think! Does have any pride in their country anymore?

  414. Pete Bates says:

    Friends just over from NZ travelled by bus from Heathrow to Sheffield. They said that the whole journey was like being in a 3rd world country. Rubbish on the verges the whole way. Here’s a suggestion: make it mandatory to use the road sides as landfill sites and be done with it. We can then proudly assert that we are the world’s greatest litterers and, along with the decision to exit the European Union (far too clean for our tastes), more than happy to completely trash our nation.

    • And yet the government mantra is ‘taking back control of our laws’. How about enforcing the ones we have created ourselves such as the Environment Protection Act 1990 brought in by Margaret Thatcher? Clearly states ‘maintain litter free roads’. Shameful that we are the most littered country in the EU and all down to a culture of couldn’t care less, a government that doesn’t value the environment and an arrogant Highways England and their private contractors funded by the taxpayer who think collecting litter is not a priority. One of the largest central government departments who are flouting English Law and being supported at the highest level for doing so.

  415. Helen Flynn says:

    I am wondering why someone somewhere cannot make a decent crash barrier that people can work behind so that roads don’t need to be closed in order to litter pick verges, and also so everyone can join and litter pick them, not just biffa/HE employees. I have something in mind but wouldn’t have the first idea how to go about making it.

    The crash safety barrier or barriers will need to be high enough i.e. ten foot or so, and long enough to enable a decent stretch of carriageway to be worked on. Made of something hard like steel or similar, and be easy to close via hinges, concertina style.

    Having to close a road in order to litter pick the verge is part of the problem. Let’s see if we can find a solution. So are there any engineers or inventors out there? Or anyone who knows of something similar? Or someone who feels that they could make something like this? If so please get in touch at heharwood@yahoo.com. Let’s try and find a way forward with this. If we wait for the powers that be we’ll be waiting forever…

    • Lewis Halsey says:

      The M6 toll road is apparently clear of litter. As are most roads in France, Germany, Belguim, Holland etc. So they all have a system with dealing with this problem. Perhaps someone who works on the M6 toll could be contacted to find out their methods.

  416. Helen Flynn says:

    There will be many more people joining forces like those who cleared the A2 slip road this week. We are all sick of this situation. I met with the head of our local Waste Team last week to discuss the terrible state of the A34 verges. He has a meeting this week with HE to request that they hand over the control of road closures for litter picking to the local Council. I warned him that if the verges remained as disgusting as they are for much longer, people would just start to do their own thing; as has happened with the A2 slip road. He said he would most likely join us in our crusade! I can feel a revolution brewing!

    • Lewis Halsey says:

      Good on you Helen. Some video of local people litter picking while traffic races past, making the litter pickers appear ‘vulnerable but risking it because the situation has got so bad and this is the last option left’ could be influential in getting the powers to be to realise that they are neglecting their duties and indirectly putting the public at risk.

      • Thank you for joining the fight against litter nationally. It is obscene that good people around this country are now doing the job of the multi-million pound Asset Management contractors already funded by us. I’m thinking of doing the same along a stretch of A2 in Gravesend and the slips but inviting BBC SouthEast Today to watch me do it. I really do think Jim O’Sullivan CEO and his big gang cannot be shamed because of the ingrained and stubborn culture that exists within Highways England.

  417. Hilde Bartlett says:

    I would like to report for the umpteens time that the litter on the approach roads of JTC 20 of the M25 is as bad as ever. I am not sure when it has last cleaned, but as well as ordinary litter, some of the debris of the road works which have finished some 18 months ago are still there. Who is ogign to take repsonisbility for this? Regrettably I cannot take photographs as I am always on my own in the car when I drive around there and it would be dangerous.

  418. Lewis Halsey says:

    I am a ‘litter survivor’. On a weekend break in the New Forest, I was taking a walk along the road and getting progressively more frustrated with the litter in the verges and the hedges. I decided to look up at the lovely trees rather than down at the litter, to focus on the beauty of the countryside. But then I stepped on the bottom of a discarded Lucozade bottle I hadn’t spotted, causing me to stumble forwards and sideways onto the road just as a fast moving van passed by. My head missed the van by about a foot.
    (By the way, even ‘looking at the trees’ doesn’t always work, due to the bags caught up in them – ‘witches’ knickers’.

    We have a deep cultural problem in this country with regards litter. Not only is plenty of litter created and through many routes, but there is great apathy about clearing it up. Standards have dropped – it is now conceived by many as the norm to see litter in public areas. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve battled with GP surgeries, Homebases, B&Qs, and even hotels and restaurants about the litter in their grounds. They just don’t see it. The worst example is the residency for the blind next door to where I live in Roehampton – literally tens of large dog turds are strewn on the grass area at the front of the grounds. You couldn’t make it up.

    But there is clearly some good news as well. First, this brilliant website and all the work that Peter is doing. Second, the recent massive interest in reducing plastic waste, thanks to Blue Planet and Sky News. And then there’s the plastic bag 5 pence tax. So perhaps the way to further our cause is to argue that plastic is bad rather than litter is bad per se. Clearly the two are closely linked, but it seems that Brits may be more energised by the former than the latter. I.e. we should work hard to keep the ‘plastic is bad’ momentum going. Litter isn’t only plastic, of course, but hopefully people will start to consider metals etc. to be just as problematic.

    What methods can we use to do this?
    I agree with Annabel Pearce that we can all do our own little bit to litter pick. I do, and I find it quite rewarding. But while this might make our own little area nicer, it is arguably a drop in the ocean with regards our country as a whole.

    – The litter abatement order (search Karen Coombs on this page) seems a powerful weapon to push Highway England to do its job.
    – How about also writing to local tourist boards, making them think about the lost revenue due to our grotty environment? (I think ‘grotty’ is a word that hits home)
    – Arrange to meet with your MP during their surgery hours and show them a brief video of a roadside (similar to the videos Peter has been posting). I think that, there and then, they would have to recognise that littering on our highways and elsewhere is a major UK problem.
    o We should have signs with quantified facts about the damage litter is doing to our country, particularly monetarily (this makes politicians take notice).
    o Encourage someone from the Environment Agency to join us, to talk about the high levels of plastic and microplastics in our waterways due to litter.
    o Horrible, but bring some pictures of local wildlife dead or suffering due to litter.
    o We should bring along some strimmers and strim crisp packets on the Parliament Square grass!
    o Ask Tim Farron MP and others to join us (I believe my local MP would – Justine Greening). And of course ensure Michael Gove is aware.
    o Ask Bill Bryson to join us (and maybe he has some celebrity connections that would also join in).
    o And then we could head off together and do some litter picking in a nearby grotty part of London, to make the point.
    o And maybe chew some non-stick gum while we are at it!

    • Annabel says:

      Hello Lewis, interesting post and thanks for recognising we can all do our bit like I do. I am getting very depressed about all this, especially after an unpleasant phone call I had yesterday regarding litter and my walk yesterday pulling out yet more plastic bags from the hedges. I’m up for anything to draw attention but it’s getting people involved isn’t it and there is so much apathy. I parked in a lay-by yesterday afternoon to clear a heap of rubbish dumped on the verge and I wonder why no one else ever thinks to do it???

      • Lewis Halsey says:

        Hi Annabel,

        Unfortunately, while it is great to see lots of people with a similar view to my own, on this website, there don’t seem to be a substantial number of Brits who care about litter. There aren’t enough of us to form a ‘critical mass’. I’m not sure what we can do about this, but I will at least carry on in my own little corner of the country, cleaning and writing…

  419. Ceridwen Brinkers says:

    I am not sure who is responsible for the A34 (Oxford to Winchester) however I am apalled by the amount of rubbish and litter strewn along both the northbound and southbound sides. This problem has been going on for years now – can’t someone take responsibility and clean it up and keep it clean?

    • Steve says:

      I drove down the southbound stretch of the A34 on Friday and it had been litter-picked! Incredible. I had to do a double and a triple take, but it genuinely does seem to have been sorted… finally. Let’s see how long it stays like this…

  420. Steve Hickson says:

    Yesterday I drove to Suffolk using the A11 and the A14. The roadside litter was absolutely shocking, I’ve never seen roadside litter and rubbish like it. The section of A14 from Newmarket, around Bury St. Edmunds and towards Elmswell and beyond is one huge tip with Grade C and D litter along most of its length. Lay-bys were disgraceful with overflowing litter bins and litter, filth and rubbish everywhere. The local councils have clearly given up – it’s a national scandal that these key arteries have been neglected in this fashion. What can we do? No one seems to care.

  421. If the residents of Shorne managed to clear litter from a slip road, in apparent safety, why can’t HE and its contractors clean up the Denham Roundabout …. and every other slip road?
    If safety is an issue, then a part-width slip lane closure on a Sunday morning would be sufficient.
    These are just petty excuses from HE.
    I remember years ago when operatives could be seen regularly clearing litter from all elements of the motorway network.
    The very obvious conclusion is that HE contracts with private operators are not adequate when it comes to litter.
    …and, use of Community Payback teams under contractor supervision would be more appropriate than using prisoners.

    • Purely and simply money. They don’t want to do it and maintain litter free highways as the law dictates. They are acting illegally. Strangely, I saw a Highways England litter picker and van litter picking a slip road near Cambridge on the M11, no barriers or cones. HE do what they want when they want and find any excuse not to do it. I have been lobbying them for 14 years and still receive the same crap reply in 2018!

      Remove the responsibility from them and give it to a new litter removal and landscape maintain group who are responsible for a motorway stretch. Cost money but after all we are rich nation and should be showing that we love our diverse island landscape and not treat it like a linear dustbin.

  422. john says:

    Looking for tips on how to apply pressure to Highways England to clean are A roads up here in Cumbria. I can only find an email address which never gets replied to. Any help appreciated?

  423. TheEyeSeesAll says:

    Having just moved to Kent I am actually really shocked at the amount of rubbish on the Motorways and trunk roads (all the responsibility of Highways England). This is real filth human urine, excrement, loads of plastic flying from trees – it’s disgusting and something desperately needs to be done about it – either a litter tax on lorry’s (main cause of the proble so charge them before they do because they will) or a toll fee – some charge so that more cameras can be installed to catch and very heavily fine the culprits. In the meantime I believe the Canterbury MP has called for prisoners to clean up what is already there (he will need quite an army of them)!!

    • MP’s should stop taking the easy option by using prisoners which will never happen in any case and instead start hammering National Audit and ask the question as to why the Asset Management contractors employed by central government and Highways England refuse to litter pick, refuse to weekly litter pick to maintain ‘highways free of litter’ as the law, the Environment Protection Act 1990 dictates. Even Highways Englnd in their national litter strategy makes no mention of the law and their duties under the law. Quite simply, the taxpayer is paying billions to private asset management companies nationally and in return we have a national road network that are heavily littered. It is quite clear that Highways England is deliberately avoiding regular, intensive and extensive litter picking and react when complaints are received. My local MP, Adam Holloway for Gravesham simply pays lip service to my concerns and complaints regarding litter. Shameful country. My German friends are coming to England in June. I have already apologised to them regarding the heavily littered M20 and M2/A2 in Kent and told them it is a national problem but nobody cares about removing it. They think I am exaggerating!

  424. Sue pettifor says:

    The A27 between Polegate and Bexhill is just awful. Doesn’t look as if it has been cleared for years.

  425. Sara says:

    I echo the comments of other people on this website-I am disgusted by the seemingly increasing amounts of rubbish on our roadsides. It is everywhere, blighting our beautiful countryside, but the worst I have seen recently is the roundabout at the junction of the A264 and the M23 and the A249 between the M20 and M2. Whilst I think councils and the government need to clear it up, clearly the long term solution is to educate people to use less disposable ‘stuff’ and to put their rubbish in the recycling bin. Urgent action is needed. I too am utterly ashamed to be British.

  426. Becca Galbraith says:

    The A21 between Pembury and Tonbridge – a piece of road newly finished along which I travel up to 4 times a day is starting to get filled up with roadside litter – car parts, clothing and some large pieces of wood are the latest additions and on the exit road to Tonbridge there is an appalling amount of plastic junk including large 5 gallon containers (6 or so) which have been there for at least a year. If the road were a safe place to walk, I would stop and remove this myself.
    Having recently returned from Holland and driven through both Holland and Belgium and a small part of northern France there was a shocking amount of litter along the M20 too – I saw NO litter at all in Europe.. What a terrible sight to greet travellers to this country coming on the Eurotunnel and through the Ports at Dover and Folkestone. I am honestly ashamed that we don’t seem to be doing anything about this.

  427. stephen musselwhite says:


    • Nope is the answer. The last feedback I received stated the trials were unsuccessful because the litter gets trapped in the overgrown verges and hedgerows. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot! If there asset management teams (funded by the taxpayers at billions) groomed the verges and landscaping as they do in Germany, France, Netherlands and Austria then the sweeper/vacuums would work fine. Yet another example of Highways England lack of interest in working with the public to solve the chronic national litter problem on their network. So they don’t want to manually litter pick and flout the law and they can’t direct their contractors to fund a proper asset management of the roadside landscape to suit the function of a sweeper. Says it all about the chronic disease within Highways England. Still, it is funny watching the verges and slip roads along the A2 and M2 in Kent fill up with litter on a weekly basis. Not sure at what point Highways England will start taking litter seriously. The fact they have no Key Performance Indicator to monitor litter collection and their contractors means it is not something that is of corporate interest. I still think that nationally all landscaping assets and litter picking should be the responsibility of a new group and their sole purpose is to maintain the network verges free of litter for a given section of motorway or A road. Happens in France and Germany why not here?

  428. K Hood says:

    Have just returned from litter free Florida which puts this country to shame. I happened to speak to a retired policeman and he explained that litter is a matter of State pride and throwing a bottle from your car is a akin to pointing a gun at someone, it is that serious. Littering is considered a major social no no. If only we could develop that mindset.

    • Richard Lewis says:

      Absolutely. The people who chuck rubbish out of their car, lorry or van windows feel no shame whatsoever about doing so. For any campaign to work in this country this is what needs to change.

  429. Krystyna says:

    I regularly drive on the A40 between the Polish War Memorial and A437. I am shocked to see the beautiful spring flowers coming up which are drowning in the rubbish by the side of the road.
    It is a disgrace that nothing is being done about it while millions are spent on improving roads. We don’t want to drive on roads swamped by rubbish.
    It is very difficult even to find any information on the websites on who to complain to. It is a priority to remove the tons of rubbish now and the responsibility lies with Highways England.
    At the same time we need a national campaign and education in schools ,the press , on TV so that every individual takes responsibility for keeping our country clean.

  430. Judith says:

    I feel ashamed of our motorways! What must visitors think who visit the UK let alone nicer scenery for all who reside here. We have travelled the a1 from north yorkshire to Newark and there is plastic on grass verges, central reservation and in the trees every bit of the way!! Never seen it so bad. Must have cameras showing maybe a recycling vehicle losing all this plastic! Fine them to pay for clean up!

  431. Chris Dring says:

    I’ve now discovered that the Highways Agency are responsible for the A52 (see my earlier post), or more to the point one of their useless contractors. I have nevertheless emailed Derby City Council, who undertake on their website to pass comments on. Not holding my breath. (I have to say that Nottingham, where I was staying, seemed very well looked after)

    • Larryleigh says:

      Chris have ever tried contacting Barnet regarding litter, an absolute nightmare .I wish you luck !!!!!!!

  432. Alexander Robinson says:

    In Greater London, Barnet is a particularly bad offender. The borough’s roads are filthy and car-thrown rubbish spills into the borough’s parks and housing estates. For instance the Mutton Brook stream and the park and woodland around it – running next to the North Circular Road at Henly’s Corner/Finchley Road is a haven for birdlife and forms part of the ostensibly managed and protected Dollis Valley Green Walk. But it has become a collecting ground for litter – thrown from cars on the North Circular or cynically dumped. The Beaufort Park estate next to the North Circular is covered in wind-blown rubbish thrown from cars and the council has done nothing to clean-up either, or to fine offenders. The park is in desperate need of de-littering and the Beaufort Park estate is home to many young families. Barnet need to address the litter and fine offenders. I have repeatedly seen people throw cans, bottles, food bags and sundry items out of car windows at the junction. Installing cameras would be simple. Barnet already use cameras to come down rigorously on speeding cars. Why not fine litter louts too?

    • Hi Alexander

      I’ve just read your post. I just wanted to say if you are concerned about the litter affecting the wildlife just get yourself a strong litter picker, some bags and gloves and don’t be worried about going to pick it up. Councils are useless. I live in Frinton on sea, although come from Hitchin in Hertfordshire. I am an obsessive litter picker. I was on the Jeremy Vine show last Tuesday! I did some woodland area near a roundabout heading towards the A120 (which is disgusting) yesterday and my partner and I got 6 full black bin bags. I also target areas when I visit my family every other week in Hitchin and Stevenage. Don’t worry about what people think, most are very chatty and nice but never think to help!! I have almost given up on Councils. Trying to get them to do anything regarding litter is extremely stressful so it’s easier to just get on with it. I am happy to come and do it or help you when I am around if you would like to clear it up.

  433. Chris Dring says:

    I’ve been away over the weekend and had the misfortune to be driven along the A52 from Nottingham to Derby. I’ve never seen such filth in my life, and I thought the roads round here (Chichester) were bad. The verges on both sides were absolutely covered (there’s no other word for it) with plastic takeaway rubbish, plastic sheeting and cans. Long abandoned road signs and other roadwork debris completed the picture. A truly depressing sight. And this road is the gateway to one of our National Parks. What a joke. Come on Government. Mount an anti- litter campaign, throw some money at it NOW

  434. Craig says:

    Well, Highways England must be in total disarray. Not only are they incapable of keeping the motorways free of litter, they’re not even keeping motorists safe now.

    Travelling northbound out of London on the M1 just beyond junction 1, the accumulation of grit and debris over many months at the central reservation is now so bad that rainwater is being held in puddles by it and is encroaching onto lane 3, causing a safety hazard.

    Past that, shortly before the London Gateway Services, the tarmac is peppered with shoddily filled-in potholes.

    Last Tuesday, I got held up in a traffic jam because lane 1 had been cordoned off. At last, I thought, Highways England is picking up some litter! But, no, their contractor was hurriedly filling in a pothole while the car which had fallen into it sat on the hard shoulder.

    • Richard Lewis says:

      I’ve noticed this too. Dirt and grit building up at the edge of the road surface and over hatched line areas. Surely this is supposed to be cleared away? As you say it is dangerous, as a car going over it at speed and having to brake would be difficult to control.

  435. Jane Hickford says:

    Just returned from Belgium with its pristine roads and towns. No litter,potholes,car parts,shredded tyres etc etc etc! Back in Britain and mile upon mile of rubbish all the way home to Suffolk. Why oh why is it so difficult to keep our country clean??? Others manage but could that possibly be because they just get on with it? We saw street cleaners,road cleaners and individuals cleaning the area outside their homes in the morning. I think it’s called taking pride in your environment!

  436. Geoff Bibby says:

    Just returned from a holiday and exiting the M1 onto the M42. The litter is appalling on this section of road. All the lay-bys are strewn with litter. You would only want to stop in them in a emergency they are so dirty. The same applies to the A5 from the M42 down to Tamworth. The side of the road are just full of litter. No one ever seems to clear it up. You never seem to hear of people getting fined for dropping litter out of cars. I drive in other countries in Europe and they seem to have more respect for there country as you just don’t see the same level of litter.

  437. Just driven back from Newark-on-Trent in Nottinghamshire along the A14. The section between Huntingdon to Cambridge is being upgraded and is the largest Highways England road project at the moment coming in at £1.9 billion. Yet, we are being lied to again by HE. The amount of uncollected rubbish and litter along the roadworks and areas of verge that could be safely litter picked is amazing. I was told that the contractor is required to litter pick under their contract but as Highways England administers the contract on behalf of the government we all know that they will not enforce the contract and law and simply turn a blind eye.

    It made me realise that when the A14 is completely upgraded between Cambridge and Huntingdon, this will be the most expensive linear dustbin in England post 2020 when the works are fully completed.

    Jim O’Sullivan, CEO of Highways England needs stripping of his position for allowing his total network to be a damning shame to the UK.

  438. Angela Baker says:

    I live in Essex and have family and friends in various parts of Essex, Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Whilst travelling to and from these different locations I am disgusted with the amount of litter along the roadside on all the A roads, dual carriageways and motorways. I can’t even narrow it down to a couple of specific roads, they are all overflowing with rubbish. It’s an embarrassment and makes me ashamed to be British. What must visiting tourists think of us!!!

  439. taniia Hemley says:

    just spoken to ‘Emma’ at Highways Agency to complain about the M20 – drove back from France yesterday, hit the sign ‘Welcome to Kent, the Garden of England’ – more like the rubbish tip of England. absolutely disgusting.
    why can’t we have signs on the motorway ‘take your rubbish home’ don’t drop litter etc. as we used to years ago – it does work, people will take notice.

    Embarrassing driving back to England to see all that rubbish on the motorway – disgusting !

  440. If nobody who eats food on the go is prepared to bin it responsible then isn’t about time fast food containers, coffee cups and other items have a deposit on them? For example, a MacDonald’s takeaway could have each item barcoded and a deposit attached. So, the brown bag, 5p, the box 10p, sauces and tissue another 5p. When you pay, the barcode and receipt will state all the items included in the meal and deposits for each. If the buyer wishes to dump the items they forego the deposit. Do that a few times and it will soon change attitudes. When I drive along motorways I see mainly drink bottles, coffee cups, tissues, takeaway boxes so why not start with then nationally and add deposits? Maybe my solution is a bit whacky but it is more than this government is suggesting. Oh, and watch the decision on the drink deposit system this government says it will introduce. I have a feeling it will grab headlights for plastic bottles of up to 500ml and nothing larger and exempt tins and glass beer bottles. If it does, then it will be unworkable for the recycling company tasked to deal with the deposit system.

  441. Carol says:

    The section of the A66, travelling East, between the last lay-by and the Scotch Corner roundabout is in an absolutely disgusting state. The litter is probably blown from the lorries that park in the lay by while using the food van that is there.

  442. Andy says:

    The old expression “Know thine enemy” keeps coming to mind, because until we understand what group are doing the most littering, we don’t know who needs to be targetted. I accept we have poorly secured transported waste, and plastic from freight in transit, but most of the waste I see is fast food/snack wrapper and plastic cups that have been thrown out of cars or vans or trucks. I have some ill-formed views about who the worst litterers are, and I suspect just one reason is to dispose of the evidence of guilty eating, while many just care less about the environment they drive through than having litter kept in their vehicle until it is convenient to dispose of it. But I cannot relate to people who cannot see the consequence of what they are doing, unless they don’t have a vested interest in keeping Britain tidy.
    Are there any useful studies that could help us understand our enemy?

  443. Gill says:

    Whilst driving home this evening, the lorry driving wound down his window, chucked out some rubbish and wound his window up – I have it all on my dash cam, who do I report it to and send the video?

    • Richard Lewis says:

      Put it on Facebook and get people to share the heck out of it so the driver or at least the company can be named and shamed.

    • If it has a commercial address and number I would email the company and state what you saw and you have the evidence and then state that you WILL BE informing the police and the local authority where the lorry was spotted discarded the litter. Whoever did this, is simply trash

  444. MJ says:

    It’s good to see somebody on our side. Let’s hope somebody listens up!!

    21 March 2018
    Dear Matthew

    Please be assured that I am very concerned about the problem of roadside littering and it is a matter that has been raised by many constituents.

    I am taking action on this and have recently written to the Environment Secretary urge the Government to hold true to their promise to introduce an anti-littering strategy. Although this was announced last Spring, we are seeing little evidence of this being progressed. The Strategy was due to be introduced this year and I have asked:

    How this new strategy is progressing and when the campaign will be launched this year?

    Will new, ring-fenced Government funding be made available for the agencies tasked with clearing up the litter?

    Will new, ring-fenced Government funding be made available to educate the general public on the issues of littering?
    That a multi-agency approach will be taken to tackle this issue, as at present there appears to be a number of agencies involved and the problem seems to be passed from pillar to post.

    With best wishes

    Yours sincerely
    Tim Farron MP

    • If you can stomach it, take a drive along the A120, especially the slip roads leading off to Colchester, Clacton and Frinton on Sea. It has to be seen to be believed. I am a litter picker but I can’t take on these roads. Something must be done about the vile state of our country, It’s making me very depressed.

  445. John Lindsay says:

    Peter is doing a fantastic job to bring more attention to the litter disease that engulfs our country.
    We all have a choice to either do something about our littered nation or not.
    We certainly mustn’t moan if we don’t intend to take some personal responsibility with some individual action.
    To not act is to not have pride in one’s country nor oneself, to not give a damn about the beautiful environment and wildlife that has been gifted to us, to not give a damn about the food we eat (or where it comes from), to not give a damn about future generations.
    To act is everyone’s DUTY, first by STARTING to pick up litter in front of our own homes. Then (as to less accessible areas) by informing the council in writing and providing them with photographic evidence (as an assistance).
    And as a last course of action by using the abatement orders to enforce the councils to carry out their duties and obligations if they fail to act upon your previous requests.
    I propose that we should all form part of a collective responsibility for Action.
    We must spread the word to educate our own families, neighbours, and friends.
    We must also advocate against litter louts.
    By acting Together we will leave a better legacy 🙂

    • Sally Hart says:

      I agree with you entirely. Peter has worked tirelessly and now there appears to be some media coverage we must try and keep the momentum going. I agree with Twitter and Social media unfortunately I am not sure the petition has done as much as hoped for. I revert back to my suggestion of starting a campaign via 38 degrees?

    • Dear John

      Could I just add, as I have mentioned in another post, please can everyone just do some litter picking. I do a lot of it and after a while you just get used to it, don’t be afraid to target areas, it really is all we can do because, trust me, the councils have no intention of helping with this issue.

  446. Debra Barreca says:

    Well done peter Silverman. You are quite right, our country is drowning in litter. What we need is a nation wide clean up campaign, similar to the Keep Britain Tidy campaign of the sixties/seventies. What has happened to us in Britain? Why have we lost pride in our country?

  447. Joy Armstrong says:

    Well done Peter re BBC Breakfast – good points clearly made.

    Can I have your autograph now you are famous! : ))

    ps I am still awaiting a response from HE re my last letter to them on the matter of roadside litter. Am I surprised?

  448. Karen Coombs says:

    It is worth using the threat of a litter abatement order that is described on this website. I complained to Derby City Council about the A38/ A516 and roundabouts about three weeks ago, using the suggested line about my citizen’s rights and their statutory duty to keep the area free of litter as far as practicable. I received an email to say that the work had been done – I drove along the road yesterday and they have done a marvellous job of clearing it all.

    • Paul Major says:

      I witnessed them cleaning the A38 last week Karen. In fact we all cheered because we where so relieved to see some action finally after complaining so many times. What a difference it makes. Wish it would stay this way.

    • Richard Lewis says:

      Could you tell us exactly how you did that and what wording you used? It sounds like it would be very useful precedent for others to use with their local authority.

      • Karen Coombs says:

        I would like to complain about the amount of litter along the A38 and A516.

        1. The hospital roundabout and approach along the A516 has not been cleared for some time. It is absolutely disgusting to look at whilst waiting for the lights to change at the hospital roundabout.
        The A516 is littered all the way from the Hansons’ auction house, and there is a bin in a lay-by that has not been emptied for a long time so that rubbish is overflowing. The worst part of the A516 is approaching the hospital roundabout.

        2. The A38 from the Kingsway roundabout is a disgrace.

        Under section 89 of the Environmental Protection Act, you have a statutory duty to keep the highway clear of litter as far as is practicable. You are failing in your statutory duty.

        I demand that you take steps to rectify the situation. I am considering serving you with an EPA S 91 Litter Abatement Order.

        I look forward to your response.

  449. Don says:

    Is it possible to start a campaign similar to Surfers against Sewage. An Instagram page or Twitter account where we can tag photos from length and breadth of country showing the litter problem highlighting how we need to reverse the culture to MPs, Councils, celebrities and media. Its so sad to see our living environment like this. Ppl need to learn to take pride, responsibility and care. Why are we as a country turning a blind eye.

  450. Andy Jones says:

    A disturbing trend, not just in Gloucestershire, last summer was mowing the verges without litter picking first. I doubt the people responsible do the same thing with litter on their own lawns. This is the worst I’ve seen it, and frankly a disgrace. Some ditches have just been dug out and the spoil is thick with un-decomposed litter. How can we get through to the people doing it? Our individual volunteer efforts are worthy, but it cannot tackle the atrocious behaviour of far too many people.

    • Kent County Council in the Garden of England or as locally known now, the Dustbin of England has suffered this disgusting and lazy mowing through litter for decades. Here in Kent this should have stopped because Kent County Council set up a working forum covering all local authorities who should coordinate litter picking before mowing but as the private contractor operated by Highways England is a law to itself, they simply do their on thing and ignore the councils. All totally disjointed, vested interests between Highways England and local government. Hence why we have a lack of litter picking nationally. It is easy this way to pass the buck. Quite dumb really.

    • Helen Flynn says:

      Dear Andy, l took my local council to task recently about this very issue. Verge cutters mowing through litter subsequently turning one piece into several in addition to this, cans broken up into sharp pieces, danger to humans and wildlife. The response from my council was that this certainly should not be happening and verges should always be litterpicked first by the verge cutters, so l will be watching closely to see if this happens again.

      I know that Highways England do this all the time so l have now written to the press and DEFRA to complain and will post the response on this forum (if or when l get one!)

  451. John Newton says:

    We are visitors from New Zealand who have travelled on many English roads in the past few weeks, including around London. We feel disgusted by the amount of rubbish we have seen on the roadsides ranging from motorways to smaller local streets. Sadly, from the moment we left Heathrow Airport, this huge problem became apparent. While some smaller villages and townships have been pristine, the larger areas, and especially the motorway authorities, seem to be turning a blind eye to the problem. We have seen accumulated rubbish in a Regional Park, on railway land, on footpaths, on roadsides, in local parks and even thrown onto vacant private land. Unfortunately, this has marred our impression of England and distracted from the many beautiful buildings and sites you have here. Good luck with your efforts to turn this situation around. We plan to write to all those local Councils and other authorities who we feel are letting the British public down by their inaction.

    • Richard Lewis says:

      Thanks for contacting those authorities. Would also suggest you get in touch with Visit Britain, the government tourism agency.

    • Andy Jones says:

      We had a trip around NZ 15 years ago, where litter was rare. Last year, it was different, and disappointing to see the change, particularly the litter centred on roads in and out of Balclutha, South Island. Thankfully, lots of the country is still good, compared to the UK, but it is like an unstoppable tide, which needs a culture change to wake people up to their responsibilities.

      • Lewis Halsey says:

        John – thank you for taking the time to write to these councils. It is possible that they will respond more to visitors than to locals. I do wonder how much income the UK is starting to lose from tourism due to its disgusting levels of litter.

  452. J E H says:

    The ‘nudge theory’, supported by the government, encourages people to drop litter, when so much litter abounds. “Well, everyone does it, don’t they”. Asking for more cleaning is not going to happen!
    We need – lots of litter bins – regularly emptied, especially at bus stops and regular walking routes.
    Shops and outlets to have a duty to clean within a certain area of their premises.
    Open lorries and vans to be netted, to prevent accidental loss of packaging.
    Local volunteers to befriend an area and clean safe areas.
    Verge cleaning, before mowing.
    A government who understands and cares!

  453. Helen Flynn says:

    Dear All,

    I’m having trouble attaching a photo of my noticeboards (mentioned in my post Monday 2nd April), but l have emailed a picture directly to Peter Silverman. Maybe if he feels they are relevant he could post them on here.

    If anyone is interested, they are a ‘nod’ to the film ‘The Three Billboards’…

    First board says:


    Second board says:


    Third board says:


  454. MRS THOMPSON says:


  455. Helen Flynn says:

    Dear All,

    I sent this message yesterday to the Government and Press, l doubt it will ‘wake anyone up, but you never know


    I am hoping that these noticeboards will serve as a way to kick start some serious action from the Government and Highways England, (who answer to the Government via the Department of Transport) to start clearing our roadside verges of litter.

    Our roadside verges are a national disgrace and travelling around the UK is like travelling through a giant skip. Even if a particular road is under a Council’s remit to keep clear of litter, they still have to arrange a closure of that road with Highways England in order to carry out a litter pick. These closures are often cancelled at the last minute which in turn cancels any planned litter picks. This convoluted, impractical arrangement does not help the situation and needs to be addressed.

    It is time for the Government and HE to step up to the plate and deal with this terrible scar on our Country. It is time for action NOW!

    There are many reasons why our verges are covered in litter, in addition to being thrown from cars, also to blame are vehicles carrying insecure loads, rubbish and litter being blown around during collection times, fly tipping due to additional collection charges, insufficient bins. All these issues need to be addressed.

    There is no point in having litter abatement notices and fines if there is no one around to enforce them. I have some ideas on how we can start to tackle this and other issues, so that once a grand clear up has taken place we do not return to square one in next to no time. If any relevant parties are interested please feel free to contact me.


    I hope that if this article is printed others will follow suit, and put up similar notices around the Country until we see some constructive action.

    Helen Flynn

  456. Nick Squires says:

    I am a Brighton resident and am currently in communication with Caroline Lucas and Cllr Gill Mitchell : Deputy Leader of the Council and Chair of the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee at BHCC. Our main trunk roads, the A27/A23 have been a huge problem for years with huge amounts of litter from cars, cans, food packaging etc being thrown out of car windows and fly tipping of larger items such as mattresses and furniture. What I can’t get my head around is that the Highways Agency passes the responsibility of these roads over to BHCC but due to recent Health and Safety if a road is over 50mph, the Highways Agency has to step in and provide lane closures and train staff to work in these conditions. This request has been declined by the Highways Agency! It seems that the Highways Agency doesn’t take litter on our highways as a priority. Why don’t we get Community Service payback to be trained to clear litter from our roads as they do in the USA?

    Good news today! The Government has passed laws that allow local authorities to give on the spot fines for litter being thrown out of cars. Lets hope they uphold this and it starts to make a difference to peoples habits. Like the smoking ban eventually it will make people stand up and take notice.

    • Lydie Dalton says:

      I am very pleased that another resident in Brighton & Hove has been contacting the local authority about this issue. We have been corresponding with the Council since January including writing to our MP. To be fair, there appears concerned about the appalling state of the roads bordering the national park and the city, and though there seems to be positive movement on enforcing fines for fly tipping and littering, there seems to be little actual action to have the proper full clean up that is urgently required. A partial clean up has just taken place but only on the slip roads as the main roads over 50mph need HE’s permission for road closures which until now has been denied. I contacted HE two weeks ago to report at least 20-25 disused temporary traffic cones littering the verges along the A27/A23 stretch for at least 4 months and at times representing a hazard. I was told that these roads are inspected weekly (?!) and any disused cones are collected routinely (?!). Clearly that is not the case. How can an inspector inspects these roads weekly and not noticed their terrible state including hazards of HE’s equipment never being collected?

  457. Liam says:

    It’s obvious that most of this stuff isn’t thrown out of car windows, with the exception of the sweet wrappers/drink cans seen at road junctions – where vehicles are stationary

    I drive 20,000 miles per year and can’t recall ever seeing anybody chucking litter out of their car. Who takes hundreds of huge plastic sheets, tyres and empty paint cans along with them just to eject them while driving on the motorway? They don’t. It’s coming from somewhere else and it shouldn’t be hard to work out what that is and to address it

    This is a great site, and Peter is a hero for his attempts to improve the situation, but ultimately he and all of us have failed. It’s depressing that Gove and his department appear to have no solution – a bad reflection on his effectiveness as a senior politician

    May I suggest we need the introduction of an online link to a national troubleshooter who will quickly investigate complaints about litter on trunk roads and motorways, and order the CORRECT authority responsible to take immediate action in accordance with the law? We can’t keep expecting Peter to do all this himself, but well done mate for trying. You deserve much better for all your efforts

  458. Paul C says:

    I believe regular contributors to the litter problem are truck drivers. I used to be a truck driver, so I know their routine. Park at an industrial estate overnight, sleep in the cab, have a supermarket bag with items for an evening meal, urinate in a plastic bottle ( no toilets available ). They either then leave their waste supermarket bag & urine bottle in a hedge where they have parked, or throw them out of the window once driven a couple of miles. This is what happens.

    We need more signage, large bins on industrial estates, ( large companies could cover the cost ) public awareness, litter cameras or warning signs of litter cameras.

    • S.Dennard says:

      I agree Paul. Spot on. This is a massive aspect of the litter on the highways. Look at all the areas where lorries pull up overnight and you’ll see exactly the things you describe. Carrier bags with cans and food packaging and then an obligatory bottle of urine.
      It is a fact that as most of the lorries on the roads are from abroad so most of this rubbish is from abroad. Your signs need to be multi-lingual.

  459. Robert Kelley says:

    By coincidence, I found a Draft email only yesterday which was a to be a forlorn follow-up to an attempt to contact a governmental department with an initiative for littering from cars. It may be hare-brained; it may be unworkable but I just needed to give it an airing.
    Like drinking and driving and anti-smoking campaigns I guess it has to be prevention rather than cure and educational to the point where to drop litter makes the offender a pariah within society.

    Why can’t every single rear car registration plate feature the “bin it” logo so that it is subliminally or otherwise, in the faces of every following motorist ?
    And for all those who object to or prefer not to “spoil” the appearance of a relatively small area of their vehicle….they would have the option to pay to waive this obligation. Then the monies generated by the latter group could be ploughed back into litter collection.

    Anything to prevent this country becoming a floating, isolated landfill.

  460. Jane Hickford says:

    We travelled on the A14 yesterday and were once again appalled by the amount of rubbish. Contractors are currently removing swathes of trees and bushes ready for improvements so why on earth don’t Highways employ litter pickers at the same time?
    We also wonder why debris isn’t cleared up properly after accidents. The number of car parts (bumpers,wing mirrors etc) left strewn over verges is shocking not to mention shredded tyres! I know some people using the highways are responsible for this problem but when you constantly see overflowing bins and huge sheets of plastic wrapped around bushes you have to question the efficiency of the relevant services.

  461. Paul Barnes says:

    The M60 Manchester ring road is a disgrace. Litter thrown from vehicles, commercial packaging, abandoned roadworks bollards, signage, you name it, it’s there. The verges have never been cleaned in years. A depressing example is where the M62 joins the M60 from the West. Surely some highway authority has a legal responsibility to clean these places up?

    • Graeme Crichton says:

      I also travel around Manchester frequently and the roads are a disgrace. What is worse is that there have been roadworks, and therefore traffic calming, for years and yet they can’t seem to join the dots in order to clean up the verges and the central reservations.

      I recently complained about the section where the M56 ends as you go into Manchester and got this positive reply from HE. There is a contact name and a phone number in there so it may be worth dropping her a note about the sections you have mentioned. I also wrote to the Mayor of Manchester about it – no reply from them yet:


      Thank you for your email to Highways England, which we received on 9 March, about litter on the M56 junction 3.

      Balfour Beatty Mott MacDonald manages and maintains motorways and trunk roads in the North West, on behalf of Highways England. Highways England asked us to respond to your enquiry on their behalf.

      Thank you for taking the time to report litter at this location. We do carry out our own inspections but this information is useful and has been passed to our maintenance teams. They’ll visit the area and if required a litter pick will take place within 28 days.

      I appreciate that litter is unpleasant to see when you are travelling on the network. Please be assured we do care about the appearance of our motorways and trunk roads in the North West. Each month our maintenance teams work hard to remove thousands of bags of litter. Due to the volume of litter discarded on the network we’ll prioritise the more littered areas first.

      Keeping the network clear of litter is an on-going challenge for us as people continue to discard it from their vehicles. Litter picking puts our teams at greater risk by working closely to the road. It also means time and money could be better spent on other priorities. Highways England is trying to tackle the issue of litter nationwide and has produced a Litter Strategy. I’ve attached a copy that you may wish to read.

      On behalf of Balfour Beatty Mott MacDonald and Highways England, thank you for reporting litter. Please call or email me if you have any questions.

      Kind regards,

      Dianne Bate

      Customer Care| Area 10| Balfour Beatty Mott MacDonald

      t: +44 (0)203 462 1902| e: customercare.area10@bbmmjv.com

      Spencer House | Dewhurst Road | Birchwood | Warrington | WA3 7PG

  462. David Howard says:

    Littering has been one of my pet hates all my life .. I do know that my children both have the same attitude .
    Particularly disgusting in my part of the world near Newbury in Berkshire is the A34 which is at its worst between Didcot through Oxford up to the M40 Junction at Bicester.
    Appalling, even deeply embarrassing when you consider what a major tourist area Oxford is

    • Andy Levene says:

      Totally agree – the A34 in both directions, all along its route is an utter mess and eyesore. I drive it regularly and am just flabbergasted at the extent of the trash that coats the verges, laybys and central reservations. And to think tourists must see that, on their way to Oxford or Winchester. God knows what they must think!

  463. Russell Moore says:

    Just watched your slot on BBC and agreed totally with your comments parts of the UK are like a third world country !!! We are dirty country and when we arrive home from our holidays we are always met with a total disregard for our streets.
    The main area of increased filth are the main trunk roads. If I was a foreign visitor I would be amazed at our TOTAL lack of respect for this proud country.
    Why are we in this mess?
    If we go 5mph over the speed limits we get fines , please can we use our CCT more effectively sure the culprits may then think twice, good luck with all your hard work.

  464. Stuart says:

    I’ve just watched the Peter Silverman article on bbc breakfast, where he advocates private enforcement officers being able to fine people for littering with no evidence at all except that th ‘saw the offence’. Even after it was pointed out that private parking officers have abused their power in this area even when they do have to produce evidence, Peter stood by his assertion. In London, I think it’s about 30% of contested parking tickets are over turned. Imaging what a farce it would be if the enforcing officers didn’t have to provide any evidence! What are you thinking Peter?

    The rubbish on the roads really annoys me, not only do I not drop litter, but I pick it up and bin it. Actually I’m quite passionate on the subject, but peters approach totally turned me off this organisation, he was al aggression and no education. Peter, I don’t believe that “this country is a disgrace”.

  465. Simon Hopes says:

    It’s a fallacy that most litter is dropped by individuals, it’s not. Most litter is the result of commercial activity or as a result of the activity of Public services. Bin lorry collections and increasingly recycling activity by local councils.
    I regularly pick litter up in my local area and 80% fits in this criteria. People don’t drop milk cartons, or fairy liquid bottles in the street.
    Unless we concentrate on these sources of litter and stop focusing on individuals, we will miss a big opportunity to clean up or filthy streets.

  466. Richard Lewis says:

    BBC Breakfast featured the increase in litter fines and the the new law about littering from vehicles this morning. They showed a clip of some disgusting rubbish alongside a road and said they’d received a lot messages about litter.

    I’m starting to believe that we might be seeing public awareness and strength of feeling grow about the issue. I really hope this is the case.

  467. Valerie Procter says:

    We live in Wiltshire in a little village and the road edges around us are full of litter. Having written to Wiltshire Council there has been a clean up, but within a matter of weeks the litter is returning. We cleared the road which circles our village two weeks ago( 8 black sacks full) and yesterday had to do it again (one sack) mostly plastic drink bottles and cardboard coffee mugs!
    Our village has an annual clear up and walkers here always carry a bag and pick up litter as they go.
    I thought it was compulsory for lorries carrying waste material to be covered? Is is that so? If not it should be.
    Keep up the good work.

  468. Phil says:

    Have just submitted e-mails to Sky, BBC and the Daily Mail. I am sure if we all ” throw enough mud” at the situation then possibly it could have the desired effect.

  469. Elizabeth Willatts says:

    The Hogsback, The A31 between Guildford and Farnham, has a sign with the words “the Surrey Hills an area of outstanding beauty”. I travelled this route on Thursday 29th March to be greeted by skip fulls of rubbish the whole length of the eight mile drive.
    I have travelled extensively recently on roads in Australia and USA and have not witnessed anything like this mess. This is just one particularly bad section but most of our truck roads are a National disgrace.

  470. Amanda Rumble says:

    I have just read the 858 comments from members of the Public who are disgusted and horrified by the filthy state of our roads and countryside but not one person in the Media or Celeb world seems to have the motivation or will to become seriously involved which I see as the only way to raise awareness and perhaps start to change behaviour. Why is this – are they litter blind or is it somehow non U to comment and care about this Nationsl Disgrace ?

  471. Roberta Foster says:

    A relative arrived from Australia yesterday, met today and was told the thing they noticed travelling from Manchester Airport M6 to Preston was the disgusting amount of litter on the motorway verges. They were shocked how much the problem has increased if the 3 years since the last visited. How can we expect visitors to want to return to this country when they see that we live in a vast dustbin of uncollected litter. It is not just the motorways but the A roads leading to the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales.

    • Diane French says:

      We live in Dover – every single year myself and others have to ‘harass’ our local authority (Dover District council) to get the M20/A20 approaches to Dover litter picked. Millions of vehicles come through the Port each year – and the approach roads are a total disgrace – an insult to the good people that live here and the most appalling ‘welcome to the UK’ for the millions of visitors that arrive via the Port. Our local authority ‘sub contract’ the work to their partners Veolia Environmental Services – there is no ‘Civic Pride’ in our beautiful area – it’s appalling.

  472. Sarah Smith says:

    Travelling along the A14 into Suffolk I am sickened by the gigantic fly tip that is the verges. This is what visitors to our beautiful eastern counties see on their approach. If not in the interest of residents, surely in the interest of tourism some local budget should be expended on clean up? Digital cameras are now very cheap tech. It would not be difficult to monitor lay-bys and prosecute and deter. Meantime I suspect the most powerful lobbying tool is PICTURES – a deluge of photos of the disgusting mess to press, media. Politicians and local councils might impact.

  473. George Niblock says:

    HE could reasonably reduced the number of complaints about the presence of litter as a result of many people who are aggrieved but feel that complaining is a plain waste of time. Just the same as the quantities of litter on the roadsides is as plain as the nose on everyone of their bare faces.

  474. Christine Elliott says:

    I travel to Yorkshire, and occasionally to Glasgow, in both cases to visit family, and the roads from Poole in Dorset to Glasgow are an absolute disgrace. Litter is a constant eyesore the whole length of the journey.
    I feel ashamed of our country when I see the litter on verges.
    I keep on hearing that it is the public that is to blame, but I don’t wholeheartedly agree with that statement, I acknowledge that it is a problem near to fast food outlets, but I can honestly say I have rarely seen anyone throw anything from their car, if ever, apart from cigarette butts.
    I believe a great deal of the rubbish comes out of the back of recycling lorries. I have twice recently memorised such vehicles’ numbers whilst out driving and reported the vehicles when I got home, and once I pulled alongside a vehicle at traffic lights, which was spewing out recycling stuff, to tell the driver who had been doing far more than the speed limit, that his vehicle was discharging rubbish, you can imagine what his response was.
    I have complained to the highways dept in the past and asked them to clear the roadsides, but apart from the time when the olympics were in Weymouth, no cleaning is done, and the answer is always “Health and Safety”….they apparently cannot close lanes for men to pick up litter.
    Perhaps we should encourage the Queen to make a progress the length and breadth of the country, I sure the roads would be cleaned up then!

  475. Carl says:

    Having driven extensively in France and Germany over the years, you always know when you are back in the UK by the rubbish strewn motorways and A roads. It is getting worse and is as much a cultural problem as it is a lack of effort on behalf of the authorities. Again, in France and Germany, people would be horrifed at the thought of throwing rubbish from car windows. It seems a normal behaviour in the UK. Shameful abd a reflection of our society in general. Get the roads cleaned up and get the government Nudge Unit to start changing this disgrace in general.

  476. Mike Grant says:

    Reading through these posts there is a common theme – the roadsides in this country are filthy and in a disgusting state. Despite this being a national disgrace and a blindly obvious problem the authorities – the Department of the Environment, Highways England or local authorities don’t give a damn. They shamelessly ignore their responsibilities in law and complaints from people posting on this site, or they buck pass, obfuscate, hide behind policies, procedures non-existent health and safety concerns and spout jobsworths’ gobbledygook such as best practice and consulting stakeholders. They even end up marking their own homework and coming to the conclusion that they are doing a fine job in tackling litter as Highways England have done so recently. It takes the Emperor’s new clothes analogy to a wholly new level. The worrying thing here is they may genuinely believe their own hype.

    Whilst admiring all the efforts of people posting here and I have done a lot of challenging responsible bodies to clear up myself, and respecting the terrific work Pete Silverman does, it feels as if collectively we are hitting our heads against a brick wall. I can only see change coming if the problem is highlighted by the national press in a similar way that Sky News has tackled the problem of plastics in the oceans. Their campaign caught fire and has sparked a national consciousness that I suspect no-one expected. As a result change is being instigated, for example the bottle deposit scheme announced this week. If major TV news channels, current affairs programmes and campaigning newspapers like the Daily Mail get hold of the issue and start naming and shaming the uncaring jobsworths who run our country they may then get their fingers out and clean up. In conclusion I think we should be lobbying national and local TV news channel, national newspapers to highlight the problem. In my view the fight needs to go to a new level. This week I wrote to Sky News asking them to do so. Perhaps if a 100 of us did they might run a campaign against roadside litter.

    • MJ says:

      Totally agree with you Mike. I will mail anglia news. Any more takers?

      • Richard Lewis says:

        I agree this is a good idea, and that it probably takes a concerted effort to get the media to take notice. I emailed BBC Breakfast recently and didn’t get a response. I’ll do the same with Sky News and suggest others do likewise.

    • Larryleigh says:

      Mike i Have contacted sky several times regarding there campaign on plastics telling them to look at this site,then they could find the source of there plastics in the oceans, thrown from filthy unthoughtful members of the geat British public on to our roads!!!!

  477. Ingo says:

    It’s really heartening to read all the comments of like minded people!
    I have noticed too the ever growing issue of roadside litter over the last few years, which now has truly reached unprecedented proportions.
    I do care deeply this country, having moved here from Germany 22 years ago.
    There seems to be a general apathy regarding this issue, people think you are almost weird if you just talk about it.
    In Germany this state of the roads would be a major national issue, but to be honest even there it’s not as perfect as it was 30 years ago.
    I also have contacted the authorities countless times with the same meaningless responses (if at all).
    Apart from constantly litter picking in my local area in Welwyn Garden City and now becoming a member of the Welwyn and Hatfield litter pickers I also don’t know what to do anymore.
    But at least I don’t feel on my own any more.

  478. David burden says:

    When traveling on any road in the Wimborne and Poole area why hasn’t the enormous amounts of rubbish on the road verges picked up if looks like a road to dumps why oh why can’t the council pick up this awfull sight this country becoming one large dump get it PICKED UP 😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡

  479. Simon Guise says:

    I am guessing that HE are not responsible for clearing litter on the M6 Toll motorway. It is spotless, no litter at all and well mown verges. If ever there was an example of the way our motorways should look this is it. Having driven along the A14 through Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire, which is foul, and then onto the M6, again a disgusting, embarrassing mess, the change as one arrives on the M6 Toll is a breath of fresh air.
    Clearly the owners have got to grips with the H&S requirements which allow them to keep it clean. It shouldn’t be difficult for HE to manage the same process.

  480. Toby A Smith says:

    The A14 in Northamptonshire is absolutely filthy everywhere including all the slip roads. The council are extremely unlikely to do anything about it…

    • Paul Bishop says:

      I recently posted on Facebook about the roads in East and North Yorkshire. The kerbsides are littered mile after mile. We should be ashamed of ourselves as a nation for the state of things and just not caring.

  481. David G says:

    The A£ southbound has tons of litter in the verge before the M25 sliproad. Also let’s not talk about the sliproad itself – the perennial excuses are nearly as frequent as the reports I make about the appalling state of the verge next to the traffic lights.

  482. Robert Molesworth says:

    All along A1 both north & south bound almost continuous litter on verges from London to Doncaster, discarded lorry tires on verges and on central reservation. On the above journey journey there were around 10 tires in both directions. Not to mention plastic bags caught in trees & as I say continual litter along the whole route. This is just an example. Most A roads now are like this. I am ashamed and would like to know what can be done?

  483. Cat Darke says:

    Having recently from Cotswolds back to Canterbury mostly on motorways. By far the A2 Faversham to Canterbury was the dirtiest stretch of road. Please get something done about this.

  484. Beverley Paton says:

    The A2 Dover to Canterbury to Faversham is in a terrible state with piles of litter, motorway cones and detour signs left behind after road works, car parts and other rubbish. The lay byes are shockingly bad – areas where one cannot even see the ground for piles of litter.

    This stretch of highway is the responsibility of the local authorities – part of it Canterbury City Council and part Swale Council. It has not been cleaned for more than a year and must be tackled now before the vegetation regrows which will make it more difficult. It is appalling that for many tourists this is the first view of the UK that they see and it is an embarrassment to the Garden of England! I have written to the leaders of CCC and KCC, who both replied but gave no indication of how or when the problem will be dealt with – only elaborating on the difficulties – e.g. the need for lane closures! Other countries manage this so why can’t we?

    There have been many reasons given for why it is in this terrible state, and these do need addressing, but first can we please remove the existing litter as it only encourages more anti-social throwing of litter from cars and trucks.

    Where is Highways England in all of this?

    Please can the authorities work together to resolve this situation with urgency.

    • angela downs says:

      Just to say that I also think the A2 is disgusting. There is no excuse. Where does all this rubbish come from?

    • OC says:

      London part of the A2 (Boroughs of Greenwich and Bexley) is also in disgusting state as if it is in the capital city of a third world country. I flagged this to the local MP, Greenwich Council and the TFL. It is very easy to guess what the outcome is: No Change whatsoever not even the slightest. The ignorance from everyone is shocking. It is as if we are being subjected to a sick social experiment. As a law-abiding, hard working, high tax paying citizen I am very very disappointed. If this is what the authorities are targeting to achieve, they made a success out of it.

    • Derek Gilman says:

      Agree entirely. Have written to Swale, Canterbury and Dover District Councils about this appalling introduction to the “Garden of England” but only Dover had the courtesy to reply and gave the usual lane closure health and safety issues making cleaning difficult. Until theses issues are addressed, councils will use it as an excuse to do nothing. What makes matters worse is that even if Dover do clean their stretch (which they said would take place this spring), the other councils do not coordinate and so the overall effect is haphazard. I don’t know what the solution is and in the meantime, the situation gets worse by the day!

    • Selina Mifsud says:

      I too am angered by the state of the M2 and A2 through Kent, a beautiful county which is many overseas drivers’ introduction to the UK – a disgrace. Not only is the litter an eyesore and potential highway hazard, it also represents a risk to wildlife and the extensive plastic detritus is a public health issue, with plastic breaking down and entering the water system. Canterbury are taking inadequate responsibility for waste in their area and the health and safety argument is a neat get out. When will the waste be cleared?

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  486. A smith says:

    Ref litter, if you take your litter home and not throw it out of your car , don’t blame highways , it’s members of the public to blame, I’m out every day picking up litter on our motorways , Also the government should make skip companies cover their loads better……

    • Monty Don says:

      I agree with you completely. We also need to reinforce general public education not to litter. Public awareness commercials, signs on motorways, don’t litter and reinforce from a young age not to litter throughout childrens education. After all they are going to be the generation walking around in it up to their knees in the future if we continue this way. Penalise lorry drivers, their companies as you say and produce less unessessary plastic in the first place. We have far more lorries on our roads than ever before. Its a sad fact some of our adult population need to be told not to litter as if they were children.

      • Sally Hart says:

        Are you Monty Don of gardening and dog fame if so please can you help as you have a media presence and might know how best to direct all these comments regarding the litter strewn roads and countryside to get publicity.

        The potential health issues , reputation of our country and the complete lack of accountability of those with responsibility do not bode well for our future.

  487. Robert Molesworth says:

    Driving today from London up the A1 to Doncaster and back l was appalled at the continuous amount of litter on the verges both north and southbound. Litter from cars and litter blown by the wind and setting there. This is just an example. Almost every A road in UK is a litter strewn mess. Please tell me what the Highways Agency can do about it? It should take pride in our roads.

  488. Sally Riley says:

    The A27 at the junction with Long Furlong outside Worthing is disgusting at the slip roads. What has happened to our green and pleasant land? No one cares that our countryside is being polluted by filth and plastic .

  489. Phil says:

    Is there anyway by which we can pool photographic/ video evidence onto this site and once amassed present it to the national papers/ parliament and somehow onto national tv ?We need to shock this nation and in particular those responsible for the discarding and removal of litter to the blight of our nations highways.

  490. Steven clark says:

    I travel between rishton and Warton every day and the litter on the m65 is shocking, along with slip roads and trunk roads in the vicinity. This litter is also blowing onto surrounding farm land.

    Please could someone rattle whoever has the dot for cleaning this up….?

  491. Paul McMaster says:

    I travel the A40 into South Wales daily, up onto the Heads of the Valley Road across the top of the Beacons, this should be a wonderful drive advertising South Wales at its best, it seems somebody forgot to tell SWTRA, (Welsh Highways England) as the road is a linear landfill site, from the normal bottles and paper cups to Lorry Tyre’s and Car Parts. Its obvious to me on my travel around the country that HE and Council Officials get to work by some other means, other than by road as obviously they don’t see the litter and mess they are responsible for. Are they Blind or just bone idle.
    Do they ever have the gumption or nous to make their contractor DO what he is contracted to do, I doubt it; and when will they join up their thinking, when tree cutting and closing off a lane, clean the litter, repair the road signs, mend the kerbs and clean out the gulley’s at the same time, or is joined up thinking just a little too hard for local government.
    Are you old enough to remember those campaigns to clean up the rivers, where are all those eco warriors now.
    In constant anticipation that this country may one day recover its civic pride.

  492. Richard Starling says:

    Keep up the good work Peter !

    The A11 between Norwich and Thetford is in desperate need of a litter pick. It is the worst it has ever been. This Highways Agency is really not fit for purpose.

    • Linda says:

      We travelled down the A11 to A14. There must be several tonnes of litter along the way. Barton Mills roundabout absolutely festooned in rubbish. It’s disgusting and a disgrace. Why do people throw their rubbish??? Take it home like many of us do. The travelling sites too are really bad now but they never clear up their own rubbish and mess and of course no-one will tackle them about the problem. All along the A14 too as far as A428 Bedford road. Any visitor to Norfolk will be disgusted too I’m sure.

  493. Janice Argent says:

    Thank you Peter for your tireless efforts in bring this depressing situation to peoples attention. Heads should roll at HE and all local councils who are accepting of their disgraceful rubbish strewn areas.
    Never ever have I seen our countryside in such an appalling state. What is the mentality when people are blatantly disposing of their rubbish without a thought of the inevitable consequences. Surely it’s time for the Government to wake up and take action to ensure that those whose responsibility it is to keep our country clean DO THEIR JOB. Moreover, a NATIONAL CAMPAIGN is needed to shame those who don’t give a damn to consider what they are doing environmentally, and also highlight the massive cost of having to clear this litter which, in turn, will have to be paid by all of us in the form of taxes eventually!
    Like those who have already commented, I am quite despairing of the negative attitude being shown by replies received when contacting Mr Gove. Stop passing the buck and someone fior goodness sake take responsibility. This is our country’s reputation we are talking about!

  494. Emma says:

    I’ve travelled from Medway to Norwich and the litter has been appalling. Not enough is being done to tackle this. Lorries should not be allowed to park and litter. Councils should be doing more to clean these roads on a daily basis. People should be charged for dropping litter. Services stations should be paying to clean the roads of litter in their vicinity.

  495. Phil says:

    Is it not possible to have people who have been given community service sentences to be utilised in this war against litter.? I would bet that quite a few of them are often the culprits of discarding their own rubbish from vehicles. It may make them think twice if they have to pick up their own cr ~°p .

  496. This is the level of interest from MP’s in our country regarding the appalling state of our littered highways and more importantly the agreement amongst politicians and ministers to flout english law, the EPA 1990 to save money and allow OUR private contractors funded by the taxpayers not to adhere to english law and keep our highways FREE FROM LITTER.

    I wrote to my local MP for Gravesham, Adam Holloway three weeks ago and simply asked him politely, when he has time to drive from the Tollgate roundabout in Gravesend, take the Kent coast slip road and give me his view on the state of the network. Basically once again he has ignored my request and has given me the two finger sign by not even acknowledging my request.

    There is a fundamental and almost corrupt situation going on here with regards to flouting the law, protecting private contractors and their contracts, all supported by the Highways England CEO, transport ministers and MPs.

    Is the future for the UK? Not getting to grips with basic and fundamental quality of life issues that aren’t even an issue in other normally functioning northern European countries? Doesn’t happen in Germany, doesn’t happen in France, Doesn’t happen in Scandinavia so why are we as the public being treated like non-entities. It worries me that if we are not prepared to spend money and keep our highways clean what are our abilities for doing far more taxing issues that are confronting us soon?

  497. Oona Hickson says:

    I have travelled from Chichester to rye on the A27 and A259 the entire route is a disgrace and particularly poor near Eastbourne . This has not been helped by recent strimming in some sections resulting in a confetti of plastic rubbish shards. Why is this
    Acceptable. 26 th March 2018

    • Iain Dreger says:

      Hi, the A27 is shocking. The stretch between Lewes and Portslade (both ways) is probably the worst I have ever seen it … and it’s never been good. The main carriageway is full of commercial waste, slip-roads and lay-bys are are mostly consumer detritus. It’s the boundary of the South Downs National Park – who’d guess? Local authorities do nothing. So depressing.

  498. Hilde Bartlett says:

    There is llitter everywhere in the South East of the UK. to be specific, all the approaches and exits to the M3 on Jct 4a are full of litter, left and right. It is a disgrace to our country and shameful. Regrettably I cannot take photos as I am invariably on my own in the car whne driving there.

  499. Jane Goodger says:

    Complained yet again to HE that the A1/M25 Roundabout is appalling. Despite assurance it would be cleaned 2 weeks ago, it still hasn’t. Why can’t they proactively clean rather than wait for reports? And then require constant chasing…..
    Also, travelled behind a Fred Sherwood recycling lorry on A1 last Friday with rubbish flying out the top!

    • Richard Lewis says:

      Have you contacted Fred Sherwood? Maybe they have a Facebook page you could shame them on.

    • Ingo says:

      Dear Jane,

      I actually used the M25/A1M roundabout myself yesterday, coming off the M25 from the East.
      It was never great but I have to agree with a lot of the other comments that it has gotten much worse in the last few years.
      Another really bad stretch is the A1 southbound towards London.
      I contacted Barney Council to be eventually told (after a few attempts) that they are only responsible for cleaning the grass verges, but not the hedges and the areas behind the fences (that’s apparently the responsibility of TFL).

  500. Anthony says:

    M66 motoway , Bury, Lanashire. The central reservation and embankments are covered with plastic litter. It’s horrendous and the worse stretch of highway Iv travelled along. Flithy !

  501. V Housden says:

    I’m travelling along the whole length litter terrible

  502. Andy says:

    My partners is from New Zealand which is known for being clean and green, and after visiting 3-4 times I have to agree, it really is. It’s so embarrassing when her parents visit and comment on the amount of litter on the roads, and they’re right, it’s a disgrace. It’s just such a shame people don’t appreciate the environment as much as they should. I understand there is only so much money that can be spent on litter picking and that people need to educated, but I personally would like to see a change in packaging. I don’t think 100% biodegradable packaging can come soon enough. What’s wrong with brown paper bags etc?

  503. Nina says:

    It’s a shame that some people don’t care . England would look so much nicer . I don’t understand there needs to be something done about it tbh . Good idea for the younger generation : have clean up rubbish days out in schools so the children learn about it .

  504. Miss hargreaves says:

    Following all comments I have read I would like to say that our highways are actually appalling I regularly travel along the m42 and m5 and many of the B roads and highways appear to look more like the local tip every time I drive them. There is no clear up on any litter and our country is in a terrible state by the negligence of the people and budgets that are responsible. It is about time somebody enforced a clear up and actions are taken to stop Britain looking like a pig sty.

  505. Miss harris says:

    Following all comments I have read I would like to say that our highways are actually appalling I regularly travel along the m42 and m5 and many of the B roads and highways appear to look more like the local tip every time I drive them. There is no clear up on any litter and our country is in a terrible state by the negligence of the people and budgets that are responsible. It is about time somebody enforced a clear up and actions are taken to stop Britain looking like a pig s