Have your say

Please voice your concerns here.

Which roads were in the worst condition? Share your ideas, start a discussion, or just ask a question.

Click  Have your say to make a new point. <<<<<<<<<<<<<

Use reply  below someone else’s point to comment on it

Alternatively you can contact me less publicly  via my Contact us page.

Your recent comments have been forwarded to Highways England, CEO as follows:

5th Feb 2018   HE’s reply and my riposte
6th Feb 2018
16th Feb 2018  HE’s reply
27th Feb 2018  (Responding to HE and giving notice of court action)

Earlier correspondence can be seen here


Peter Silverman.


1,085 comments so far

  1. 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 …..

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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


  12. 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

  13. 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?

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. caroline taylor says:

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.


    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!!!!!!!

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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?

  25. 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”!

  26. 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?

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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?

  31. Trevor Mepham says:

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

  32. 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.

  33. 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!

  34. 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

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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

  38. 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?

  39. Sandra says:

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

  40. 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.

  41. Craig says:

    World Cup: Japan fans impress by cleaning up stadium:


  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. Jean says:

    A2/potholes etc Canterbury-Dover

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

  46. 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…

  47. 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.

  48. 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?


  49. 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….

  50. Bren Groom says:

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

  51. 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!

  52. 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.

  53. 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.

  54. 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!!!!!!

  55. 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.

  56. 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 ?

  57. 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!

  58. 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??

  59. 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.

  60. 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 !!!!

  61. 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.

  62. 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?

  63. 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.

  64. 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,

  65. 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.

  66. 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.

  67. 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?

  68. Gary Merseyside says:

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

  69. 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?

  70. 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.

  71. 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

  72. 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.

  73. 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.

  74. 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.

  75. 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.

  76. 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

  77. 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’.

  78. 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?

  79. 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.

  80. 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.

  81. 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.

  82. 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.

  83. 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…

  84. 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…

  85. 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.

  86. 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.

  87. 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?

  88. 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!

  89. Sue pettifor says:

    The A27 between Polegate and Bexhill is just awful. Doesn’t look as if it has been cleared for years.

  90. 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.

  91. 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.

  92. 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?

  93. 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.

  94. 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.

  95. 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!

  96. 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 !!!!!!!

  97. 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.

  98. 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

  99. 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.

  100. 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!

  101. 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.

  102. 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.

  103. 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!!!

  104. 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 !

  105. 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.

  106. 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.

  107. 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?

  108. 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

  109. 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.

  110. 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.

  111. 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?

  112. 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?

  113. 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.

  114. 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.

  115. 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!)

  116. 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.

  117. 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!

  118. 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:


  119. MRS THOMPSON says:


  120. 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

  121. 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?

  122. 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

  123. 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.

  124. 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.

  125. 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.

  126. 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

  127. 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!

  128. 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.

  129. 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”.

  130. 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.

  131. 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.

  132. 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.

  133. 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.

  134. 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.

  135. 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 ?

  136. 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.

  137. 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.

  138. 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.

  139. 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!

  140. 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.

  141. 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!!!!

  142. 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.

  143. 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 😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡

  144. 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.

  145. 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.

  146. 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.

  147. 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?

  148. 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.

  149. 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?

  150. jams says:

    Thanks for sharing the information. I found the information very useful. That’s a awesome story you posted. I will come back to scan some more.
    3 part carbonless forms price

  151. 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.

  152. 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.

  153. 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 .

  154. 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.

  155. 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….?

  156. 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.

  157. 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.

  158. 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!

  159. 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.

  160. 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 .

  161. 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?

  162. 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.

  163. 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.

  164. 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).

  165. 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 !

  166. V Housden says:

    I’m travelling along the whole length litter terrible

  167. 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?

  168. 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 .

  169. 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.

  170. 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 sty.

  171. bobjag says:

    I have read with interest the many letters received, all complaining about the litter on our highways and who may be responsible.
    The public at large are unfortunately the responsible ones, its simply a lack of education.
    The authorities may wish to clean up the situation but can claim lack of funds and incentives in doing so.
    I would hazard a guess that over 85% of the litter on the highways today comes from off licences, convenience stores, filling stations and fast food outlets.

    School education, TV advertising, Littering fines, communal clean up groups …….are all are extremely important. Surely we should be concentrating and shaming those that profit from the sale of products in readily disposable/throw away, bottles, wrappers, cans etc.
    Do MacDonald’s, KFC, Dominoes, the local chippie, Greggs, Majestic wines, BP service stations all have clear policies on litter and do they adhere to them? .

  172. Jenny Lowe says:

    I phoned to complain about the disgraceful amount of litter on A27 between Fontwell and the Fishbourne roundabouts. It fills me with shame. I contacted West Sussex County Council who told me it was Highways England who were responsible for litter collection on A27. Having phoned Highways England I was told to get back to West Sussex County Council which I did. After having to be forceful on the phone and insisting on speaking to the person in charge of litter collection I was given the number of Chichester District Council and spoke to Andy Howard. He was very helpful and informative but told me the collection of litter for that section of A27 was due but only when the funds were available. He was embarrassed and ashamed of the state of the road side and was powerless to do anything but apologise. My point here is not only the disgusting state of our country side but the fact it took me four phone calls and real determination against unhelpful members of our County Council to report the matter.

    • J Dunk says:

      Most of the A27 is strewn with litter. Its so bad. I have family coming from abroad in the Summer and so embarressed to pick them up from the airport and that is the first bit of the UK they are going to see, motorway with piles of rubbish all over it!

  173. Annita Clinton says:

    The southern half of the M11 is strewn with litter and needs a thorough clean-up. On the outside edge of the fast lane, there are several shredded tyres that need to be removed.

    • Ingo Henn says:

      Dear Annita,

      I fully agree!
      I drove from Welwyn Garden City to Stansted airport today.
      The roadside litter was so bad that I decided to return via the M11 and M25, where the roadside litter was even worse…
      I have contacted my and other councils on several occasions, to be ignored each each time…
      I’m at my wits end.

  174. Richard says:

    I’ve complained to Dacorum council about the state of A41 as it is disgusting..I suggested they shut 1 lane to allow for litter picking, with a sign saying ‘we won’t shut a lane if you don’t drop litter’..with the ensuing delays I’m sure motorists will get the message. Their response was that to close a lane would incur a fine..

    In respect of litter picking apparently Dacorum only pick once a year.


  175. Andy says:

    Just further to my comments below. For years I have been thinking, as I drive across our road networks, “am I the only one seeing all this disgusting trash everywhere” “does no-one else care?”. So it is heartening to see so many others have noticed (well frankly you’d have to be blind not to notice all the rubbish!) and, more importantly, are outraged and do care. But the situation must change!

  176. Andy says:

    Totally agree with all the comments here. Roadside litter here is a national scandal and a disgrace. I live in Dorset and the A31 and A35 are replete with litter (esp. A31). These roads run through the heart of the New Forest – A NATIONAL PARK! Nowhere else in Europe would you see that. I have driven all over the country and endorse the comments elsewhere on this forum – the litter is just ubiquitous. The worst I have seen is the A34 – North and Southbound – the verges and central reservations are coated with litter.

    I see more roadside litter in 100 metres in the UK than I do driving 100,000 metres in France. I often think of tourists driving here, who must be staggered at what they see. They must think “I must have taken a wrong turning and ended up driving through a landfill site – please help me!”. I have for a long time thought of moving to France. I don’t know if I will now with Brexit on the horizon, but I tell you that in my top 5 reasons for wanting to move is to live in a country where the citizens do not treat their streets and highways as an open bin. It’s been this way for years and I honestly cannot see it fundamentally changing in my lifetime – the ‘I’ll toss my litter anywhere I like’ mentality seems to be so deeply engrained. For one thing it would take a complete lifetime to clear all the roadside litter even if the littering behaviour completely ended tomorrow as there is now just so much of it!

    • Derek Gilman says:

      Too true, Andy. Some stretches are so encrusted with rubbish that clearing them will amount to a mammoth task which is beyond the capabilities – and finances – of the relevant authorities. It is not a minority who litter – it is now the majority. We no longer have any civic pride in our surroundings. Like many others on this site, who have lodged official complaints, only to be met with lame excuses and buck-passing, I do despair at the general lack of concern. We used to be the ‘sick man’ of Europe in the 60s/70s with regular ongoing strikes and stoppages…we are now the dustbin of Europe and – apart from contributors to this site – nobody gives a damn.

      • Andy says:

        So true Derek. When you see the sheer mountains of litter on our roadsides it does feel totally overwhelming, and unconquerable and it is so depressing. I feel so saddened by it and I cannot understand how it has got this bad. I am in my late 40s and whilst the UK may never have been the cleanest country in Europe it was never like this when I was younger. I remember driving in the 1980s/90s/even early 2000s on the M25/M1/A12/A40/A4/M4/M3 (I was from London – now Dorset) and I don’t recall anything like it at all. Sure, there has always been some roadside litter but not like it is now. In the last 10-15 years it has got utterly out of control.

        I just hope that future generations can turn it around- it will take a lifetime and a completely sea change in behaviour and mentality for the littering to stop and for it to be cleared and STAY CLEARED.My fear is this country is going to sink into the sea and become completely submerge as a result of the weight of all the litter before long! Might be the best thing for us to be honest.

  177. Anne says:

    Today I drove from Worcester to Bournemouth. Soon after I set off, heading south on the M5 between Junction 7 (Worcester South) and 8, I passed 2 Highways vehicles parked on the hard shoulder. There were a few cones between the vehicles and fast moving traffic, and 2 workmen litter-picking the adjacent embankment. The area where they had been at work looked beautifully clean and free of litter. It just goes to show what a difference just 2 people can make, without road closures being needed. I was very pleased, and hoped it might indicate that a widespread clean-up was happening. Unfortunately my optimism was short lived. As I turned off at junction 11A for the A417, litter was, as usual, knee deep for miles.

    I collect litter regularly in the village where I live, and the worst spots are field gateways where people pull in, eat and drink their way through endless quantities of fast food and alcohol, drop their rubbish, discard their plastic bottles of urine, and drive off. It’s a strange and sad mentality that causes some people to behave this way. A well-publicised national anti-litter campaign is long overdue, I feel.

  178. Jan Sefton says:

    I regularly travel on the A64 York to Scarborough Road. The verges are strewn with litter for miles and the the lay-bys are knee deep in some places. How is it allowed to continue !. York was recently voted a top place to visit however the roads surrounding this historic city are frequently covered in litter. The city itself leaves a lot to be desired where cleanliness is concerned. The lack of bins needs to be addressed as well as regular clean ups.

    On a recent visit to Denmark I was struck by the cleanliness of the place. What has happened to Britains National Pride !

  179. Helen English says:

    Last week I turned off the A303 onto the A34 towards Newbury and Oxford and was appalled to see litter on both sides of the dual carriageway literally the whole way along with barely a square metre litter-free – 40-50 miles of it, thousands upon thousands of bin liners’ worth. I saw one council worker with his small lorry picking up by hand. Reckon it would take him at least a year working every day of the week to collect it all! I’ve never seen it that bad before, and what must foreign tourists think of the third-world mess when they head up to the beautiful city of Oxford? It’s an absolute disgrace. What CAN be done about it in this age of ‘austerity’?

  180. tom rea says:

    Highways England are obviously ignoring their responsibilities regarding litter clearance. For some time I have been travelling between Petersfield and Grantham (A3 ,M25, M1 ,A421, A1 ) and litter is always present. Every year, during grass cutting, most of the plastic gets cut up into small pieces and spread around the verges. A lot of it probably ending up in rivers. Can politicians be made to do something about it?

  181. Chris Dring says:

    This is the response from “Michael Gove” (I don’t suppose he even read the email). As usual buck passing and no recognition of the Government’s role in Highways England’s performance!

    “Thank you for your email of 17 February to the Secretary of State about litter. I have been asked to reply.
    Local councils are responsible for keeping their “relevant land” clear of litter and refuse. For any local litter issue, we recommend contacting the council to make sure it is aware of the problem. It is up to councils to decide how best to meet their statutory duty to keep their relevant land clear of litter and refuse.
    All councils have a complaints procedure and if you are frustrated by lack of action or cleaning by your local council, you should first complain formally to the council itself. I appreciate that you may have done this already.
    The Government is committed to encouraging local solutions for local problems. This is particularly relevant in dealing with litter and fly-tipping problems, which require a local approach, tailored to the characteristics of the area and the community in which the problems occur. The role of central Government is to enable and support this local action: providing a clear legal framework of rights, responsibilities and powers, setting national standards and, where possible, making sure that the costs of dealing with litter issues are passed to those responsible for causing the problem.
    We published the Litter Strategy for England in April 2017, setting out our aim to clean up the country and deliver a substantial reduction in litter and littering within a generation. The Litter Strategy brings together communities, businesses, charities and schools to bring about real change by focusing on three key themes: education and awareness; improving enforcement; and better cleaning and access to bins. A copy of the Litter Strategy can be found at: http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/litter-strategy-for-england.
    We welcome local community action on litter picking and it is encouraging to see that there are a growing number of public-spirited individuals and community groups tackling litter all over the country. We support and endorse national clean-up days such as the Great British Spring Clean, and the Great British Beach Clean, and we will continue to use our influence to encourage as many people and businesses as possible to participate.
    A good anti-litter campaign is part of almost all successful international approaches to tackling litter. As set out in our Litter Strategy, we are developing a new world-class national anti-litter campaign, to help deliver sustained behaviour change for this generation. The campaign will be evidence based and use a combination of awareness-raising and behaviour change approaches with some targeted paid-for media.
    To develop the campaign, we have brought together key campaigning organisations and behavioural experts and are working with businesses to develop and secure funding.
    We believe that businesses should try to reduce the amount of litter their products generate. The Litter Strategy sets out how we intend to work with the relevant industries to tackle certain types of particularly problematic litter, including fast-food packaging, smoking-related litter and chewing gum.
    Under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, councils and others have powers to tackle persistent, unreasonable behaviour that is having a negative effect on a community’s quality of life. Councils, the police and designated social housing providers can issue Community Protection Orders and Public Space Protection Orders which can be used to require the owner of premises, such as fast food outlets, to take certain actions to tackle litter created by their activities.
    In some places, street litter control notices may already be in place to prevent litter. These notices can require the owner of premises to take action to tackle litter, including taking remedial action up to 100m from the premises itself.
    In 2007, Defra published “Reducing litter caused by ‘food on the go’: A voluntary code of practice for local partnerships”. This guidance aimed to “reduce food and drink litter, and waste that becomes litter, in the local environment”. It gives businesses a framework to firstly identify how, when and where their worst litter problems arise, and secondly to work out the best ways in partnership with others to solve these issues. The code has been successfully used but needs to be updated to take account of new research and changing patterns of food consumption. As set out in our Litter Strategy, we will work with members of the Litter Strategy Advisory Group and others to review and update this guidance.
    Yours sincerely,
    Gary Haynes
    Ministerial Contact Unit”

    • Larryleigh says:

      gobbleykook in its purest form Chris!!!!!!

      • Derek Gilman says:

        I had an almost identical reply, full of buck-passing and waffle. It makes you wonder whether there is any point complaining!

        • Iain Dreger says:

          So, they’re “developing a new world-class national anti-litter campaign, to help deliver sustained behaviour change for this generation”. Absolute baloney. More consultations, papers, and meaningless waffle. Since when did paper-pushing make a jot of difference. Learn from other countries in Europe that do things properly!

  182. Robert Shirlaw says:

    I live in Halifax, West Yorkshire and sadly like many other towns and cities in the UK , Halifax has turned into a refuse site with trunk roads in and out festooned with litter.
    I litter pick on a stretch of the A58 a major trunk road from the M62 quite near to where I live, but I can’t cope with the amounts anymore , so decided to ask for the councils help.
    I had to write 5 emails (First 4 were ignored)with supporting picture evidence at their request 3 months ago. They said they were not able to collect litter on the side of the stretch that does not have a path because it is deemed unsafe on a 50 mph road. They would need to introduce traffic lights to make the area safe, however they claimed that they do no have the £850 in the budget for this cost and therefore could not guarantee a time when the roadside verge would be cleared. As a compromise they agreed to clear the path side of the road once per week.

    I received a letter in response to my official compliant detailing the action they were going to take and after 3 weeks, still nothing has happened.

    I’m going to give it one more attempt at getting them to do something , but failing this I intend to take more pictures of specific litter hot spots and involve the local press to see if I can shame them that way. I have also contacted my local councillors for support and there are signs that they do seem willing to help. We will see !

    I am heartened to read all the other posts and have picked up some useful ideas to bolster my mini campaign, particularly the legal obligations of the authorities.

  183. Phil says:

    Hi had some friends from France come to visit me last month. I drove them from Winchester to Oxford along the A 34 . In short it was nothing less than an utter disgrace and an embarrassment. The amount of littler along the north and south sides of the carriageway was atrocious. I agree we are a third world country, there must be some way by which this can highlighted and brought to the minds of everyone in this country.

    • Monty Don says:

      I was thinking of maybe an Instagram campaign, sending general publics photos to government or other social network campaigns and bring to the attention of media.

      • Lydie Dalton says:

        I think it is an excellent idea Monty. It is becoming clear that politicians and the Highways Agency who surely must be fully aware of the problem (how can they not ?- it is unmissable) are not willing to engage …

  184. Frank goddard says:

    To those of you that were waiting for me to tell you that I had good news regarding a meeting with my MP, sorry I have to disappoint you. My MP Mr Ed Milliband did not even answer my e mail. Suppose insufficient Cudos for him.

  185. Gwen says:

    I have visitors coming to stay from Australia and feel ashamed about the amount of litter on all of the roads locally (Northumberland).The main road A1 is a disgrace with hardly any litter bins in the lay-bys. I visited Namibia recently which is a poor country in comparison and they had organised litter pickers and collection on the sides of all roads. The last five years has seen a huge increase in this problem and I now feel as if I live in a third world country.

    • Michael Emsley says:

      I totally agreed, South Africa a very poor country had rubbish picked up daily and it was done simply and was well organised. I doubt most UK Local Authorities and Highways England could organise in a similar way. The wrong type of people populate our ‘authorities’ most couldn’t run a raffle.


      • J Dunk says:

        I have family arriving from South Africa in the Summer and dreading the trip from the airport as the motorways are so disgusting at the moment. Im so ashamed.

  186. Penny says:

    I drive around the UK for my job, and have seen a noticeable increase in the amount of litter virtually everywhere, and on both A roads and motorways. Not only that, but lay-bys with overflowing bins, which are clearly not being emptied. This country looks like a tip.

  187. Phil Vanhoeck says:

    We need to create a nationwide public reaction in the same way Blue Planet stirred the nations consciences to reduce the amount of plastics used in our lives.

  188. Paul says:

    A14/A11 corridor between Cambridge and Bury St Edmunds – who is responsible for clearing up the rubbish on the roadside verges? Litter is an unfortunate part of my job being a groundsman, but the amounts along these roads is disgusting to say the least, it’s literally skip loads around lay-bys, verges plastic like flags in trees all along both carriage ways. Makes you feel ashamed it’s got to this. Have government authorities or highways completely dropped the ball on something as basic as clearing up rubbish? I mean..Come on, we must be able to do better than this shower of s**t!?

  189. Jess Rode says:

    The highways in the south of England extending from Somerset to Sussex are atrocious. There is, quite literally, tonnes of non-biodegradable plastic strewn across the verges of our roads. It harms the eco system and is an embarrassment to Britain and its councils.

  190. Steve Harris says:

    The roads around Sussex are full of litter and there does not appear to be any response to the issue from the local authorities.

    Used to driving on the continent where there’s little or no litter on the roadside.
    This is a very English problem not resolved over a number of years.

    Particularly poor around Brighton, that if anything you’d expect to be cleaner as the only Green Party in power nationally. With the volume of litter and mess in the town obviously not a council priority.

    • Nick Squires says:

      I live in Brighton and am currently in communication with Caroline Lucas in regards to this appalling litter situation around Brighton and Hove. She is very proactive but keeps coming up against BHCC CityClean and the Highways Agency excuses. I just keep emailing and emailing to get something done. I think a collective of like minded people to protest the government is the only way forward. Hopefully this new law introduced today that allows local councils to give on the spot fines for throwing litter out of car window

  191. Phil vanhoeck says:

    Such a shame human rights and health and safety play such a pivotal role in our lives. Would be an excellent opportunity to have prisoners/ young offenders out along the roads picking up the litter. Perhaps even those on social benefits to donate a few hours per week in the art of gentle litter collection to give them a sense of purpose and ease them back into the working environment !!

  192. Mark Thomas says:

    Hi i drive on most highways in Midlands and can say they are all a disgrace .on junctions particularly..but the rest of trunk rds are litter strewn ..it needs to be highlighted somehow

  193. Mike Waight says:

    With reference to the recent A40 scenarios in Bucks may I add that the A40 in Gloucestershire, where it forms a part of the ring road around the north of the city of Gloucester is every bit as litter strewn as the Denham video. Not only there but the A417 that joins the A40 around Gloucester is likewise covered in litter from the roadside, deep into the bordering hedges. An absolute disgrace, and for the many foreighn motorists who use these roads to get to the Cotswolds beauty spots a complete eyesore. We in this country are known throughout Europe as the ‘Dirty Nation’.

    Last but not least the sides of the M4 from junction 17 to junction 20 (Almondsbury Interchange) are coverede in litter. Then continuing north on the M5 from the Almondsbury Interchanghe to junction 12 is similarly covered. I’m not holding out much hope but I shall be writing to HE and Gloucster City Council about this state of affairs. I wonder if I’ll get a reply?

  194. Donna Page says:

    Who is responsible for the A41 verges from Hemel Hempstead to the M25 junction roundabout? They have to be the worst litter strewn verges in the country! Having recently driven routes to Northumberland and East Sussex nothing is as bad as the A41 stretch!

  195. Larry leigh says:

    Peter re your letter to H E on the state of the A40 denham roundabout,the operations director NICK HARRIS replies “I acknowledge based on your videos that there has been an oversight regarding this section.” It’s absolutely right opposite the highways depot, is he stupid or is he typical of H E and that is why our roads and highways are in such a state!!!!!!

  196. Jonathan Castro says:

    The litter problem in this country is terrible. I spend a few hours a week clearing litter from roads around my area here in Guildford (mostly along the Woking road), all in my spare time of course, and have even resorted to putting up anti-littering notices to try and encourage people to keep their country clean.

    We need anti-litter ads on TV – a public shaming campaign that will make it taboo to drop litter. It’s a shame there are so many losers with no concern for the environment and who do not care about tossing litter out of their car windows. I’m wondering if it has anything to do with the high level of immigration from Eastern Europe, but no doubt there are plenty of litter louts native to this country that need a good telling off.

  197. Mark says:

    Many of our roads are lined with litter and bits of plastic hanging from trees and shrubs by the roadside. This plastic will remain there for DECADES unless it is removed. It will not decompose. Many of our roads look like a post- apocalypse with a variety of plastic garbage flapping around in the vegetation. The A13 in Essex is appalling.

  198. Frances Knight says:

    I am disgusted and depressed every time I make the road journey from Canterbury to Faversham – but this is just the situation in microcosm, looks like it is happening everywhere. A few years I remember going to a much poorer country in Eastern Europe and being upset at seeing the litter everywhere, but I can say now that the roads in the UK are far far worse than that country.

  199. Phil vanhoeck says:

    I think the problem has several areas that need addressing. Firstly the education of our children at school in the correct ways to deal with litter and showing them how unsightly its making their country. We then need government adverts on the TV like we had back in the 70’s with the keep Britain Tidy campaign. Service stations food stops and fast food drive throughs are more popular than ever. The majority of litter ejected from cars/lorries comes from food and drink purchased at these places. These companies and franchises need to be held more accountable for the way that food and drink is packaged and sold. Perhaps the most controversial suggestion would be for the councils and agencies to publicly announce that more money will be spent cleaning our road sides than repairing the road surfaces. This MAY focus peoples minds in the way they discard their rubbish, if they can’t drive their precious cars on a nice smooth road. I understand the last point would cause un uproar myself included. Why should we all suffer!! To be honest I would rather see clean road side verges and maybe have to drive a little slower due to poor road surfaces. Perhaps it may not work, but it’s worth a try !!! Funny how the toll roads in France are kept very clean maybe we could introduce tolls !!!

  200. Paul Bolton says:

    Interesting that O’Sullivan considers the neglect of the A40 an ‘oversight’.
    The whole of his network has been overlooked !!
    The state of the roads under his jurisdiction is a national disgrace not a local one !!

    • Malcolm Snodgrass says:

      Mr O’Sullivan will tell you that Ministers want him to focus on safety and that he operates one of the safest, occasionally the safest, road networks on the planet.

  201. Lydie Dalton says:

    Peter, thank you for the sterling work that you do on this issue and for providing this forum.

    The littering issue seems to have got to such a bad state in the last couple of years nationally that one wonders why it is that politicians (and even head of state) do not visibly appear to be that unhappy about the state of the country they govern, and exercise some authority on Highways England. There was TV coverage last year about the situation and yet it does not seem that HE is willing to act. And the vicious circle of people thinking they can add to the landfill sites that our roads have become is disturbing.
    Is there another issue at play here? should this be escalated higher up than HE? It is after all an unfolding environmental crisis and the impact on fauna and flora is devastating.

  202. David Brooker says:

    Just travelled from Crowborough to Polegate in East Sussex and back. The A26/A22 to Polegate is bad enough in places but the A27 eastwards from Polegate roundabout along the Polegate bypass must be one of the worst littered roads I have seen and like many of you, I have unfortunately seen plenty in this country! Will be on to the East Sussex council tomorrow…

    Why are the councils spending money on cutting the grass along the sides of roads when money should be spent clearing up litter and filling potholes?

  203. Paul Major says:

    Everywhere I drive I am surrounded by bloody litter and it is piling up relentlessly!! It is a NATIONAL DISCRACE!! Highways England are clearly not doing their duty and Local Authorities must be concentrating their efforts on City Centres, because the trunk roads where I live are in a terrible state too. SHAME ON HIGHWAYS ENGLAND and SHAME ON THE MORONS THROWING THEIR RUBBISH OUT OF CAR/LORRY WINDOWS!!

    I understand that from April this year there will be new legislation in force to fine motorists who litter using CCTV and number plate recognition cameras. This cannot come soon enough. Who is responsible for cleaning up the A42 I cannot seem to find out.

    Sincerely and extremely frustrated
    Paul – Midlands

  204. Ian Franzen says:

    I just travelled on the M62 from Winwick to Huyton(12 midday 14 March 2018). A strip 10 feet wide has been mowed. Unfortunately included in the mowing is all the detritus none of which was removed in advance. I observed plastic petrol cans, reflective vests, traffic cones, amber warning lights, drinks cans as well as other normal litter. I just watched a news item on the amount of plastics getting into our ecosystem and food chain surely this is totally unacceptable under the authority of a government Agency. I am disgusted.

  205. Larry leigh says:

    Now we hear a river in Manchester is the most polluted river in the WORLD,no wonder ,looking at the filthy litter strewn country we live in !!!!!!!

  206. Jacqueline Chambers says:

    Junction 23 of M25 on to A1(M) up to Stevenage the litter is horrendous! I thought the Isle of Wight was bad, but it’s nothing in comparison.

  207. Roberta Foster says:

    On M65 12/3/2017. Filthy, disgusting amounts of litter on verges. At junction 13 where motorway ends a pile of litter which has been there for 12 months, the cushions etc where bright blue now getting pale blue having been there so long. Every slip road and under the motorway bridges piled with litter. This has not been around for weeks but several months even years. How often is this section litter picked?

  208. steve says:

    The state of the verges of the A34 trunk road between Oxford and the M4 is a national disgrace as a result of the litter thrown by filthy morons from passing vehicles. In greater Oxfordshire this is a situation which also exists on many lesser roads where littering moves into the realm of the seriously criminal where fly-tipping is rife. And incredibly, in this beautiful part of the world and AONB, this seems to be a situation to which the Oxfordshire County Council and Highways Agency pay absolutely no attention whatsoever. Surely it can not be beyong the wit of man to devise a system whereby minor offenders or unemployed people or, heaven forbid, even council employees could be deployed to mitigate the problem.

  209. Richard Lewis says:

    I normally work at home but some recent long road trips have really highlighted to me what an utter disgrace the amount of litter along our verges is.

    I travelled from my base in Cambridgeshire firstly to Loughborough, along the A14 and up the A1, to St Albans down the A505, A1(M) and A414, and to Heanor in Derbyshire again along the A14, M1 and A610.

    By far the worst road is the A14, with litter mainly in the form of plastic bottles, food wrapping and fast food packagaing.I have read on here that a major culprit is waste being blown off skip lorries and waste contractor lorries but to me the type of litter indicates road users casually chucking stuff out of the window. The fact that it is our major routes, usually from our ports such as Harwich, Felixstowe and Dover suggests that it is lorry drivers that are chiefly responsible. I am sure there are many lorry drivers who do not throw litter but there are so many on our roads that it doesn’t take a huge proportion to make an impact.

    As well as putting pressure on the authorities responsible for litter removal, we need a big awareness campaign to make littering as socially unacceptable as drink driving.

    This website is great, and it is encouraging that there are so many people writing in with their experiences and showing their strength of feeling, but it’s not getting the exposure it needs. I have written to BBC Breakfast to see if they can pick up on it, and suggest others do the same. I would also strongly suggest the owner sets up a Facebook page and a Twitter account to use the power of social media.

    • Sally Hart says:

      I agree with you regarding the need to up our views more effectively Peter Silverman is a hero and needs our support. Social media , twitter, TV radio etc is a good idea , in fact the petition to Jim Sullivan at Highways UK does have a link to Twitter and comments from many.
      I to date have e mailed my MP, Theresa Coffey and Michael Gove and will e mail the remaining Department of the Environment asking them if they could get there heads out of their papers and look at the litter strewn countryside that they have ministerial responsibility for that makes me feel depressed.
      The potential impact of this is cost to the NHS, health and safety issues such as increase in vermin in particular rats, debris flying around endangering lives , harm to wild life, loss of business already on this forum the loss of a conference contract from Holland , tourism affected etc etc . Unfortunately the present government seems incapable of looking at the bigger picture on any topic
      I wonder if the roads around Chequers are litter strewn , I would be interested to know

      I do believe we need to keep e mailing or maybe get a petition and march to Downing St . Any other ideas

  210. Nik says:

    It’s getting to the point now when I can’t go for a walk or drive without coming back depressed over the state of the roads. It’s quite obvious that cash-strapped – and let’s face it – often badly run councils have cut street cleaning to the bone, if indeed they even bother with it at all now. And as for Highways England… well, I think we can all see how well they’re doing.

    Of course, this wouldn’t be an issue if the filthy pigs responsible for all this litter didn’t do it in the first place but short of a miraculous, nation-wide change in attitude I don’t see things improving much in the forseeable future.

    My fear is that we now have such an enormous backlog that the will to do something about it is more remote than ever.

    • Martin says:

      I agree with you totally. I even sometimes avoid going out as I can’t cope with seeing so much litter om the roads and grass verges. I do pick litter myself regularly in the area where I live. As soon as it’s done it’s back again. No one seems to care and I don’t think any of this is going to change. Its very depressing. It feels like a losing battle.

  211. Lorna vincent says:

    Please stop right there, whilst I appreciate the massive problem with litter on the roadsides and lay-bys of this country, it isn’t individual roads but practically every road in the U.K. next time you go out for a drive keep your eyes open. There is no possible way that our councils can fund a clean up of all our road, littering needs to be made totally unacceptable like using your phone whilst driving. I have been out with my other half litter picking the roadside and lay-bys near where we live as we were so fed up with the mess. If every just did a local road it would help

  212. Angela says:

    I drove down from Crawley to Lancing on the 10th March 2018. Junction 10 of the M23, the M23 southbound, the A23 and the A27 were all completely saturated with litter. What is going on? Do the Highways Agency no longer carry out litter picks? Are people no longer educated by the Keep Britain Tidy campaign? There were also plastic bags etc strewn in the trees. It makes me so angry. What is being done about it? Is there anywhere I can find out when planned litter picks are being carried out? Who else can I complain to? Would it be my local MP? Not only is the litter is an eyesore on our (not so) green and pleasant land our poor wildlife must be suffering too!! An utter disgrace!

  213. Alison Ball says:

    As if it isn’t bad enough seeing for myself the wanton disregard for the environment evident in the horrendous amount of litter on our roads I have just watched the news and heard about the alarmingly high levels of micro plastic present in the river Mersey in Greater Manchester. I fear for the future of this planet. It is turning into one huge litter bin.

  214. Sue says:

    After returning from India where the waste is absolutely terrifying,with no recycling plants in sight, I was looking forward to coming home to clean England. How wrong was I, for it has highlighted just our bad fly tipping and waste/rubbish is in this country. I use the M56 corridor everyday from Runcorn to Chester, It saddens me to see all the plastic that is strewn all over our trees and green belt area. This stretch of the motorway is full of wild life, especially birds, to see the trees full of plastic just horrifies me.This is not just an isolated area in the uk, I travel many miles for work as well as pleasure, North South, East and West, I am just shocked. If we do not tackle the issue with plastic and other forms of litter we will soon become like India, where it is so out of control it is the norm to chuck you refuse out on the side of the road. we are killing our wildlife with plastic and destroying our beautiful green belts and country side, polluting our rivers and coast line. Who is responsible for the clearing of our roads side? Lets give Highways Agency power to police the issue with littering, I see members of the public throwing rubbish out their vehicles, lets start policing these issue’s, properly.

  215. Les Walker says:

    I found ‘Clean Highways’ today and actually feel a lot better now as I didn’t realise that so many UK citizens feel the same way as my wife and I do about the thoroughly disgraceful amounts of litter by our roads.
    We travel frequently throughout Europe and are relieved by the lack of litter (and pot holes and warn out road markings – but that is another story!) as soon as we arrive on the continent. However, on arrival back in the UK we feel, once again, depressed and ashamed as we travel home.
    We regularly use the A120, A12, M11 and A11 as well as the routes down to the Channel Tunnel but wherever we go in the UK the problem seems to be the same, including minor country roads.
    I cannot believe that our members of parliament, members of Highways England and local authorities see this issue as one of high priority as they must all travel along the same roads as the rest of us. Where is the concern about our country’s image and the effect that the litter has on our well-being and health? And how about our flora and fauna?
    I too am increasingly ashamed when friends and family visit us from Europe and the USA and my wife and I are increasingly more inclined to move abroad to get away from the filth – but should we really have to?
    I sound pessimistic but I really can’t see those in ‘authority’ (elected or otherwise) having the will and determination to deal with the issue – perhaps the only person who can draw attention to this issue which is destroying our environment is David Attenborough.

  216. The M2 and A299 in kent. The litter on theside banks is knee deep in some areas coastbound. This has been the case for two years now.

  217. Gloria Barkby says:

    Throwing litter of any kind out of a vehicle should be combatted with some high profile serious fines……I’m talking £1000 or more. Nothing educates the moron more quickly than hitting ’em in the pocket. Word would soon spread.

    • Lorna vincent says:

      Totally agree

    • Cherry Mills says:

      I quite agree about imposing hefty fines. In Californian, U.S., you regularly see signs warning of $1000 fines for littering. There ought to be a national campaign by the government to make littering as dirty a habit as smoking, or driving while under the influence. Also, the Highways dept (or whoever they subcontract to) should automatically put up permanent signs to say a verge has been cleared, at great cost, and potential life endangerment, whenever they have completed a clearing operation. It just needs an ongoing drip feed approach to change people’s attitude to dropping litter.

  218. Sally Hart says:

    This morning I went for a dog walk in the field that is near my home . Alongside the field is Sheering Lower Road firstly I found a Sainsbury’s plastic bag and in the next half an hour this is what I picked up along the hedgerow.








    • Sally

      Yes I can agreed with your large collection of plastic bottles and cans and here with a government that was going to introduce the deposit system on cans and bottles and Michael Gove said he wept when he saw the David Attenborough programme Blue Plant that highlighted the plastic waste problem in the oceans. Yet Mr Gove is now listening too much to the vest interests in industry, the Plastics Federation in particular and the likelihood is the deposit system will be introduced any time soon. A whole host of civilised countries has the system and it cuts littering to a fraction of what we see in this country. Every proposal that is put to this government as an anti-littering measure is kicked back and the same with Highways England. Litter is not increasing in this country it is just nobody picks it up any longer and everyone concerned is making excuses and passing the buck. My German friends said to me that they couldn’t live in this country it is too dirty and they are surprised how unkempt Britain is.

  219. Sally Hart says:

    This morning I went for a dog walk in the field that is near my home . Alongside the field is Sheering Lower Road firstly I found a Sainsbury’s plastic bag and in the next half an hour this is what I picked up along the hedgerow.









  220. Alison Ball says:

    Just so depressing to see the state of roads in the UK with regards to litter. I think more needs to be done to address those that throw litter in the first place. Perhaps what we need to do is introduce ‘national litter picking service’ so that all citizens must contribute to the removal of littter from our roads which might encourage those that do throw their litter to stop. This might prove easier and cheaper than trying to catch people in the act and fine them.

    • Sue says:

      Community Service, instead of fines that offenders are unable to pay, put them to work. Lets see something for there bad behaviour within our communities.

      • Frank Sidebottom says:

        Hi Sue, Litter picking on high speed routes is a very dangerous business. There’s no way the roads authorities are going to trust people convicted of crimes to work in such a dangerous environment.

  221. M Holt says:

    Driving yesterday on M27, A3 & M25!
    An utter disgrace with so much litter
    everywhere! I feel absolutely disgusted
    And ashamed of the state of this
    Country. We have travelled to many
    countries over the years and nowhere is
    dirty and uncared as Britain. However,
    we actually saw a single person and
    Highways maintenance Vehicle collecting
    litter along one stretch near the A2 junction
    of the M25!!! So it can be done and there
    were no cones out! Wish I could have stopped
    to thank him!!
    I feel absolutely disgusted and ashamed
    at the state of our roads and motorways –
    something has to be done!

  222. Sally Hart says:

    Today I drove from Bishops Stortford to Ely by way of the M11 A14 and A10 litter trailed along either side, not a small amount of litter tons of it .PLEASE WHAT CAN BE DONE it makes me feel ashamed , depressed and helpless.

    In the past month I have visited Austria, Portugual and Sweden and driven similar distances and the roads are clean.

    What is happening in this country that the law is flouted by those that have responsibilities .


  223. mrs Robina Farley says:

    The litter by A3 between the M25 and Guilford is disgusting

    There has to be a way to deal with this – I am ashamed of our roadsides

    Is there a way I can volunteer to clear rubbish

    • matt says:

      Just drove along the a23 and M23 in Sussex. The waste if horrendous and really depressing! What the hell is going on?

    • Lorna vincent says:

      Robina if you contact they will give you bags pickers gloves hi viz, I just go out locally and litter pick it’s very addictive, also if you collect a large amount of litter I email our local council and they come out and pick it up

    • Jonathan Castro says:

      You can sign up to the Adopt a Street scheme, and get a litter picker, etc, for free from the council. I’ve been cleaning some of the Guildford roads for about a year now, but when it comes to major roads like the A3 it’s rather too dangerous without proper planning and equipment. I agree the A3 is terrible, like the rest of our network. It’s depressing.

  224. Elisabeth Cosslett says:

    Yesterday we drove from the M4 onto the M5 and then onto the M42 not one stretch was clear of huge amounts of litter of all sorts. I’m ashamed of the state of our roads

  225. Jane Goodger says:

    Road side litter is appalling. I regularly travel between South Lincolnshire and Surrey and they’re all dreadful. I make regular complaints to HE and local councils and either get no response, excuses or promises that ‘they will pass my complaint to their contractors’ and so into a great black hole. It really ruins my journey. I regularly travel to Mexico to visit my son and can honestly say that their roadsides are no much better than ours in the UK – something I never thought I would say a few years ago.

  226. Ian Dare says:

    I’m not sure which body is responsible for “maintaining” the post-apocalyptic wasteland that is Junction 25 of the M1, but you could shoot a scene from Mad Max here without changing a thing. Not just the extensive and perpetual litter (bad enough though that is), but the rampant, out-of-control shrubbery, semi-abandoned temporary signage, battered and partially-obscured direction signs, lank un-mown grass, and muddy, rutted, over-run verges. More like a neglected section of the Mogadishu ring road than a British motorway junction. Quite appalling.

  227. JOSEF NORTH says:

    A2 (Kent) and at Brenley Corner. How come one does not see littering in Japan, Singapore and other nation states yet in Britain motorways and increasingly local roads are ‘decorated’ with trash. Having recently done a litterpick and collected 20 full bags of this trash over 0.25 of a mile on the A257 illustrates the depth of the problem; sadly within 3 weeks the trash had been ‘decorated’ to the same degree. The insignificant in number rubbish bins are full to overflowing.
    This throw-away epidemic as against ‘take it home’ may be linked with the plastics in the oceans; some of it will be discarded at the point of use or nearby.
    Enough is enough!

    • Warren Jones says:

      Do we really want our motorway lanes closed while Highways England clean up after filthy UK residents ? Do we want the extra congestion this would bring ? balancing act.

      • Alison Ball says:

        My answer would be yes. If people experience the inconvenience of closed roads and it is made clear why that is happening then that might make the litterers think more about throwing their litter. Okay the rest of us would be inconvenienced too but worth it in my opinion.

        • Frank Sidebottom says:

          No, millions will disagree with you as well as the CBI, RHA and FTA. Hundreds of millions are lost to UK business because of congestion. We are a very dirty nation. Very sad for an oap like me. Has to be another way.

      • Paul Major says:

        Absolutely Yes! I would welcome being stuck in traffic if the reason was because someone was actually cleaning up the litter. Perhaps the litterers who are also stuck in the traffic will take note and change their anti social behaviour.

  228. Sarah stocks says:

    This evening drove on M/A42 from junction 10 to the M1. Junction 10 itself is a disgrace…litter everywhere and it does not get better the whole length of the road…Why does it seem to be getting worse? Are councils cutting back or are we littering more and more. We have severe problems in our seas and on land when is this going to become a real issue for government?

    • Warren Jones says:

      We are a dirty nation. When I travel through Germany and France I don’t see armies of litter collectors on the motorways.

  229. Norma Gladwin says:

    I feel so embarrassed by the sight of all the disgusting rubbish on our motorways and major roads. Why are we putting up with this…….!!! My husband and I went for a leisurely drive today along A55 and A483 coming from Wirral to Wrexham it was not a pleasant sight. Felt quite sick at the amount of debris on the side of the roads the most I think I have ever seen in my 67 years. Something has to be done……maybe those people who have to do community service as a punishment could make a start! Something needs doing SOON……

  230. MJ says:

    So pleased to find this site! Absolutely sick and tired of roadside rubbish. I actually think the state of our roads affects us mentally and this is something the government should take into consideration. I recently drove back from Brighton to Newmarket and by the time my wife and I got home we felt totally miserable. I know logistically it can’t happen but a public national road tidy day would do wonders for the pride of this country.

    • Amanda Rumble says:

      During the last few months I have been so appalled by the amount of roadside litter everywhere that I realise it is affecting my behaviour and desire to move around and travel from a to b- I cannot understand why everybody is not equally outraged and depressed . Of all the ideas suggested I support the planned closure of motorways and roads as the only extreme measure to force awareness of this problem.

      • Annabel says:

        Amanda, we are depressed. You are not alone. I spend nearly every day doing some litter picking, I get bags of the stuff and put myself at risk as a result. It is affecting me badly and making me very depressed. I carry bags and a litter picker in my car and on my dog walks. I hate living in this filthy country now, I feel very alone at times as so many people appear not to notice or care. My only consolation is this website. We have to keep going in the hope it changes but I’m not optimistic. Thanks for caring! Annabel, frinton on sea, near the vile A120…

        • Jonathan Castro says:

          Thanks for doing this Annabel. There are quite a lot of us who regularly go litter picking, but it never seems to change much. We need a way to shame those who drop litter.

  231. Zo Gold says:

    As the road verges from A299 – Whitstable right down to A259 – Sandwich are left uncleansed more and more fly- tipping is occurring. The problem then gets far worse! Obviously where people see thick wrappings of plastic packaging lying in clumps and a carpet of litter they just add to it with the tired old line “someone else will clear it up”.

    I am willing to park in suitable areas and start litter picking if I could just get some safety signs to let motorists know what I am doing. I have a Hi Vis, a set of pickers and a hoop but I would prefer signage so that people become aware that I am a regular member of the public trying to do an environmental task. A task the whole country should be helping with.

  232. Monty Don says:

    If some of the roadside litter could be recycled into stickers for cars saying ‘No MORE LITTER’ I would be proud to display it on my car rear window

  233. George Ireland says:

    Keep up the good work. Our road sides are disgusting. It’s embarrassing. How can the government sit back and allow so many years of neglect. Pathetic!

  234. Paul Hunt says:

    Just driven from just south of Berwick-on-Tweed to Nottingham via the A1, A1M and M1. Three and a half hours of uninterupted litter and neglect. The state of our roads and verges confirm that we are now a third world nation. And all the while, Gentleman Jim o’Sullivan is pulling in that £330,000+ salary and lauging all the way to the bank. How does the DoT justify employing this man? Its not as if the roads themselves are in wonderful shape – they’re not = pot holes everywhere.

  235. David Martens says:

    I live near Junction 23 of the M25 (SouthMimms) which intersects with the A1(M).
    The whole area is littered from the A1081 trunk rd from Barnet ,to the whole Junction road network.
    it is an absolute disgrace ! I have contacted Hertfordshire County Council, Highways Agency, Hertsmere Council and all say it is not their job !( buck passing) one says it’s the other’s duty,which they then deny and say it’s the others responsibility.
    Now the verges are denuded of vegetation and leaves , the litter is visible and in huge quantities !
    Nothing gets done , I honestly think they are hoping the Spring and Summer growth will hide it all ! only for it to reappear next Autumn/Winter.
    I despair, our countryside is a rubbish tip !
    The dirty man of Europe.

    • Kathleen Atherton says:

      I really don’t know what is going on with litter. I am truly ashamed of living in the UK.
      Our streets, roads and motorways are strewn with litter. Fly tipping is also quite common in Lancashire. Some people have no shame. Dead animals like horses and dogs are left by the side of the road amongst litter.

  236. Karren Fishburn says:

    As a lorry driver it really saddens me to see so much litter on our highways. We have a beautiful country, but it is drowning in litter. I drive the A14 a lot, & in my opinion it is the worst road for litter. Which ever part of the A14 you drive on, the litter is everywhere.
    What annoys me is, we have people on benifits. Some of them would probably pick up this litter for a few hours a day, & give them a little extra in their dole money. If I was out of work & really could do with some extra money, I would do it.
    Highways could easily cone off half a mile at a time. If this was done at say every 5 miles, the country could look so much better. And be safer for our wildlife.
    Thank you .

  237. Tom Randles says:

    This is a shameful disgrace, I think everybody agrees. Who is causing this blight and why aren’t the police actively penalising this crime. As a regular motorway driver I often see plumes of litter escaping from privately owned bulk waste transporters. Only the other day a car behind one of these waste carriers was covered in what looked like babies nappy sacks. Truly disgusting and a danger to other road users. We need the Government to run a behavioural changing campaign. The same kind of campaign as smoking in public places, drink driving, picking up dog waste, wearing a seat belt. Behaviour changing campaigns have been successful and I have written to the Prime Minister appealing for such a campaign. I also can’t understand why HE seem so resistant to admitting there is a problem. I have written to them and to be frank they are only interested in complying to their minimum legal obligations. There is so much rubbish on the roads I actually believe there is something more sinister happening other than loutish road users throwing their McDonalds packaging and cans of Fosters out of the window but there is a deliberate trashing of our glorious country. The government need to act, the police need to prosecute and we all need to start picking up waste in our communities. I do it’s very satisfying even if its trashed a couple of days later. If you see litterers confront them its time to fight for a litter free country.

    • B scott says:

      Tom, I totally agree with your comments. A sustained litter campaign and educational campaign for adults and early years throughout school and beyond would not go amiss, bringing everyone’s attention to the fact if they don’t wake up to this, this will remain their future living, working and travelling environment.

  238. Stephen Bucknall says:

    I live nr Penrith in Cumbria right on the edge of the lake District, one of the most beautiful areas of the UK. Every roadside, every junction and roundabout, every slip road and layby is covered in car thrown litter. Plastic bottles, tin cans, coffee cups, paper and polystyrene.
    Add on household and industrial flytipping it’s truely shameful and utterly depressing. No one cares anymore.

  239. Steve says:

    Drove on the A34 today between Winchester and Oxford. In both directions there’s a staggering amount of litter along the roadside. In some places there are literally dozens of plastic bottles within a couple of square yards.

    Drove to the north west a few weeks ago and the only section of the journey that was litter free was the M6 toll road, which was beautifully kept. It was like driving on the continent for a few miles.

    I have travelled extensively in Russia and never seen anything like this along the roadside there. It’s truly shameful.

  240. frank goddard says:

    I have decided that complaining to whomever is just wind in the air. This past week I have begun a photographic witness system via e.mail., Facebook etc. Twice a week I shall send to my collected list of MPs. Councilors etc evidence of their collective failures. I am hoping that Facebook accounts and Twitter will be particularly successful. Public naming and shaming may have an effect. We live with hope.

  241. Louise says:

    Had the displeasure of driving the entire M4 recently, there was not a single stretch without some plastic detritus visible. This included fraying sheet plastic caught in trees. The environmental impact is dreadful too and exposes wildlife to unnecessary plastics. I wonder if that has even been considered. It is shameful our roads are in such a state and completely demoralising that we’ve gone backwards !!

  242. Robin says:

    Our company organises conferences for the motoring industry and have just lost our biggest contract to the Netherlands. Nothing to do with Brexit but because company bosses and their staff think Britain is, and I quote ‘a ‘dustbin’. Our loss amounts to over £250,000 a year and will probably mean the end of my 25 year old business. I feel sick to the stomach and utterly helpless. Why have we let our country become like this?

    • Sally Hart says:


      I am so sorry to hear of the loss of the contract, please write to your MP, Highways England and the council and inform them that you have lost the contract because this country is a tip.

    • B scott says:

      Robin, so sad to read this. We can all see for ourselves litter and plastic kerbside waste everyday every journey yet we have no mention of this in our media, TV, schools, colleges or it seems in our Parliament.

    • Karen Coombs says:

      How awful.
      Write to your MP, write to a national newspaper, contact a local news radio station. This is irrefutable evidence of the harm that HE’s neglect is having.

  243. Sally Hart says:

    Recent journeys from Sawbridgeworth Hertfordshire to Brentwood Essex return and Sawbridgeworth to Brookmans Park Hertfordshire predominately the M11 and A414 strewn with litter either side of these roads , plastic sheeting , road work signs rotting and hundreds of plastic bottles and general rubbish. I too feel ashamed and it makes me feel ill. I have travelled extensively and this is not how a civilised society should be living , I am also concerned at the health hazards I am sure the rat population must have escalate as well as safety and additional costs that will be required to sort this mess out.

    I am really interested in starting an e mail campaign via 38 degrees does anyone else agree? Just need some help as how best to word , if we could get 100,000 signatures it could be at least be raised in parliament Additionally I think everyone on the forum could send weekly e mail to their MP?

    How we will govern ourselves when we come out of the EU goodness only knows,

    • frank goddard says:

      Hello Sally

      Check my comment posted after yours.

    • Stephen Davies says:

      A 38 degrees petition is a great idea. Wording would need careful thought, but maybe it could be something as simple as calling on HE to fulfill its statutory obligations. Could the petition be publicised via Clean Highways?

    • Michael Emsley says:

      Hi Sally,

      Good I idea about a campaign. I think we are heading for a situation needing some good old French civil disobedience. A campaign of go slows on the motorways would hit the press. It needs some immediate pressure on the ‘authorities’


  244. Stephen Davies says:

    We seem to have passed a tipping point as a nation. Filth and squalor along trunk road verges is now so ubiquitous that a significant number of road users must now considerable it acceptable to add to it. The A14 in Suffolk is particularly squalid. To my amazement I saw some workers litter picking on this road last week. However, perhaps discouraged by the Herculean scale of the task, they were only picking up bigger items and leaving the usual litter of crisp bags, fast food wrappings and smaller detritus. This left the verge still looking like a tip, which will merely encourage the antisocial to dump at will. It looked like a token effort. The only way to pull this back is to completely clear verges and then impose heavy fines, or perhaps mandatory litter-picking duties, on those who litter. Fat chance of that when we have civil servants who flout the law and a government that appears to have no problem with this national embarrassment. Mr Silverman – thank you for your pro activity. Your latest video made me hang my head in shame.

  245. George Niblock says:

    Peter, I believe that you are being over-generous in allowing HE 60 days to restore the area. They are ignoring the LAW which is that they have to KEEP the areas clean and FREE of litter NOT allow it to be Grade 4 and worse for months on end. You should start crowd funding to pay for the legal action.
    In Aberdeenshire we have served a S91 notice with the minimum 5 days notice.

    • Frank Sidebottom says:

      Peter took the Ministry of Transport to court once before about litter and I’m told the court ruled in favour of the Ministry. Litter alongside motorways is not evidence of non compliance with the law. It’s just evidence of dirty, filthy UK citizens.But let’s see what the courts say this time.

  246. mary says:

    Just seen the video – horrible and sad. Why does anyone do this – its everywhere – every road to a greater or lesser extent. The busier the road the more litter. Seems there is a section of society that just thinks it is OK to ruin the countryside for the rest of us. Not good enough that those responsible for clearing it up are ducking their responsibility. Clear-ups are expensive I understand that – so where is the big national campaign to encourage zero tolerance of this behaviour?

    • There is no national strategy with this government just talk. My German friends laugh at the way we live in the country when they visit and always say they look forward to a nice clean Germany. How embarrassing is this for the sixth richest economy in the world!

  247. On Saturday I travelled along the A2 in North Kent. I started my journey at the Pepperhill junction, Northfleet and completed it at Marling Cross, Gravesend East junction. It was clear to me that, after months of complaining to Highways England last summer regarding the A2 they have simply done their normal contempt towards the public and done nothing.

    The A2 is now so heavily littered that it resembles a landfill site. The slip roads at the Tollgate must have at least 400 plastic drink bottles on the verges, the tree planted embankments are strewn with years of litter and the surrounding parkland between the Tollgate and Marling Cross, Gravesend East is littered with wind blown plastic sheeting and general litter. The verges throughout are overgrown and adds to the collection of litter. What amazes me is the fact that the amount of road debris the exists and something that should be removed by a mechanical road sweeper, this is called core maintenance!

    I am ashamed just how our whole motorway network has become neglected by Highways England and their private contractors who are publicly funded by the taxpayer under very lucrative contracts.

    Jim O’Sullivan, stop acting as if your organisation is working hard to clean the motorway network when we all know the word of the law in the Environment Protection Act 1990 is being ignored. I would like you to drive along the A2 in North Kent, as an example, and give me the justification for the non-collection of litter and rubbish and when you have done that perhaps you could also visit the M11 north of Stansted and give me a reason why the dumped lorry tyre of December is still laying on the verge in February? I highlight the latter because as well because I don’t want you to think it is just the A2 that has a problem it is the network under your responsibility.

    I am glad you appear to think your private contractors adhere to the Environment Protection Act 1990 yet we have a network that is generally at Grade D-

  248. Michael Barnard says:

    Great video about the Denham roundabout, Peter. The volume of litter is STAGGERING! It’s incomprehensible that a major road is simply left to deteriorate like that.

  249. Debra Barreca says:

    Last week I travelled from my home in Surrey to Durham up the M1 and back. Last weekend I travelled from my home to Selsey West Sussex via the A3. The litter the length and breadth of both roads is a disgrace. The litter seems to be worse on slip roads and junctions. I’m not sure why. I stopped to get petrol at a Boston garage just before Guildford. The sliproad back onto the A3 was like a refuse tip. What’s happening. This so upsetting

  250. Jo says:

    The rubbish on the motorways and roads gets on my nerves, every day I commute. Sometimes I feel like parking my car armed with bin liners and a litter picker and start collecting!!!!!!!!!! 🙁

  251. Mr King says:

    Certainly not proud to be English’s
    As I drove back from Leeds Sunday morning to our discust the amount of rubbish all the way down the A1 mile after mile after mile of sheer rubbish in our hedgerows
    We are like a third world country, sick sick sick of seeing this and it’s not just happened
    Overnight I’ve traveled up the A1 for many years and it’s just got worse over time but we are ashamed ( please do something)

  252. David Mackenzie says:

    The road from A1 M spur to Spittals link on the eastbound verges is disgustingly littered with large amounts of plastic debris mainly plastic sheeting. It is an eyesore especially compared to the general cleanliness ad litter free AI M from Peterborough to Brampton Hut.

    • Totally agree. I use the A1 between Newark and the A14 junction and it is verges and central reservations of piles of litter and dumped rubbish. The A1 is part responsibility of Highways England the local authorities so between them nothing is done. Makes the north of England look really inviting for foreigners and visitors.

  253. Don says:

    Driving A30 and A39 Truro, Cornwall. This is a beautiful county but even here sadly is kerbside litter. Not only are our beaches covered in plastic but our roadside also. Whatever happened to taking a pride in our country. Future generations will know no different if we continue this way. Let’s educate our children and adults on the importance of not throwing it out of cars, on beaches or anywhere. Councils recycle the waste plastic into more visible bins, as they seem to have disappeared as well. MPs, politicians look around at our country please.

  254. Heidi Lord says:

    Everywhere I have travelled in England and Scotland there is rubbish. The situation is now completely out of control. Three to four years ago we did not have this issue but now…and I can’t stand it anymore. I do what I can in my local community but what can I do on a major road? I have decided to leave the UK as soon as I can because it is a disgrace and I am ashamed to live here.

  255. Geoffrey Deasy says:

    The junction at the M4 and Tunnel Rd East towards Heathrow (both sides) is absolutely disgusting. I really pity any departing visitors from the UK that pass the junction. It is horrendous. I pass by every morning on my way to work and want to stop and pick it up. I would pick up when the lights are red but for the fact that there isn’t enough time and the traffic cops might fine me for leaving my car unattended on the highway.

  256. Nick Armes says:

    I have today driven from Camberley to Leicester and back via M3, M25, M40, M69 and M1. I was utterly staggered by the volume of litter along both verges ad centre reserves throughput the entire trip. The situation is totally out of control. The M69 around Coventry and the M1 between Leicester and Northampton were especially bad. Dont Highways England employ litter pickers anymore? I have never seen litter anywhere near as bad as this.

  257. Karen says:

    I have recently seen horrendous litter on main roundabout sections of motorways, smart motorways, main A roads and duel carriage ways.

    This litter has drastically increased over the last few years and is still worsening!

    Why can’t we have discreet cameras located at key sections where the worst areas are? Number plates would be displayed. We need large fines which would soon stop the litter louts. This rubbish isn’t just the odd piece of plastic, card, paper etc. Roads are strewn with large amounts of plastic sheeting, bags, cloth etc.

    Large signs placed warning of hefty fines for anyone throwing litter could also be displayed.

    This problem needs to be tackled urgently as it is also causing accidents on roads!

  258. Martin Kemp says:

    You really do need to address the litter problem on the A55 through Chester, it’s an absolute disgrace.
    It’s the Gateway to North Wales and to be honest it’s an embarrassment.
    I’d start work on it myself with volunteers but it’s a death trap in that area.
    Can we get it sorted please preferably before the holiday season?

  259. Robin says:

    Is this some kind of sick social experiment? We have lost the battle I’m afraid. We are moving overseas as this country is now a rubbish dump, run by people who simply do not care. We are sad to go but NZ is not like this. Neither is most of Europe, Cananda, America or Australia.

  260. Sarah stocks says:

    Just driven back on the A34….litter is everywhere…..also lots of cones, signs etc left from motorway works…I must have driven through at least 3 counties and all the same! Also got to ask when areas are cut back or grass cut why don’t they also pick the litter.
    It just seems our roads are getting worse!

  261. Mike says:

    I travel up and down the M6 everyday and the waste is on a mammoth scale from highways waste to plastic bags and bottles, when is someone going to address this problem . I confronted a grown man the other day for chucking waste on the floor from his van and all he did was “grunt” .

  262. OC says:

    Just drive down the A2 in London towards the Blackwall Tunnell and you will feel like you are driving in a third world country where there is significant amount of litter, other detritus, abandoned roadwork signs, dead animals and large flytipped items literally everywhere. Litter in our roads is a common occurance but this stretch of the A2 is on a different scale. Remember this is one of the “strategic roads” entering people into London. I raised it with the “Royal” Borough of Greenwich a number of times and all I get back from them is that they would need to coordinate and agree lane closures in advance with the TFL. Once agreed, their contractor would clean the littered areas. Due to this unnecessarily bureaucratic arrangement, they only end up cleaning these “very high volume” roads twice (or perhaps three times a year). This explains perfectly well why these roads are almost always under Grade D condition. Low cleaning frequency in a high volume road. The Council seem to be perfectly fine to be explaining it on the grounds of lane closures with TFL instead of trying to come up with a proper long term Solution. In my view, only people who really care (like Mr Silverman) try their best to come up with a proper solution. The duty bodies like the HE and the Greenwich Council don’t really seem to care about this problem. There is also no government body to inspect them. Hence the only last resort seem to be the Litter Abatement Orders which is very time consuming and expensive for the regular citizen.

    Additionally, litter fine enforcement seem very weak. Due to the light touch enforcement (or complete lack of it), it makes it really easy for the inconsiderate bunch in our society to litter and harm the environment and this country. I feel really ashamed to drive down these roads with my kids as it sets a very bad example for them. Mr. Silverman deserves a lot of credit for his efforts and we should do our best to provide support.

  263. pj1974 says:

    I work on the highways and and can’t stand litter picking it’s all we do constantly on days. The main singular offenders that could be stopped are lorry drivers who park in the hard shoulder for there daily rest and leave human waste and cans of alcohol and food wrappers. I personllay think the traffic officers should be moving them on as they shouldn’t be stopping in hard shoulders, if they don’t move them on they should take photos of the are beside the vehicle and the vehicles number plate, then come back if the vehicle has gone and there’s litter then a fine should eve imposed. I recently travelled to California and found their highways to be spotless this is due to signage stating litter fines $1000 I also know they impose litter picking on offenders. I think the signage every 2 or so miles or on slip roads and a large fine threat would deter people here and also cameras on the underside of bridges stating littering fines enforced by CCTV even if they do or don’t record

  264. Christine Ashby says:

    Drove from Pontefract to A14 turn off to Cambridge along the A1 and back and there were large amounts of litter on verges, embankments and Central reservations all the way;
    Same all the way along M11 both ways all the way to M25.
    The M25 is just a rubbish tip.
    Litter along our Major roads is of epidemic proportions.

  265. Geoff says:

    I have just driven from Marlow, down the by-pass, along the A4 Bath Road. towards Reading. all along the stretches of roads. There is plastic bags on the verges and in the hedges. also paper cups, cans and bottles. I makes the place look like a rubbish tip. Surely the various councils should clear them up.
    And not make lack of funds an excuse.

  266. Nick Armes says:

    A331 Blackwater Valley especially between Mytchett and Aldershot both carriageways disgusting, choked with litter, also A31 Farnham – Alton litter everywhere, M3 j5 southbound exit also litter piled high hasn’t been cleaned for years.

  267. John Smith says:

    I complained to Colchester Council re the litter on the A12 GRASS VERGES from Eight Ash Green thrum to Clacton. they told me it was the responsibility of Highways England. But when I contacted HE they said it was the responsibility of Cochester Council. So both are passing the buck Changing tack I contacted Braintree Council and complained about the litter on thenA120 around Braintree. Within 24;hrs they phoned me to say they were going to do an immediate clean for which I was delighted.
    ColchesterbCouncil have not heard the last of this from me.

  268. Paul James says:

    My work regularly takes me to different parts of the country and wherever I go I see badly littered verges which look as if they haven’t been cleaned for months or even years. Three roads from this week include the appalling A38 south from J28 of the M1 past Derby, the A34 Oxford bypass and the A331 from the A31 through to the M3. What is the Highways Agency doing about roads such as the ones I’ve highlighted or is it someone else’s responsibility?

    • Geoff says:

      Hi Paul
      I agree entirely with your comments about the A38 … I travel this regularly and never fail to be depressed at the state of it – I recently wrote to Derbyshire County Council to complain & the reply was as follows :
      Dear Geoff, thank you for your e mail. I agree with your comments about the A38. It is a consistent problem in spite of reasonably regular efforts to remove the rubbish that gathers on the road side verges. It is not a good advert for our County. The Authority responsible for the A38 is Highways England (HE) as it is a trunk road . They organise contractors to remove the majority of the rubbish through lane closures and overnight work. This work is usually done in Spring before the bird nesting season and the hedgerows start to grow. The last time it was done (last year) over 12 tonnes of rubbish was collected. I will ensure your e mail along with others is passed to HE as a matter of urgency. Regards Mike
      Mike Ashworth
      Strategic Director, Economy Transport and Environment
      Derbyshire County Council
      It seems that 4 different councils are responsible for litter collecting along this route – In spite of them all saying it will be cleaned soon , it remains a filthy eyesore !!

  269. p.drake says:

    The A27 near Lewes is very untidy again. Fly tipping must go on at night as I travel that road twice daily and I’ve never seen anyone throw litter out of the windows. It must be later at night that litter is discarded and in view of the amount of plastic sheets around there it has to be tradespeople who do not want to pay the required waste depot fees. Perhaps also drivers who eat fast food then discard without taking rubbish home to bins.

  270. Maria Humphreys says:

    There is only one solution to this problem , takeaway outlets , anything that is wrapped , bottled , etc should be made to pay a litter picking tax(for want of a better phrase!) so then the authorities could pay a decent wage for these people who are prepared to keep our beautiful country clean . Yes and if necessary make takeaway food more expensive, do we really need to be eating and drinking whilst we are in our cars , if we do , take a packed lunch and a thermos flask! That’s how it worked back in the day!
    Although I fear it has gone way beyond repair!
    Why should we expect the authorities to pay out vast amounts of money for such ignorant people who have no respect for the country I fear we are always looking for someone to blame and the those who create the mess just don’t care.
    So make bottles of water, sugary drinks unhealthy food more expensive and not only our country will benefit but our health too,putting less strain on the NHS but that’s another argument!

  271. Joy Wethered says:

    I have just driven from East Sussex to Cheshire and am appalled at the amount of litter on the roadside verges. The A27 in East Sussex being noticeably far worse than that in West Sussex. Other areas which are bad as I travelled north were around motorway service areas, around Oxford for example. It is an absolute disgrace that there appears to be no effort, judging by the sheer volume of rubbish, to remove any of it.

  272. Alice says:

    I am very impressed by the efforts of Clean Highways to continue challenging those responsible for clearing litter in the face of the Kafka-esque responses you get (ignoring evidence, failing to refer to previous correspondence etc.).

    The sloping of shoulders and wriggling out of responsibilities is appalling – they will do anything rather than tackle the problem, including continually going on about how people shouldn’t drop litter in the first place (yes, of course they shouldn’t do it but this isn’t a new problem and where is any serious attempt to discourage it?).

  273. Karen Coombs says:

    I have a good news story to share. The A50 in Derbyshire is maintained by Balfour Beatty and it has been in a very good state for a couple of months now. I email them regularly if I see a lot of litter and they take action. The man in charge said that they pick up two skip loads every fortnight. Last week I complained about some diversion signs that had been up for months and they were gone the next day! The central réservation has a lot of litter in some places but that is harder to access. I certainly feel calmer driving to work, not feeling enraged by looking at litter everywhere.

  274. jon garrett says:

    Just driven along the M42 from Junction 1 to the M40 at Junction 3a and along the M40 from junction 16 to Leamington Spa at Junction 14. Just rubbish everywhere. I’ve driven this route for 10 years regularly and its the worse I’ve ever seen it. You often witnessed litter pickers on this stretch of motorway but now they are as rare as hens teeth. I’m so annoyed/upset I’m actually thinking of buying a dash cam to record what I’ve witnessed today for future reference. I do think more of us need to start recording what we are seeing and posting the evidence to HE.

  275. PETER NELSON says:

    The amount of litter on the M56 motorway verges from the M6 Northbound where it comes off onto the M56 west to Wirral and Wales and then all the way along past Warrington, Frodsham exits and then Elton Service area is unbelievable.

    I cannot believe the general public can decimate our roads like this

  276. I have received a response on behalf of Highways England CEO Jim O’Sullivan to mine of 15th February. See the above links.

    Any comments?

  277. Emma B says:

    Please Can someone tell me who to complain to regardung the piles of litter on the A449 and A40. Its particularly fuilthy in the lay by near the Coldra roundabout. An embarrassing first sight of our beautiful country.

  278. Emma says:

    Can someone tell me who to complain to regardung the piles of litter on the A449 and A40. Its particularly fuilthy in the lay by near the Coldra roundabout. An embarrassing first sight of our beautiful country.

  279. John Swannell says:

    The sides of the A14 between cambridge and Newmarket are absolutely covered in litter… lay-bys are particularly bad.. Makes our countryside an embarrassment. We need litter bins regularly emptied at these locations and education and public information… remember keep Britain tidy campaign..

  280. Ian Jinks says:

    How can they cut the verges before litter picking….. cretins the lot of them, really bothers me the intellectual level of Council officials. Let chop up the litter into smaller bits… great idea.

  281. Susan Saunders says:

    There’s always litter along the A64 dual carriageway between York and the A1(M), particularly in the area covered by Selby District Council. it’s an eyesore in this attractive area.
    Also noticed the other day a great deal of litter on slip road going South at Leeming Bar area to the A1(M) in North Yorkshire

  282. Maria Nelson says:

    The M42 is HORRENDOUS. I have never seen so much litter in the grass verges. What has happened? It was bad but never this bad. Who is responsible for cleaning it up?

  283. Catherine Day says:

    I regularly drive the M5 between Gloucester and Bristol and the volume of litter is disgusting. It makes me so angry! Junction 11a (Gloucester) is horrendous- what a welcome to the city!

    The M32 from Bristol is just a massive dumping ground (like most of Bristol seems to be now) and it’s just so upsetting to see. I really don’t understand why no one is taking responsibility and clearing the roads up.

  284. Sue Ward says:

    Drove from Stonebridge island Birmingham A45 to Coventry. The grass verges are covered in litter. The laybys look even worse. Why are these not regularly cleared? I think Macdonald’s should employ litter pickers because a lot of rubbish comes from there. Even where litter bins exist,people can’t be bothered to use them. Schools need to keep telling kids littering is unacceptable.

  285. brian lewis says:

    The slip rd from the m5 to the A 456 (HALESOWEN ) is an absolute
    disgrace, a man with a bil liner could clear it in 30 mins
    what an advert for our country !!


    • jon garrett says:

      I know Brian. The whole junction and slip roads are an utter disgrace. The funny thing is the Highways Agency have their National Traffic Control Centre at the business park just of this junction. Don’t their staff notice the filth?

  286. Mr. Paul Davies says:

    Traveling along the M42 from Junction 5 to A444. The whole length was strewn with litter. The West Midlands has just been awarded the Commonwealth Games in 2022 . What sort of advert will this provide to the visiting nations. The UK is becoming a fly tippers paradise.

  287. Mrs Davis says:

    I was driven back from London yesterday using m11 and a11 to Norwich. Quite honestly the litter on motorway verges and lay-bys were ABSOLUTELY COVERED IN RUBBISH ALL THE BACK. It’s a disgusting example for anybody using our motorways residents or travellers to our Country. I assume perhaps it’s on all motorways but this was what I saw on this one and it’s disgusting.

  288. Frank goddard says:


    Thankyou. I will start the ball rolling by first Contacting my MP Ed Milliband


  289. Paul James says:

    The A27 Brighton bypass and associated sliproads are currently in a terrible state with general litter and larger items of waste strewn over the verges, even where it would be quite safe for people to clean it up. A terrible state of affairs especially as the A27 here adjoins the South Downs National Park. The Lewes bypass (also A27) is not a lot better.

  290. Jill Thomas says:

    I have reported the slip road off the A2 on the road south from Canterbury to Dover because it is currently in an appalling condition.

    The country road which leads up to this slip road is also in an appalling state. This is the responsibility of Canterbury City Council. It is known as Coldharbour Lane.

    The litter includes bottles of urine and bags of human excrement.

    There is an adjacent business park, mainly occupied by Gomez Ltd, which is visited day and night by lorries bringing fruit and vegetables from the Continent to be packed for the UK supermarkets. The lorry drivers appear to sleep over on the business park roads and also on the adjacent public roads.

    Probably other lorry drivers know of the site and use it too – it is about ten miles north of Dover and just off the A2 – easy access, lots of places, quiet. Gomez deny any responsibility as the lorry drivers are not in their employ.

    One lorry last week was displaying a windscreen banner ‘Do not disturb’

    The adjacent owners, Highland Court Investment Company, also deny responsibility.

    CCC’s contractors, SERCO, seem to have abandoned the lane because it ‘is too dangerous to litter pick’. This is nonsense because they have picked it many times in the past and it is a wide road with slow moving traffic – admittedly big lorries but easy enough to avoid.

    It is in the Kent Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

  291. Yet again I am concerned to read Pete’s note that referred to ‘the ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ group saying ‘nothing’ at the meetings he attends.
    Many years ago the KBT group were very evident in the public focus and forever advertising litter prevention issues on the (limited) media at the time. Ah, the days of Government information films! But these days it appears you have to go to their very ‘audacious’ website to see how proactive they are etc. Really?
    KBT is noticeable in the British psyche by their absence. With all the debate about plastics, we need to educate the public and highlight much more – especially financial costs – of litter in the UK.
    ‘We will win’ Pete says. Really? OOOps – glass half empty again!

    • Dave Smith says:

      Peter is passionate and known (well known in transport campaigning circles) for attending litter forums where officials from the various infrastructure bodies and campaign groups are there. Before these meetings start, he starts by standing up and berating the officials before a word is said. Starts wagging his finger and almost shouts “I want to start by saying you’re all failing in your duty to collect rubbish !!!!”.

      The officials are just as hard nosed and stand their ground quoting evidence that shows they’re complying with their legal obligations. The argument never ends.
      Dangerous business removing litter from high speed routes – lanes closed, causing congestion, litter pickers in a vulnerable workplace. Why are people in this country so inclined to dump litter anywhere but in the bin ?

  292. Bev scott says:

    Drove London to Harrogate A1. Continuous stream of litter along verges for the entire journey. We should be ashamed as a country.

  293. Derek Gilman says:

    Travelled from Kent to Suffolk this week. What a depressing journey. Remember seeing pictures of the new ‘barrier free’ Dartford Crossing a few years back, with trees and greenery to improve the ‘experience’. Result? Litter tumbling down embankments. Cones and road works detritus in abundance. Illogical signage – with some metric and baffling imperial measures which change, depending on height, width or length, confusing to both UK and overseas drivers. Depressing dingy, badly lit tunnels.
    And then into Essex The M25 to the A12 exit is bad. The A12, all the way to Ipswich is appalling. The situation only improves beyond Ipswich and into Suffolk. A short term ‘quick fix’ solution would be to remove the swathes of industrial and commercial plastic sheeting, wrap and bags in verges and caught in bushes and shrubbery. This would at least make a superficial improvement…before tackling the mountain of general rubbish and squalor in verges and particularly the central reservation. Perhaps these should have more of a concrete ‘gutter’ and central reservation to enable road cleaning vehicles to more easily tackle the problem?

  294. Frank goddard says:

    Not only can one not get a reply to communications from HE but letters to our Mayoress and Environmental Councillor here in Doncaster go unanswered also. It is time for a Public March on Westminster. When politicians smell votes attitudes will change.Our MP is Ed Milliband. Does he ever look. look out of a car window?

    • Helen Flynn says:

      Dear Frank,

      A march on Westminster sounds like an excellent idea and might be the only way to get anyone to listen and get to something done once and for all about this disgusting problem. If you are serious about this l would like to help you organise and join you with this. Anyone else interested?

  295. Simon Guise says:

    This a copy of an email I sent to HE and the relevant County Councils. Needless to say I got the responses I expected!

    Good morning

    I am regular user of the A14 through Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk, and the level of littering is an absolute disgrace. It is an embarrassment when travelling with visiting European friends when their countries are so clean.

    There seems to have no attempt to clear the litter and I am afraid that this only encourages more littering, people are less likely to litter in a clean area. If they see heaps of rubbish for mile after mile they have less concern about throwing theirs out of the window.

    It is your statutory responsible to keep your land free of litter and you should be embarrassed at your abject failure to keep to your statutory responsibility.

    Can you tell me what Highways England plans to do about this? I don’t want to hear that it is The county councils responsibility as they tell me it is yours. I don’t want to hear that is it unsafe for operatives as following an FOI request it was revealed that no operatives have been injured collecting litter in the last ten year period.

    Don’t reply with any form of political excuse at all, our country looks a mess to visitors and travellers and you should be doing something about it if you have any level of pride in the area you are responsible for.

    This is a national disgrace, not just Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk but how about some action from you to start a move to clean the country up?

  296. Helen Flynn says:

    The terrible state of our roadside verges has worried and disgusted me for a many years. I have studied the map on Highways England’s website explaining who looks after which roads and it is a totally illogical mishmash. This in my humble opinion is a big part of the problem, with Highways England able to blame various Councils and vice versa. With so many people playing the ‘blame game’ it is not surprising that nothing substantial is ever achieved.

    Highways England should take over the whole road network in England. Then the buck will stop with them and no one else. They will then have to step up to the plate and deliver the service they are supposed to.

    Stop the littering in the first place. Better and more visible signage is a MUST reminding people of numberplate recognition, with more bins available that are fit for purpose.

    Safety issues should be addressed and overcome enabling volunteers to help if they would like to. Personally, l am so tired and ashamed of our roadside verges l would be only too happy to help clear them.

    There seems to be no mention anywhere of the health and safety issues attached to allowing litter to accumulate and rot for years encouraging rats and diseases, etc. and it surprises me that health & safety are not all over this issue.

    I have emailed Highways England and have also contacted my local MP and await both their responses.

    • Dave Smith says:

      Helen, My bugbear is traffic noise from roads. I’m campaigning for noise mitigation measures. I’ve written to Highways England about 20 times. While I might not like the replies, they always reply to me with a full explanation – unlike the local authorities. Highways England look after trunk roads and motorways – the main inter urban routes. They don’t look after local roads – they’re not resourced to local after local roads. It’s for the local authorities to make their own decisions, but they don’t want to give up control of roads. The general drift is towards more power to the regions – totally opposite to what you seem to want. If there is any change in ownership of roads it will probably be local authorities taking over trunk roads from Highways England – not the other way round. As far as litter is concerned, the UK has become a dirtier country over time – a nation of litter louts. The Councils and Highways England work hard to keep the roads clean. Cleaning litter from motorways is a dangerous business – lanes have to be coned off and closed. Causes delays and causes businesses to lose money. Someone on here says the key is to educate our dirty nation. I agree. You could collect litter from motorways every day with lanes coned off, but you’ll end up with the world’s largest car park and the economy suffering.

      The question going round in my head is has anyone taken the Councils and Highways England to court to test whether they are in breach of their obligations? Surely only a judge can decide?

      • Helen Flynn says:

        Hi Dave, l was interested to read in your response to me that you are campaigning to reduce noise levels on roads. In addition to the terrible state of our road side verges, road and traffic noise is one of my main bugbears in life, and l have recently written to the government about it. I wonder if you would be kind enough to contact me at heharwood@yahoo.com . I would be very interested to hear more about your campaign.

        Many thanks
        Helen Flynn

  297. John Taylor says:

    The roadside A38 Derbyshire to Nottinghamshire (Mansfield / Ashfield) is unbelievable.
    Great embarrassment as a BRIT travelling with businessmen from Switzerland today (16 Feb 2018) Looks like the roadside is a total rubbish dump.. but worse.

    I advised visitors that there must have been a spillage of rubbish but I know the truth… filthy Brits couldn’t care less about their environment and the Authorities don’t consider it a problem. By the way.. whilst stuck in traffic we also saw a couple of rats feasting on the discarded food trays. Shameful.

  298. Nick Botterill says:

    Much of roadside debris, particularly that entwined around trees and bushes is actually polythene wrapping shed by lorries – we have all followed vehicles shedding long shards of the stuff. Surely a quick win would be for all haulage companies to be advised by the authorities that all loads which contain polythene sheeting/wrapping need to be properly covered up and allowing anything to fly off during transit is an offence under existing laws and that in future prosecutions, hefty fines plus corporate public humiliation (e.g highlighting on TV news programmes etc) will result. Of course as we barely have any motorway/highway patrols catching offenders might be difficult – could cameras be used?

  299. I have just sent off another huge batch of your comments to Highways England’s CEO Jim O”Sullivan with a copy to various other notables and members of the Press.

    They paint a most horrendous picture. Please keep them coming.

    Please action the link above “16th Feb 2018” to see my e-mail.

    We will succeed!

  300. Matt says:

    I have to say when coming back from a holiday abroad, I am ashamed and appalled at the state of the verges around our motorways and A roads – it is just so depressing. You don’t actually realise how bad it is until you venture overseas and see how clean other countries are. We can surely do better than this!

  301. ELAINE FORD says:

    I’d like to add my voice here, I’m so glad you’ve set up this forum. I would like to mention the A34 through Oxfordshire. I regularly travel from Wantage into Oxford and back. The grass verges along the side of the A34 are littered all the way along with all sorts of rubbish, mainly plastic and fast food packaging. It’s absolutely disgraceful. My eight year old daughter who recently watched the Blue Planet II programme about plastics in the ocean has actually asked if we can go out collecting the litter as she is so upset about the danger to our wildlife. We have been collecting litter on our local roads, but please, please ask Oxfordshire County Council to clear the rubbish from the major routes through the county. The problem has increased noticeably on the last few months.

  302. Just wanted to thank Highways England their incompetent private but publicly funded contractors for acting illegally and ignoring the law that requires litter to be regularly removed.

    Last week I had the pleasure of driving from the Gravesend in north Kent to Newark on Trent in Nottinghamshire via the Dartford tunnel, M25, M11, A14 and A1. I was so proud to drive along the motorway network piled with months of uncollected litter throughout the route.

    The junction slips of the Tollgate, A2, Gravesend and the adjacent embankments are strewn with large amounts of litter. Travelling along the A2 to Dartford, the verges are strewn with litter and large containers dumped from months ago, vegetation unkempt, gutters and kerb lines no longer visible due to years of no maintenance to remove the debris hence weeds are growing. Litter aside, I am amazed that the contractor of Kent, who is responsible under contract to remove and maintenance the concrete central reservations along this stretch of the A2, cannot even get out there and scrap the years of road debris and grit from the base of the concrete reservations; the very bread and butter of these private framework contractors. This stretch of A2 was upgraded in 2007 and it looks as though it was done 25 years ago, disgusting and contemptuous that the CEO and Highways England bunch sit back and deliberately ignore litter and the law.

    Having reached the approach road of the Dartford tunnel, nothing but piles of litter and rubbish hidden in the unkempt verges.

    Going in Essex through Thurrock, well I would like to close my eyes. The piles of rubbish between the tunnel through to the Lakeside slip is nothing more than neglect and another area off the imaginary Highways England litter hotspot hit list.

    M25 northern heading towards to the M11 junction, yes the same as before, litter uncollected for months.

    The M11 between the M25 and Stansted, simply bad especially between the M25 and Harlow but then again the policy along this stretch is to leave the litter for 6 months and then cut through it and wait for the summer to come.

    Stansted to the A14 roadworks – whole stretch of motorway litter picked adhoc but the disease from Highways England HQ towards litter has obviously desemminated right down to the private contractors depot. The attitude is simply only do the bare minimum because nobody checks or cares.

    A14 roadworks – forget litter picking here. Excellent excuse for all to sun themselves and for contractors to add to the rubbish.

    A14 Huntingdon to the A1(M) – probably local authority but it shouldn’t be. Months of uncollected litter and large objects can be seen for at least three miles.

    A1(M) strangely enough this stretch of motorway to Peterborough is not perfect but resembles the Autobahn. The verges are cut short all the time, the litter is kept down to a minimum and seems to disappear as soon as it comes and the landscaping adds to the fact that whoever maintains this stretch of the A1 follows the EPA 1990 and seem to be able to achieve a good standard of environment stewardship, until the cowboys employed to cover the Garden (Dustbin) of England.

    A1 between Peterborough and Newark on Trent – unfortunately all local authority responsibility but it shouldn’t be. I have never seem so much verge litter and the disgusting state of the large central reservations. It is clear the authorities can no longer litter pick the A1 as before because of cost.

    Overall, year on year, Highways England refuse to acknowledge the problem of litter and have instructed their contractors not to prioritise the problem due to cost. At a recent national litter strategy seminar chaired by Highways England, they discussed the litter problem (not acknowledged) and agreed that litter should be removed in a strategy that is safe and cost effective. No mention of the fact that they (Highways England and their private contractors) are required to adhere to the law as passed by Margaret Thatcher in 1990 called the Environment Protection Act 1990. That is the law, not any other make up document and the DEFRA Guidance for Litter that is so dutifully reeled out to the public.

    As an ex-civil servant who worked for central Government we were required to adhere to law. How can a government minister for transport and a CEO of Highways England act as mavericks and set their own laws to suit their own means, aims and objectives?

    I will report back soon about my future visit to Germany and make a comparison. I can tell everybody now that my next message will be about two lines!

    Welcome to England!

  303. Andrew says:

    DEFRA Litter dashboard

    Another example of displacement activity.

    As the farmer said ” You can weigh the pig as many times as you like but it won’t get any fatter”

    When you know what the problem is you need actions not more words.

  304. Nick Higgins says:

    A34 south of Oxford. Southbound carriageway ws a continual stream of rubbish and litter caught in the hedges and grass at side of road.
    Disgusting eyesore on major tourism route.

  305. I have just returned from a shopping trip to Bluewater from my home in Crowborough and also having also driven to Dumfries and back last month, I have to say I am embarrassed to be British where the state of our highways are concerned.

    The amount of litter along our highways and motorways is totally unacceptable and disgusting, does no one care any more, do the local Authorities or the Government not care and most of all do the drivers not care about the state of our country?

  306. Mark Davies says:

    A4 Batheaston bypass outside Bath, the entrance to a UNESCO world heritage city and protected green belt, and location of a grim rubbish build up. I pass it twice a day and can’t remember the last time any litter clearance took place (years probably). Perhaps a website showing tourists what awaits them would focus the local councils mind and bring pressure on HE. How much would it cost to find someone to pick up the rubbish every few months with a largely retired community nearby? An active campaign to fine motorists would also help raise awareness of this anti social behaviour. I have family and friends around the world and they find it difficult to understand why we think it is acceptable to ruin the country in this way. A green and unpleasant land, and getting worse

  307. Mark Bezer says:

    I drive from London to Peterborough along the A1m most weeks and am always appaled and embarrassed by the amount of litter, fly tipping and debris left on the roadside. It is utterly shameful that the roads are left like this.
    Highways England – I rarely see any one cleaning the A1m so shame on you.

  308. Mark Bezer says:

    I drive from London to Peterborough along the A1m most weeks and am always appaled and embarrassed by the amount of litter, fly tipping and debris left on the roadside. It is utterly shameful that the roads are left like this.
    Highways England – I rarely see any one cleaning the A1m yet when we put temporary signs up for a charity event they are removed within hours but the rest of the crap on the road isn’t and is left – shame on you.

  309. Peter Turgoose says:

    A162 (old A1) very bad particularly through Ferrybridge also between Selby fork and Milford Lodge

  310. Peter Turgoose says:

    A64 for a long stretch on route bypassing Tadcaster around and both sides of laybys eatbound and westbound. Very heavily littered.

    • Richard Beattie says:

      I too have noticed this stretch of the A64. I can honestly say it’s probably the dirtiest road I’ve ever seen.

      Incidentally, I’ve reported in to Selby District Council – which is responsible for keeping it clean – on many occasions. (Don’t waste your time!)

      As this is the main route into one of Britain’s most popular tourist cities, I also sent the York Press the following video and they ran a story.

      That was in 2015.

      Three years on, absolutely nothing has changed.

      The council says litter picks are done “once a year where possible”. I believe it contracts out the task as part of a deal with a maintenance firm.

      The firm is paid around £3m of public money a year by the council to ensure the A64 is not cleaned.

      I’ve given up complaining. Clearly nobody at the council sees what the rest of the world sees when using the A64.

  311. Mike C says:

    The Devon Express Way (A38) is a disgrace with litter, the St Budeaux Bypass and the A379 from Kingsbridge to Plymouth are all disgusting with all types of litter. It is a crying shame and a sight that makes my blood boil and my heart bleed all at the same time.

    Why do we no close roads to litter pick and cause massive inconvenience and let people know why it is happening and how much it is costing them?

  312. Michelle Johnston says:

    The A41 from Kings Langley to Hemel Hempstead is like a rubbish tip!
    I’ve lived in the area for three years but I’ve never seen anything like it.
    Please do something about it and put cameras/signs on the road like the M25 slip roads.
    Thank you.

  313. Gill Wilson says:

    Travelling along the A38 in Derbyshire is so depressing. Why do people feel they can just throw rubbish out of the window ? Where are we going as a civilisation if we don’t care about our environment !

  314. John da Silva says:

    I just drove down from London to visit my Mum in Berkshire for the weekend. The verges (both sides) of the A404 between M40 and M4 simply disgraceful – litter everywhere. It looks like a rubbish tip. It seems to have got so much worse in the last few years. Country lanes near where my Mum lives equally shocking: for example the B3018 between Shurlock Row and Haines Hill.

  315. Phil Garner says:

    I am embarrassed by the state of litter on our roads. I have just driven from Consett to Oswestry via A69, M6, M56 ad A495 and I regularly drive from Consett to Thirsk via A1 and the state of litter on the sides of the roads is a national disgrace.

    My wife and I pick up litter on a regular basis and many community minded individuals do the same but we are fighting a desperate rearguard action.

    Better publicity
    More aggressive monitoring/ fining- particularly food outlets
    Providing incentives
    Employing more litter pickers
    Using more community service orders etc

    Having spent a lot of time in the USA it is apparent that they have a much greater pride in their neighbourhoods than we do.
    They clear their fast food debris in McDonalds, provide more trash cans and ‘adopt a highway’ scheme to keep roads more litter free.

    I am not hopeful that this situation will improve and we are condemned to live in conditions more usually associated with poor, developing countries.

    • Janet Carr says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more on the comparison between here and USA. On my first visit, I mistakenly assumed that the ‘Land of Fast Food’ would be far worse than anything here. Not so, the highways and byways are remarkably litter free, and litter in the cities visited has been minimal. Americans are definitely more patriotic when it comes to littering, but the warning signs of $1000 fines may help.
      In the U.K. We have a cultural deficiency in relation to litter and flyntipping. Part of the population is horrified, but the remainder doesn’t notice or considers it someone else’s job to remove it. We need a sea change in attitudes brought about by education, much larger fines, and appropriate punishment for culprits (litter picking, rubbish sorting, graffiti removal etc). We cannot call ourselves civilised otherwise #doitforDavid

  316. JOAN THOMPSON says:


  317. Nigel says:

    As with so many trunk roads, the condition of the A34 on both sides between Milton Interchange and the M40 is disgusting. Tyre remnants, old cones, huge sheets of plastic as well as the usual collection of bottles, cans etc. Lots of broken signs too. I’ve written to both local authorities (Cherwell and South Oxfordshire) but they claim it is difficult to secure the necessary closures from HE because of the safety aspects of working next to this stretch of road. The system for litter removal on trunk roads needs root and branch reform; the current arrangements are manifestly broken.

  318. S.Dennard says:

    I travel by car around the UK and also the Continent. One thing I don’t think has been considered is the mess that is apparent both here in the UK and for example in Dutch and Belgian lay-bys that comes about from Eastern European lorry drivers. This group specifically is responsible for bottles of urine, and untold mess along the highways. One contributor asked why this mess on our roads wasn’t around a few years back, and this is the reason. The mess at Belgian Service stations where the lorries are parked is identical to that that we suffer in the UK. The difference is that the highways are kept cleaner in Belgium (and Holland) and the mass of traffic there is nothing like that in the UK. If this group could be targeted as a cause of roadside waste, there would be a significant improvement in the state of lay-bys, service areas and junctions.

  319. I have been observing the work to create the M60 Smart Motorway (J8 to 20). In May 2015, I wrote to my MP, Barbara Keeley, who very helpfully secured a detailed response in June 15 to my litter complaint, from David Brewer, HE Director of Network Delivery and Development based in Guildford.
    Despite his comprehensive response, his recognition of HE’s responsibilities on litter, and aside from a number of platitudes and references to Codes and obligations (some embankment litter clearance works was carried out), this stretch of motorway remains littered – verges, central reserves, drainage features and embankments.
    In particular, junctions are very bad, and on one on-slip (from Junction 6) drainage gullies are completely blocked). Whilst these areas may be technically beyond the boundary of the works, HE is responsible for keeping them practicably free of litter … and they don’t.
    The platitudes include nonsense about safety issues. I could clean the verges myself in safety. This is managed perfectly well on the continent, so we have before us a simply excuse for not doing it in the UK.
    The truth is that HE doesn’t care about the state of litter on our highways, and in consequence has not thought that such conditions impact significantly on our trade and tourism.
    It is simply appalling, unacceptable, a discredit to my Institution (civil engineering) and, if I were in charge, all the senior managers responsible for the maintenance of our highways would be summarily dismissed and only those who care would be appointed in their place.
    It is clearly time for action, as over 600 complaints exemplify.

  320. Brendon says:

    Had potential clients over from Germany to visit our business in Kent. Which involved several car journeys within the county
    Have always been aware of the amount of litter on roadside and depressed by the lack of commitment to address issue. But sharing a car with overseas visitors made me ashamed of our county’s values
    How can we expect to attract external investment into uk when we can’t even be bothered to invest to maintain our infrastructure and generate civic pride.
    “Self respect gains respect”

  321. Christine Ashby says:

    Peter, I think the work you are doing is remarkable, so few people in Parliament seem to care.
    These are the roads I have noticed, which are particularly bad; litter on both carriage ways, central reservations, grass verges and embankments:
    A1 South from Ferrybridge Services to at least Doncaster, didn’t travel any further South.
    A162(Old A1, from Ferrybridge Services to,Fairburn.) It hasn’t been cleaned for over a year and is appalling.
    Regards Christine

  322. Paul N says:

    I drive about 45,000 miles per year a lot of it on the M5 south of Bristol. On Tuesday I saw a litter picking team of 2 for the first time near the Weston-super-msre junction for the first time in years. The M5 is a litter skip and to be honest I’d probably beyond the authorities to arrange. It is time for a public movement to come together and tell the authorities to provide the collection vehicles and gangs to go a collect the rubbish with the Police slowing g traffic for the preagreed stretches of highway to be picked. How do we get this to happen as it it is a social disgrace, possibly a H&S risk, a wildlife threat, a scar stretching across the whole country and ultimately why does anyone want to visit our country. Somehow we need a quick solution and then it repeats.
    All packaging needs to be bio degradable not just recyclable.

  323. Brian Birtstake says:

    Every normal person wants a cleaner country and cleaner roads. I spent many years in the cemetery maintenance business and I can tell you that our cemeteries are now more littered than ever was the case previously. We have become a dirty nation – more litter louts than ever before.

    I watched the TV series about the then Highways Agency. They had litter pickers having to pick up dirty nappies, faeces, bottles of urine, beer cans, broken glass, discarded suitcases and lord knows what else alongside motorways. They were often working in coned off motorway lanes – a risky job even behind cones. And when the new Highways England has to close motorway lanes to collect the thoughtlessly discarded rubbish, the economy suffers and people are delayed on long and short journeys. The litter accumulates again almost as fast as it’s removed – a vicious circle.

    In my view the solution isn’t to have a vastly bigger army of Highways England and local authority litter pickers delaying traffic as that doesn’t address the problem. Nor is the solution to start a new army of litter police. Who will pay for it? The solution is surely to better educate the increasing number of litter louts in this country of ours and use existing enforcement resources

    Bottom line – I’m 80 years old – this country is dirtier now than I can ever remember.

  324. John Wolverhampton says:

    Reading all the comments and actions taken by local people and NOT council or government who cant give a dam about the state of our local roads or motorways, or wild life I believe the only desperate action to take to make them stand up and listen is to get an army of litter pickers on the motorways in protest to clean up the mess and keep going back even when the police have removed them, going back time and time again, and get the local TV involved, surly we pay our road tax to maintain all roads and motorways, to maintain means to keep our roads clear of litter,

    • Brian Birtstake says:

      John Wolverhampton – If I may say so, your idea of getting an army of litter pickers removing litter from motorways is, well………dangerous. Traffic passing close by at 70mph – are you serious? Highways England has to close a lane to pick litter from motorways and even then it doesn’t look safe to me. The Police would see you all on CCTV stupidly approaching the motorway and move you away for your own safety.

      The problem is the attitude of today’s UK citizens. The UK has become a filthy country because of its people. From what I see on my travels across the country, the local authorities and Highways England work bloody hard in removing rubbish from roads and motorways. The roads are filthy again as soon as the litter pickers have cleared it.

      Educating our dirty litter lout population must be the answer.

    • Brian Birtstake says:

      John Wolverhampton – If I may say so, your idea of getting an army of litter pickers removing litter from motorways is, well………dangerous. Traffic passing close by at 70mph – are you serious? Highways England has to close a lane to pick litter from motorways and even then it doesn’t look safe to me. The Police would see you all on CCTV stupidly approaching the motorway and move you away for your own safety.

      The problem is the attitude of today’s UK citizens. The UK has become a filthy country because of its people. From what I see on my travels across the country, the local authorities and Highways England work bloody hard in removing rubbish from roads and motorways. The roads are filthy again as soon as the litter pickers have cleared it.

      Education is the answer.

  325. Peter Bourne says:

    The M6 (and especially the slip roads) is just as filthy at the southern end (in the Coventry Area) also.
    Having recently been driving in various parts of Europe, I am ashamed by how more litter strewn our roads are.
    More power to your elbow.
    Peter Bourne

  326. JCull says:

    After driving today on the A1 from St Neots (both North and Southbound), I have come home feeling ashamed of where I call home. With visitors from abroad in our car we could do nothing but repeatedly apologise for the horrendous state of the A1 and A421. The amount of litter is absolutely disgusting and our guests from the USA could not understand how it gets this bad. You can barely appreciate any scenery as your eye is drawn to the plastic and rubbish caught up in every hedge, in every layby, and don’t even get me started on the sides of our roundabouts. What can be done about this problem? It makes me want to stay in town, never venturing out on the A roads… It’s just too depressing and I can only hope I’ve taught my own children that this is not acceptable.

  327. Ceri Blower says:

    The roundabout at Gatwick airport and the A217 leading off it to the junction for the M23 is littered with all manner of rubbish. Presumably this is the first view of the country that many visitors taking cars, taxis and coaches will get. It looks unsightly and is a poor advert for our country. Likewise the roads around Heathrow which is supposed to be our premier airport.

    • Steven Collins says:

      Yes Ceri a poor advert indeed,,,but they are seeing exactly how it is
      When I go to Spain, my wife’s country, there is hardly any litter on the motorways. True, not nearly as many people using the motorways in Spain as here, but our councils waste more money on political and cultural projects.

  328. Steven Collins says:

    There are two things I’d like to share here:

    1. My most recent email to Guildford Borough Council and Highways England

    Dear Guildford Borough Council and Highways England
    I have today had the displeasure of having to travel back on the A3 to London from Thursley in Surrey where my dog goes to kennels. Fortunately I only have to make this journey a few times a year.

    I was shocked to see that in a month since I first reported this unsightly litter issue, nothing has been done and in fact things have got a lot worse as to make it an environmental issue.

    I will be writing a proper old fashioned letter to Mr Gove, the Environment Secretary to see if he can get something done…he usually can.

    Today I saw a never ending stream of litter on the A3 heading towards London from the Godalming turn off right up until the M 25 turn off; about 10 miles in total. In some parts on the A3 I noticed there were walkways alongside the road. Without doubt the litter/fly-tip situation gets much worse approaching and leaving the BP/Marks and Spencer Service station (an enforcement order needs to be served on them), but it’s terrible everywhere including the other side of the road heading towards Portsmouth.

    I do appreciate how almost impossible it must be to keep highways clean when drivers throw stuff outside their windows with apparently no come back. Education and appropriate penalties are the key…but while there is rubbish on the verges, it has to be cleaned up…and not just twice a year. As I say, it has now become a serious health hazard.

    So, can someone please confirm that this area has at least been inspected. Has it? Really?

    Time for immediate action
    2. My letter to Secretary of Sate of Environment
    Dear Secretary of State 7TH February 2018

    Litter on our motorways and major roads
    I am writing to you in the hope that you or one of your team can look into the parlous state of litter on the verges of our motorways and dual carriageways.

    I appreciate that this would normally come under the remit of the Department of Transport, but what I see on my regular journeys along the A3 heading towards London (from the Godalming turn off right up to the M25) amounts to a health and environmental hazard. I have complained on numerous occasions about the litter and fly tip waste on this part of the A3 to Guildford Borough Council and Highways England, both of whom, despite accepting responsibility for litter cleaning in this area, have done nothing about it.

    I’m quoting the A3 situation as a personal example, but the whole of the country is similarly affected. Please have a look outside your car passenger window the next time you are travelling along any motorway or major road; you must do this regularly, surely?

    For the most part, city and borough councils in our country manage to keep our metropolis and villages relatively clean litter-wise. But when it comes to our major highways we are very much the poor (“third world”, in fact) relation compared to our friends ands and neighbours in Europe. This is an unacceptable state of affairs and requires urgent action. And, based on your excellent track record as a Secretary of State for getting things done (quickly!), I feel certain, Mr Gove, that you will take this letter very seriously indeed (and not fob me off with platitudes).

    I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

    Yours sincerely

    Steven Collins

  329. John says:

    I travel from Wolverhampton to Birmingham once a week from the M54 to the M6 to J6 Aston express way, like most people I am disgusted to see the amount of litter car body parts from road traffic accidents wheels tyres even a mattress dumped, and wonder why all the CCTV on the motorway does not pick up the offenders, I believe a lot of what we see has to do with recovery vehicles so may be the R.A.C & A.A should play there part,

  330. Alison Duncan says:

    The M62 around Birchwood Services Warrington is really bad. Plastic wrappings, bottles, cans, shredded plastic sheets/ bags. And fly tipped furniture! Why can’t people take their stuff home and bin it, it’s hardly an inconvenience is it?

  331. Richard Beattie says:

    Peter – a suggestion if I may…

    People using “have your say” are reporting dire amounts of roadside litter across the entire country.

    So, to highlight the extent of the issue and reach new audiences with your excellent campaign, how about the Clean Highways National Awards…?

    It could be a way to highlight poor maintenance and encourage good maintenance.

    Categories could include:
    England’s dirtiest stretch of motorway
    England’s dirtiest trunk road
    England’s cleanest motorway
    England’s cleanest trunk road

    Readers could submit photos, dash cam footage and descriptions of the stretches they wish to nominate.

    A panel could select the winners.

    To highlight both nominations and “winners”, you could send press releases and the relevant submitted photos to the media in the relevant areas.

    You could even give the winners a certificate.

    It wouldn’t need to be a rigourous process or criteria – it could be subjective and slightly tongue in cheek.

    Your campaign has the gravity for this to work. Being publically named as having “England’s dirtiest road” is an accolade that councils and HE divisions would be keen to avoid!

  332. Derek Gilman says:

    Today I exited the M20 (eastbound) for Ashford (Kent) at Jn 9. What I saw was indescribable. Verges full of every kind of litter which, on the face of it, had not been cleared for a considerable time. Oh, yes, there was a ‘do not drop litter’ sign – but this was feebly held up by a sandbag. So feebly that it had collapsed and was invisible, although I doubt whether its visibility would have much effect. I felt like complaining but then thought…what is the point? To summarise, complaints to HE/Local Authorities/County Councils (when you find out which one is actually responsible) boil down to the following responses regarding road cleansing:-

    – a ‘dynamic’ risk assessment needs to be undertaken, which takes account of weather conditions, poor visibility, strong winds etc.
    – a min 1.2m clearance is required. Verges will only be cleared if the shrubbery has been cut back to an acceptable level (by whom??) to avoid the risk of ‘trip hazards’
    – central reservations and slip roads (where vast amounts of litter have accumulated) cannot be cleared without authority from HE, coned off lane closure and costs of up to £1000 per day (who pays whom?)

    These are the real reasons why nothing gets done. I have come to the conclusion that until this culture is addressed, nothing will change and writing to the various bodies is a complete waste of time.

    I have every respect for the HE litter pickers who make a valiant attempt to clear the highways in all kinds of conditions, but the higher echelons do not appear to recognise the problems. I really do despair. Driving along our roads and motorways is – for me – a depressing experience. After spending time complaining to the various bodies concerned – and receiving the same old anodyne ‘pass the buck/health and safety responses’ – I lose the will to live. I sometimes wonder whether I am being hypersensitive to the situation, but it ‘hits’ me, everywhere I go.

  333. Mark Godfrey says:

    So sad to see our once green and pleasant land turned into a rubbish tip every A road , Motorway, streets , roads , bushes , trees etc .
    Looking like a third world country and places Places President Trump was recently talking about ! But this is not Haiti , Africa , and Sh..t holes he was talking about this is one of the so called Richest Country in the world which day by day turning into one of those places he was talking about .
    We should be so ashamed that this once beautiful country just turned into a dump and no one cares or does anything about it especially our politicians, Councils and people who just do not care or give a damn about what our country looks like and this makes me so angry and sad that nobody cares ? Or even tries to sort this very big problem we have and is getting worse each year .

  334. Richard Beattie says:

    A1(M) North Yorkshire between Wetherby and Dish forth (J49) is absolutely filthy.

    Central reservation is a continuous ribon of thick litter. Rubbish piled up along junctions (first mile of A168 northbound from J49 particularly atrocious).

    None of these areas have been litter picked in more than a year – I know that for a fact because I use it daily.

    Sick and tired of complaining, making the same point to the same people who have no interest whatsoever in doing a decent job. They seem unable to deal with the issues they are paid to manage.

    There’s no reason HE can’t clean up rubbish before it starts piling up, like virtually every other developed country manages to do.

    Just an utterly pathetic state of affairs. Taxpayer-funded ineptitude.

  335. Larry leigh says:

    just to add that Denham comes under south bucks council

    • Larry, the whole of the Denham roundabout under the J1 of the M40 is the responsibility of Highways England. HE not the South Buck DC have to ensure it is kept clear of litter.

      If like me you are are local to the the area please get in touch with me. I have an idea.

  336. Larry leigh says:

    Denham roundabout and the slip roads into it and off it a complete garbage heap!!!!!

  337. Frank goddard says:

    The A1(M) South Yorkshire is a public disgrace. The A635 slip road verges are not just a disgrace but a hazard. They have not been cleaned in months.

  338. Andrew says:

    The slip roads at J1 of the M32 outside Bristol continue to be in a disgraceful state. Since they are never cleared this is sadly not surprising. I have complained to HE and Skanska, asking them to take whatever safety steps are needed to secure the edges for a proper clean to reflect their legal duty to keep the motorway and slip roads clear of litter.

    I have also complained to South Glos Council about the state of the verges of the East Ring Road, which are badly affected by large items of plastic that in my view can only have come from waste lorries. In the past I have complained about lorries with no/inadequate netting over the top, flinging bits of wrapping into the air as they trundle along.

  339. I have just sent on a whole bunch of your complaints to Highways England CEO Jim O’Sullivan.


  340. Chris Mullin says:

    The A1 verges north of Newcastle are in an appalling state, too.

  341. Trevor Mepham says:

    Is it the case that the public authorities, the government, the state have given up on the highways in terms of litter and rubbish removal? It does increasingly look like the Highways Agency have taken a strategic decision to lose the battle for clean roads and highways. Presumably, that is not a position that can be stated in public, but nonetheless, it is evident to anyone who drives around the towns and the countryside. I live in Somerset, travel by road back and forth to Devon and London, Bristol and Birmingham. It’s the same picture everywhere – minor roads, A-roads and M-ways. Are litter-strewn roads a temporary casualty of austerity? Will technology arrive to save the day? Who is accountable for this situation and who will explain the actual position truthfully?

  342. Paul James says:

    Another depressing drive westwards this morning along the A27 from Shoreham to Chichester and beyond. More or less the whole route has litter strewn across the verges though especially bad sections are west of Worthing towards Crossbush, the Chichester bypass and west of Chichester towards Havant. Do HE have a statutory duty to clear up litter from the A27 verges or is it the responsibility of the various local authorities? Either way, whoever is responsible is failing to tackle the problem.

  343. Justin says:

    I have travelled the same stretch of country road and Motorway M5 Weston to Avonmouth and noticed the progressive deterioration of the roadsides over the last 10 years. It is at the point where I am finding it difficult to differentiate areas. They are all somewhere between bad and awful. Every Motorway junction between Weston and Avonmouth is a disgrace. Clearly Contractors / HE are very adept at keeping hard shoulders and gutters clear (safety) but the verges are entirely ignored. I have seen Skanska inspection regimes and reports and they are a farce. If I’m honest my concern is for the countryside. Councils are prompt to respond to fly tipping but litter picking roads you can forget unless you repeatedly threaten legal action or issue multiple complaints. There is barely a few metres of ANY of Somerset’s country lanes and roads without litter, deep in the hedges and in the many Rhynes and waterways. It is a losing battle and the councils have actually given up. Until there is a culture change (fines for littering from cars will catch barely any perpetrators sadly) nothing will improve. A symptom of current attitudes is the growing trend of bagging up rubbish and then throwing it out of cars. This speaks volumes, like the poo bags in trees! Everyone rightly up in arms about littered beaches and yet we have 250,000 miles of littered verges which the majority of the UKs zombied population does not even see or acknowledge as a problem in their lives.

  344. Catherine Blandford says:

    I report this every year to Dacorum Borough Council…..as they litter pick once a year (or before a royal visit) the A41 from M25 junction at Kings Langley to Hemel Hempstead Slip road and possibly beyond. It’s my daily journey to work and it’s so depressing but it’s always someone else’s fault and someone else’s problem. The funny thing is that the Highways Agency who are responsible for cutting the grass do so BEFORE the litter pick takes place, so it’s a lovely long line of chopped up plastic. The state of the verges along slip road off the M25 at this junction is in an appalling state. The yellow signs warning drivers of CCTV does nothing to deter people. People just don’t care. One day when I am no longer working full time I will wear a high vis jacket and clean it up myself, of course trying to avoid the bottles of urine and alike, oh and the fast cars……I would take photos on my mobile but I’m in the car……

  345. Sally Hart says:

    I am pleased that more people are finding this website and perhaps through passing it on to others collectively we can make our MPs, government, councils, Highways England etc realise that they have a statutory obligation and are paid to clear the litter from our roads as verges . The next problem we will have will be an explosion of vermin i.e. rats that are a health hazard, create huge damage and therefore will cost more to sort out than picking up litter. Every road I travel on and I travel all over the UK is littered

    Do MPs travel on the roads blindfolded ? Where is their sense of pride in their country ? No one appears to be accountable, who are the managers that give out the contracts for keeping our roads free of litter.

    I have recently noticed that huge blown tyres littering the central reservation for weeks on end, as well as chunks of plastic sheeting,what about health and safety ?

    This is a rant as I too feel ill and depressed about the litter, I could potentially be a further draw on the NHS!

    Please pass on all our correspondence to who ever has a responsibility or can publicise how we feel and thank you for all you do.

  346. andrew gates says:

    Peter, you will be inundated! However, I was trying to get hold of the correct agency this morning regarding the M11 access roundabout to Stansted Airport. It’s the main junction roundabout with the M11 and A 120 and is appalling. I dread to think what visitors to our country think if this is the first view of Britain they see by road. It looks like some road in India not Essex! The access junctions, where you stop from the M11 at the roundabout are overflowing with rubbish where it’s been thrown out of car windows when motorists are waiting at the lights. Each junction on the roundabout is the same, and the A120 access to Stanstead Airport is littered with extensive rubbish all the way along.

    All the best,

    Andrew Gates

  347. All roads as far as I’m concerned but the A12 Essex, which I travel regularly, is vile and disgusting. It’s not just litter that people chuck out of windows it’s great swathes of plastic off lorries. I am a regular litter picker, I spot areas and do my best to clear them, mostly verges on country roads. My partner and I got 5 black bin bags yesterday on a short stretch. I was at my council offices this morning having my usual chat. Plastic is an environmental disaster. The route of this problem is the people that do this, not just the councils that don’t clear it up. How can this be resolved? Why do people behave like this? There must be something we can do to raise awareness, our country is turning into a third world skip.

  348. Karen Coombs says:

    The roundabout and slip roads of J28 off the M1 at Mansfield are in an unbelievable state. I could not believe what I was seeing on Saturday. It is time to get this sorted! What are you doing about it, Highways England?

  349. Maggie Wilson says:

    The A27 and A26 around Lewes , East Sussex are appalling. I have written to my local MP who chooses to blame the public for the mess. Some of that may be true. BUT a lot of the larger pieces of litter, huge pieces of plastic , buckets, plastic boxes and other rubbish have obviously come from the back of skips that are frequently seen with rubbish flying off unsecured loads.

    Friends from out of county and my family have commented on how shocking it all looks. And this is in the nation’s newest national park. It says a lot about our commitment to the environment.

  350. caroline taylor says:

    If only this was a motorway problem. Trouble is it is now endemic across the whole country, motorways, A roads, B roads, railway embankments etc. and it is a national disgrace.

  351. H Langley says:

    You would not believe the state of the A2 from Canterbury to M2 and the slip road onto it from Canterbury via Harblediwn. It truly looks like avrubbish tip. Staggeringly awful. Clearly it has not been cleared in years and there have been many complaints to no avail . It’s embarassing and shameful.

    • Derek Gilman says:

      I have complained about this already and put the reply received from Dover Council on this forum on 12 January (I have yet to receive a reply from the other two councils involved, namely Canterbury and Swale) – you’ll see why nothing gets done! If you would like to contact Highways England (area4enquiries@aone.uk.com ) and reiterate your comments, the more complaints they receive, the more chance they will do something about it!

      Good luck!

  352. Anthea Dempsey says:

    I have today driven from Dorset to Sussex, a journey I make quite regularly, and found that the verges and central reservation area on the A31/ M27/ A27 were an absolute eye sore. The amount of litter is appalling and disgusting.This is not new. I have contacted the relevant councils over a number of years with no tangible improvement.
    Today the worst area was the A27 between Havant and Chichester. Mostly it looks like rubbish blown off the back of trucks because of the amount involved, but wherever it comes from, removing it should be addressed without delay and every effort made to prevent this happening in the future.
    I am greatly saddened and ashamed by the current state of our highways.

  353. Robin Nichols says:

    Drop litter and you will be fined £1000 and lose your licence for a year. TIME FOR ACTION!

  354. Richard Dobbs says:

    The A12 leaving the M25 going North is an absolute disgrace.
    How come other countries can have clean Highways? A classic response is Health & Safety. Surely the likes of France have the same Health & Safety issues. If Ireland, which used to be far worse than the UK, can get its act together with regard to litter, why can’t we?
    Also, every time one tries complaining to a council, Department, etc, etc. one is always told it’s not their responsibility. In other words, a massive buck manoeuvre designed to wear one down to stop any further complaints.
    Litter is symptomatic of problems within society and it sets a bad precedent with long term implications.

  355. Chris Dring says:

    Can all these comments not be forwarded to Michael Gove? I wrote to my MP about a year ago and got bland comments about the Government’s new litter strategy. Well nothing has happened since, the MP has gone and no-one is taking responsibility. At the end of the day the buck stops with the Secretary of State. I am seriously depressed by all the litter on our roads. In some areas local parish councils do regular clear-ups but generally the rubbish just sits there accumulating. When I say depressed I mean it. it is so unsightly and so upsetting that I sit inside rather than go out to be confronted by it all

    • Hi Chris

      Try not to get depressed. I know how you feel, I could weep about the whole situation. Try to do something positive like I do. Get yourself a litter picker, when you see an area that upsets you grab your picker and some bags, gloves etc. and clear it up. You do feel better afterwards and once you start you don’t care about people looking. In fact, often people say “well done”. I don a hi viz if I find myself on a rather precarious verge, I just don’t care what people think. I do some every week, I have got my partner roped in now to helping when he can. There are always litter picking groups you can join, or start your own. If we all do our bit, we at least know that we have helped in a small way.

    • Derek Gilman says:


      I feel the same sense of despair when travelling. It’s worse in winter, when the grass and undergrowth have died back, revealing the full extent of the underlying rubbish. Have written to Gove. I suggest you do the same, to reinforce the frustration we all feel!

  356. Mike Sole says:

    The A2 is a complete mess with litter, in particular the sections and slip roads south of Canterbury. It gets worse every year.
    This year however we have had to put up with signs and cones left around the sliproad junctions months after repair work was done.
    This is especially bad at the Bridge & Barham junctions.
    These signs are both unsightly and in these recent high winds dangerous.

  357. Rachel Campbell says:

    The A602 between Hitchin and the A1 roundabout on the outskirts of Stevenage is in a terrible state and getting worse every day. I know of many people who find this stretch of road incredibly depressing. In addition, after a RTA at the entrance to Kingshott School, whilst the bollard was fixed and a streetlight made safe, pieces of the car were left behind and are still there. I know that it is scheduled for clearing once a year – it’s just not enough. The message to motorists is ‘chuck your litter out of the window here – it really doesn’t matter, everyone does it’

    • Hi Rachel

      I’m just on here reading and posting a few comments and , although I live in Frinton in Essex, my family are in Hertfordshire and I go every other week. I was a Hitchin resident for 35 years. I travel that road from Great Ashby, where my daughter lives, to Hitchin where my son lives and it has always depressed me. Have you seen the one going towards Graveley, on the left there? totally disgusting, unless someone has cleared it, but I doubt it. I was beginning to think I was the only person who was depressed by this and so many other roads. It’s just so depressing isn’t it.

  358. A Bennett says:

    I am absolutely appalled at the current state at the M62 Junction 27 (Ikea Leeds.) All of the exit and entry slip roads look like landfill sites, as does the grass verges leading onto and off the junction. Please can whoever is legally responsible for this land address the matter urgently.

    • Excellent feed back – concise and to the point.

      I have forwarded it to Highways England’s CEO, Jim O’Sullivan, with copies to both the Transport and Environmental correspondents of the Times

      • Rory O'Neill says:

        In Nick Harris’s 15 Feb letter from Highways England he says “litter can build up almost immediately after we have cleared the area making it very difficult to manage”. The near-magical litter that can build up almost immediately doesn’t mean it should not be picked, only that their management of it is not working.

        Does the magical litter build up in the same way each time the contractor reports that they have cleared it? Perhaps they don’t actually clear properly (or at all) and the same litter is there all the time? We’ve, perhaps literally, seen it before.

  359. JOHN WOOLMER says:

    Well done – and thank you once more for continuing to take the fight to a cringe-worthy HE. You and John Read seem to be almost solitary champions in the losing fight against filthy motorways and road verges.

    I wonder whether you have come across 38 Degrees? They have managed to produce a very simple way of petitioning huge numbers of people over a great variety of subjects that affect our lives. Results are often astounding in the numbers who support campaigns (often tens or hundreds of thousands) and they have achieved real success in forcing agencies/firms/even the Government to change their ways.

    The few petitions about the dire litter conditions on our roads that I have supported have been too complicated or time consuming to complete- with the result that only a few hundred people have done so.

    Please consider looking into 38 Degrees & their petitions…I am convinced that you could easily gain many thousands of supporters who feel as we do that England’s litter problem is a disgrace and that HE should be forced to do the job they are paid to do!

    Thanks again for all the time, effort and expertise you bring!

  360. David Harvey says:

    As usual,Thanet way and the A 256,Dover to Sandwich are a disgrace.I see the powers that be say coning off roads is expensive but they do not have to cone off lay-bys which are the source of the problem.Once upon a time those doing community service could be usefully employed clearing litter but that seems to have been knocked on the head by the PC Brigade.What foreigners must think on arriving on these shores I dread to contemplate.I would be grateful for comments from Kent CC and Dover DC but will not be holding my breath.

  361. Paul Plumb says:

    An interesting meeting with all the so called stakeholders. The issue of responsibility for litter and clearing up litter is suitable made complicated. My question to everyone, from authorities, governments, companies and individuals is “do we think that the state roadsides, ditches, paths and parks is acceptable”. Based on that thinking surely we all have to work together to deal with the problem and in particular all the authorities you meet at the meeting recently. Shame on them.

    Paul Plumb

  362. J Armstrong says:

    Sterling work, Peter, and thanks for all your hard work to date.

    Talking to people most are aware of the awful state of our verges. It’s how to get that across to HE, and Government, what with austerity being one excuse and matters such as Brexit leaving the Government having its attention taken over with that.

    Perhaps we need to name and shame. I’ve been trying to take photos to put up on social media, start a litter blog, but it’s hard getting pictures while whizzing along the motorways and dual carriageways! It need something to bring it to the publics attention and create enough disgust so HE are forced to act.

  363. Bridget Diggens says:

    Just travelled up and down the A1 from Newark to York. Absolutely shocking amount of rubbish. Can’t we have a national day when all roads shut to traffic except bin collections – everyone out collecting rubbish,meet to collection points every mile for example, bin lorriez collect and take to incineration points. Every single person should fill minimum of bag over whole country town and country alike. Get someone like Chris Evans or Matt Baker to lead the project and get into the minds of the nation.
    Even countries in Europe we accused of being filthy are cleaner than our now third world look. TIME FOR ACTION

  364. Vanessa Dent says:

    So glad that I’m not alone in my dismay at the disgusting state of our major trunk roads and their verges. Just one example in my corner of Kent – the A2 out of Dover – is festooned with every kind of litter…including bottles of urine lobbed from passing lorries. Doors, polystyrene, food packaging, cans, boxes, paper, carrier bags stuffed with detritus. You name it, the A2 sadly is blighted by it. Complaining gets nothing done. Litter invites more litter.

  365. Janice argent says:

    Well done and huge thanks to you Peter for your efforts at the HE Litter Conference.
    When will these people open their eyes and see the horrendous state of our countryside? How can their consciencies allow them to sleep at night having without doubt passed much of the rubbish strewn around our countryside on their day to day business?
    I’m so so pleased to see that there are others who feel as strongly as I do- I feel like a one man band locally. I’m forever collecting litter on my local walks and disposing of it at home. Despite constant complaints to the council and contractors the litter seems to be getting worse. I have to agree that there does seem to be so much complacency by all types of people and businesses who cannot even be bothered to clear up outside their own houses/gardens/shops. It beggars belief that anyone could be content to live with such filth. Whatever has happened to our green and pleasant land???? Life is certainly the more depressing for it.
    I now ensure I by-pass whenever possible the A13 road road from Southend to the Dartford Crossing. The trees and shrubs there are constantly “embellished” with plastic bags and remnants from lorries in the branches and then bottle and rubbish everywhere in the ground. Its is a very very sad reflection of life in our country and how much lack of pride we seem to have any more. From what I am reading, the rest of the country is not fareing much better.
    Well done Channel 4 news report- at last someone has taken note. BBC- what about you????!!!!!

    • with you all the way Janice. I litter pick practically every other day, you are not alone. I take bags of it to my local skip and feel totally fed up with the whole situation. Keep up the good work, if I lived near you I would come with you!

  366. Alasdair Ritchie says:

    Well done for all your efforts at the meeting Peter. This continues to be a depressing subject. We need to keep the pressure on and increase momentum. Spread the word everyone. This country needs a serious clean up.

  367. George Niblock says:

    Good for you Peter and John Read…all of the others at the meeting are part of the Emperor’s New Clothes scenario.

    Additionally the recent report to Parliament and the subject also makes the fundamental mistake of erroneously adding ‘reasonably’ into the quotation about the Duty in terms of S 89 of EPA90

    Please keep up the excellent work Peter and John.

  368. Laurence Wells says:

    Eleanor Williams says it all. There is so little civic pride in the UK now whereas we were once famed for it. Penalties are not stiff enough; sanctions are not enforced; it is the same across so many spheres: criminal law; bankruptcy etc. People know that there will be no consequences and they just do not care. I see it in the boroughs surrounding Wandsworth where littering sanctions are almost non-existent with both culprits and contractors charged to clean up whereas Wandsworth is the opposite and per sequitur so much more litter-free.

  369. Eleanor Williams says:

    Thanks for attending this meeting on our behalf, Peter. I’m not surprised by what you report. Being a regular litter picker along a stretch of highway adjacent to a new housing site, I’ve been shocked at the amount of rubbish that gets spread onto the highway. I’ve also noticed that road crews leave a lot of their litter behind, especially night crews. I have taken this up with the contractor too.
    So many people, so much waste, people just want an easy way to dispose of it, so why not just chuck it anywhere? Unfortunately, I think that those of us who care enough about this to do something about it, are in the minority.

  370. John Lindsay says:

    Dear good fellow citizens,
    The state of our litter strewn streets, highways and rural areas is a national shame and disgrace. The authorities responsible for clearing litter are clearly exercising a dereliction of their duty. As good citizens we should also be responsible to take some collective responsibility by helping to collect litter whenever we can, not least the patch in front of our own homes. The latter would help just a wee bit but at least it would help. The issue gets very complicated in trunk roads, highways and motorways where it is not always possible for every-day good citizens to pick up litter. This is where the authorities have the most responsibility. In my 30 years of enjoyable litter picking I have found that those roads which have more rubbish always seem to harbour more litter offenders. The cleaner a road the less likely an offender is to litter. This is a fact. Coupled to this is EDUCATION. It appears that our schools are also complicit in not educating our children enough about their civil duties. And why ? Because they are far too troubled and pressured with pursuing the targets imposed by the Education authorities. And guess what? We all want our children to be in the “best schools”. And so the vicious cycle begins again.
    Conclusion? The accumulating and ever increasing amounts of litter in the UK are a BAROMOMETER of the new culture and direction in which our nation is heading. And this is the route of the problem, this is where the problem needs to be tackled to provide a sustainable social improvement for all citizens.
    The sooner we all get back to basics, improve accessibility to housing, provide fair pay, reduce the dependence on London for the economy, educate correctly and civilly our children (and adults) then the sooner we will start to see an improvement in our litter strewn streets. Otherwise I am afraid we will just see more of it, and us litter pickers will just have to continue pressing ahead. There is a long road ahead of us and we all need to come to our senses and pull together.
    Best wishes to all.

  371. M A Sutherland says:

    The litter mostly comes from The unsecured loads of small trucks if they were made to cover the backs of their vehicles we could cut the litter in half immediately !

  372. Rlj says:

    Peter, HE will be aware of their statutory duties, and the inclusion of the world reasonable is clearly a deliberate attempt to begin to water it down. Well done for holding HE, a taxpayer funded body, to account.

  373. Joan says:

    The A2 at Dover I must say appears to be the dirtiest stretch of motorway I have seen and that includes minor roads off the motorway. At the Canterbury end I have actually seen men clearing the verges but NEVER nearer Dover. I feel ashamed to live in that area.

    Also the state of the motorway generally near Dover is shocking with large deep potholes enough in places to bring a cyclist down. WHEN WHEN is something to be done about the state of the road.

    • Vanessa Dent says:

      Just said almost the same thing Joan! I’m ashamed to have visitors drive down to stay with us here. Goodness knows what tourists coming off the ferries think about Dover and its environs.

  374. Glyn says:

    Can’t believe that Keep Britain Tidy didn’t support you.
    How depressing.

  375. Malcolm says:

    I felt compelled to add my voice to the many here after driving down the A21 yesterday (30th January 2018) to Tunbridge Wells and back. I was utterly appalled, embarrassed and depressed by the amount of litter blighting this whole stretch from the M25. I’ve noticed a huge increase in litter on our highways all over the country but this was the worst I’ve seen. Each side of the dual carriageway as well as the central reservation were polluted by everything from coke cans and plastic bottles to heavy duty sheets of polythene and big pieces of rigid plastic. From the amount I saw and looking back at the many posts here, this problem has clearly been allowed to accumulate over many months if not years. The longer this debris stays, the more chance there is of it entering water systems and being consumed by innocent wildlife. Also, many will think it acceptable to add more litter because “what difference will another crisp packet make?”. Of course, those who litter in the first place are to blame primarily but the responsibility to clean it up lies with the district and borough councils as well as Highways England – why aren’t they doing anything?! If they don’t act soon, a lot of it will reach our oceans where it will be impossible to remove completely and we all know the catastrophic consequences that will come of that!

  376. Sarah Osborne says:

    All the parkways around Peterborough are strewn with litter from end to end.But it’s not just a local problem, most of England’s roads now resemble a giant rubbish tip. Whatever happened to all the “Keep Britain Tidy” signs that used to be so prevalent years ago? At least they were a reminder for folk to take a pride in their country. The level of litter everywhere is really quite shocking and the government appears to be doing nothing to rectify it. Councils should do far more to clear up the rubbish, but at the end of the day the responsibility is with the individual to take home their litter and not just toss it out of the car window. We live on a busy school road and everyday I pick up a bag full of discarded sweet wrappers and plastic bottles. Parents just aren’t teaching their children to be responsible anymore and so they grow up thinking its okay to just dump their litter wherever they want.

  377. Donna says:

    I drive around Herts/Essex for my work, and am so so frustrated at the amount of roadside litter, it’s all going to get covered up by spring growth then chopped up by council mowers. I really would love to don high vis and just get out there and make a start but I would probably get arrested. What can I do?

    • John Norfolk says:

      Start with just picking up one each time you are walking by and if everyone does then it will soon show improvement

    • You can do it Donna, I do it all the time, as you probably notice from my other comments! Do small areas if you like, I do verges on B roads with my picker and anywhere I can reach really. Don’t be embarrassed about it, once you start you feel better. Get a hi viz for safety if you need one.

  378. Robin Nichols says:

    Everyone is utterly fed up with the increasing levels of roadside litter. The government don’t care. They all need bloody shooting.

  379. Dave says:

    I am sick to death and ashamed at the litter that is absolutely everywhere I look. When are we going to wake up and EVERYONE of us learn to respect our otherwise beautiful Country. DONT DROP LITTER, and If we come across litter even if we did not drop it it is still our responsibility to set an example and if we can PICK IT UP.
    I am fighting a one man crusade and going out into the countryside and picking up litter as much as I can take and bringing it home to my dustbin to dispose of.
    People ask me what I am doing?
    I am not paid but I am NOT going to tolerate poo bags hanging from trees, coke cans and smelly old nappies competing for space with wild flowers!
    When was the last time someone you knew was fined for dropping litter? That would STOP it DEAD.

  380. J Roe says:

    I regularly litter pick the semi-rural roads and lanes when walking my dog and without fail there is always freshly dropped litter 24 hours later. This is made up predominantly of plastic water bottles, beer cans, energy drink cans, cigarette packs and fast food packaging. As the roads are part of the Cheshire Cycleway,I also continually find foil packaging from ‘energy gels’ which are dropped by cyclists and runners. It seems that littering has become a national epidemic and judging by the state of the wider road network this is being replicated on a daily basis by tens of thousands who have no shame, embarrassment or sense of responsibility. The A roads are particularly appalling and recent journeys on the A500 between Nantwich and Talke, and the A534 Sandbach to Crewe were just unbelievable. I have written to our local MP, I regularly litter pick and I have raised my children not to litter, but beyond this I am at an absolute loss to know what else can be done. Many other countries are able to achieve a clean, predominantly litter-free environment but for some reason we seem unable or unwilling to. How utterly depressing.

  381. pamela gordon says:

    I’m not sure what good “having my say” will do – I would like to ask what we are ALL going to do about the horrendous state of the verges along most of the A roads and motorways and a lot of smaller roads…..? There seems to be no enforcement or even suggestion to people / cars that throwing little out is unacceptable. Can we design a car sticker ??? posters / advertising to ask / tell people not to do it. Alongside this we need to come roads – clear the litter and then people might start realising the consequences. It is literally a national disgrace.

  382. Nigel says:

    Interesting piece by Alex Thompson on tonight’s Channel 4 News about the nationwide litter problem ….


    Let’s hope the profile continues to be raised in this way.

  383. Helen says:

    The amount of litter on and around Sandygate Exeter roundabout is disgusting. Is it because of the road works, if so why has it been left?

  384. Nancy Clarke says:

    I thought I was a grumpy old (only 54) lady complaining about rubbish, but I’m relieved to see that there are so many others who feel as I do. I regularly travel on the A31 between Winchester and Guildford and am always shocked and saddened by the amount of rubbish on the roadside. I am always picking up rubbish when out walking and am so tempted to stop my car and pick it up myself! I hate to think of the cost the councils must pay to do this, but it really has become a disgrace on our roads.

  385. Lewis Goldwater says:

    A40 Ross to Monmouth. Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. National embarrassment. Shame on H. E. Shame on the dirty animals who spoil my county by chucking their rubbish out of their windows rather than disposing of it properly.

  386. J Wade says:

    I want to hi light the northbound stretch of the A42 that connects with the M1 is littered with rubbish and in the most appalling state. Of course the main issue is to get the roadside cleaned up at a huge cost. However, educating our nation to stop throwing litter must be paramount in preventing this situation in the first place. Is there any way I can be involved to make a difference or help?

  387. Andrew Slater says:

    The A38 from Mansfield , including J28 of the M1, all the way through to Derby and beyond is absolutely shocking at the amount of rubbish and litter at the sidesof the riad and central reservations. Particularly after J28 to Swanwick on the A38, as there are a few I industrial estates and rubbish is blown from them onto the roads. Recently trees and undergrowth have been cut back to reveal even more rubbish. Its total disgrace, will anything ever be done about it???

  388. Chris roscoe says:

    M58 from J26 M6 towards Liverpool is a disgrace ! It’s full of litter. No one appears to care in maintaining our roads the country is a mess of litter. I’ve emailed highways but doubt anything will happen. All this stuff about wildlife and bottles etc.. and yet our own government ran departments don’t sort the source of it out !

  389. Anne says:

    At last there are rumblings (at government level) of plans tor reduce the use of plastics and to reduce the level of food waste in this country. I wonder how long before there’s some action on reducing roadside litter too……..

  390. Sandra Maxfield says:

    Traveling on the M18 and M1 – SO MUCH LITTER – disgraceful, disgusting, why don’t people take responsibility – take pride in their country – take their litter home and discard sensibly. Reading others comments I see mentioned it’s the fault of the Government, the Councils, the Councillors, the MP’s, unless they are throwing their waste thoughtlessly willy nilly out on our streets the only person responsible is the individual doing this act. Not just litter on the ground but plastic bags in tatters fighting trying to escape off tree branches.

  391. Derek Gilman says:

    No wonder we don’t have a consistent strategy on litter clearance. On one small stretch of the A2 in Kent, from Brenley Corner to Dover, verges are cleared by Swale, Canterbury and Dover District Councils, delegated by Highways England, who are responsible for road surface, and cleaning of signage/disposal of redundant road works detritus. Each district council probably has a different schedule for cleaning, resulting in a ‘patchy’ overall appearance, i.e. Dover might clear in April, Canterbury in August and Swale in September. In the meantime, you drive through clean/not so bad/filthy roadsides. But the main problem (I would say excuse, if i was more cynical) is health and safety, and I quote, from a local district council:

    ” The cleaning of the A roads is not now a straight forward task, Health and Safety now dictates that to clean these roads Traffic Management needs to be in place. To get Traffic Management approved, the District Council along with its contractor has to apply to Highways England for approval to work on the roads on specific dates. These are then approved or declined.

    The cost of setting up the traffic management is in excess of £1000 a day, so it is a very costly exercise. We try to program the cleaning on these roads for 2 to 3 times a year. The last clean of the A2 was back in September and the next clean will be March /April once the dates have been approved. We also try to clean sections of these roads ( so save ratepayers money ) when other works are being carried out on these roads. Some contractors will not let another contractor work in their TM space but we are sometimes successful in working alongside another contractor.

    The maintenance of the roads, the central reservations and redundant signs and traffic cones and the cleaning of the signs are all the responsibility of Highways England. ***** District Council are only responsible for litter picking the verges and they will continue to work with the other agencies to achieve this but we cannot just put men on the roads without going through the agreed processes.”

    What a complete bureaucratic mess, on what should be a relatively straightforward job! No wonder our roads are such a mess!!

  392. Lydie Dalton says:

    The state of verges on the A23 and A27 in Sussex particularly around Brighton & Hove and Lewes is shocking. It is hard to believe it is the state of roads in England, around cities with tourism-dependent economies. At times these roads are plain dangerous with large detritus such as disused traffic cones left on the sides of the road, large plastic wrapping, wood planks and metal fallen from freight lorries. Worst of all and inexcusable is the attitude of motorists who throw away their coffee cups and plastic bottles and then expect the public authorities to clean up the mess.

  393. Norman ellis says:

    The litter problem will never go away until something is done to put people off dumping out of their cars lorries etc . Signs need to be placed saying those caught dumping rubbish from their vehicles will be fined at strategic places i.e. Slip roads and roundabouts . Another suggestion is in Australia volunteers are encouraged to adopt a stretch of road and keep it clear of litter.

    • ap says:

      Part of the problem is that councils charge vans to dump their trade waste or house clearance items to take to the waste recycle centres. Therefore it gets dumped anywhere and it will cost councils then millions to clear it up. Surely more cost effective and saving of manpower to let them use waste recycling centres for free. I’m from the Netherlands and lived in UK for 20 years. Rest of Europe is so clean compared to the Uk, its embarrassing when friends and family come over to visit. I don’t understand why a lot of UK citizens have no national pride to keep their country clean. I have reported litter on countless occasions just to be ignored or told there is no manpower

  394. Mike Waight says:

    I always knew that PFI was a leson in how not to proceed with major projects as it would leave the taxpayer by far the poorer but this revelation about the A69 is a appalling. Having once worked for an organisation that is the subject of a continuing 25 year PFI arrangement I can only wonder at the profits being made by the facilitating contractor and the losses being accrued by HMG. The public have been hoodwinked since the PFI schemes began.

  395. Glyn says:

    I drove from London to Wroxham using the A1 and A505 and was shocked by the amount of litter chucked out of cars onto the verges.Hardly a meter of roadside existed that was not covered with plastic bottles, wrappers, take-away coffee cups etc. After that I drove across the midlands through Shropshire and into North West Wales on the Lleyn Peninsula. From there to Kirby Stephen, Cumbria. With rare exception every single road was the same. What has happened to our culture? Things seem to have gotten a lot worse lately and there seems to be no political will to challenge this behaviour. My nephew told me that he had had to stop a young lad, travelling with him in his van, from throwing his empty coke bottle out of the van window. When my nephew remonstrated with him, the lad was unapologetic saying that someone would clean it up. Unbelievable! I wrote to Greenpeace asking if they would consider a campaign that encouraged personal responsibility but they told me that they did not believe it is write to ‘consumer blame.’ I am very discouraged. Thank you for your efforts.

  396. Ian says:

    I drove from the A1 to M1 today via Northhampton. I thought the roads in Hertfordshire were bad….. I notice more and more farmers are putting wire fencing up to stop the litter blowing onto their land. Every lay-by I past has overflowing bins and rubbish everywhere. What on earth are these councils playing at.

  397. Eileen Wigham says:

    M6 between junction 40 and junction 42 which I travelled on today is an utter disgrace. The amount of litter, plastic bottles and cans etc is sickening to see.. it is so sad our roads looking so messy. Highway England must tackle this problem .
    What happened to our national pride ?Returned on the A6 and it was equally bad..ashamed to be British.The roundabouts are even worse.
    I do litter picks on the minor roads where I live but we need a national clampdown on littering with stiffer penalties and even points on driving license if ever caught.

  398. Valerie Morganti says:

    All the minor roads in mid-Cornwall are a disgrace. The authority cleans out the ditches and unearths all the cans, bottle, McDonalds wrappers etc which have obviously been there for some time. No-one removes them they just wait for the vegetation to grow up and hide them until the next time the ditches are cleared. A winter walk which is meant to be relaxing ends up with me having smoke coming out of my ears. Disgraceful.

  399. David Sandbrook says:

    Is anyone else surprised that the government has yet to seek volunteers to litter pick major roads?

    • Ian says:

      They wont do it because of elf and safety,, I for one would like to see all the young (and old ) scroats on community payback doing it …. Im ashamed to live here now.

  400. Emily A says:

    I am so glad to have found this site, I thought I was the only person who cared about the state of litter on our roads and in the UK generally!

    I agree that the majority of litter seems to be fast food packaging, bottles, coffee cups and cans thrown from car windows. It must surely be a minority of people causing the majority of the litter though as I have never actually seen anyone throwing litter out of their car window.

    I would suggest three things that would help solve the problem:

    1. A bottle/can deposit return scheme
    2. Polluter pays – the big corporations such as Macdonald’s, Starbucks, pepsi etc produce the majority of the waste, they should subsidise the clean-up
    3. Finally as well as much greater fines for littering, why can’t license penalty points be given to drivers who throw litter out of their windows whilst driving, or allow their passengers to do so? I think this would be a much greater deterrent than monetary fines.

    I live in greater Manchester and it honestly feels like living in a bin – the scale of the problem is overwhelming.

  401. James Vincent Miller says:

    NB have issues a complaint to HE ref M23 and Basingstoke & Deane BC ref A34

  402. James Vincent Miller says:

    Mixed bag from my recent journeys:

    M23 Gatwick to M25 Northbound = Grade D litter.
    M3 Winchester to M25 = Grade A/B
    M25 J12 to J7 = Grade B sometimes C
    A34 Basingstoke & Deane Area = Grade D
    A34 Winchester and West Berka area = Grade a/B

  403. Ben Verinder says:

    We have just driven from Tring in Hertfordshire to East Harling in Norfolk and both the A41 and A11 were horrendously littered, but sadly typically of the state of English A-roads. The most powerful advert for littering is litter – it is a phenomenon driven by social norms. As public bodies fail to exercise their duties, driven in part by funding cuts, we intensify the problem. This has to change and soon.

  404. Bill Jackson says:

    How can I get a stretch from Jct 16 on the M6 eastwards towards Stoke cleaned ? Year after year it gets worse and the area between the crash barriers is now deep with litter for .at least a couple of miles

  405. Andrew Harding says:

    Around a year or so back I reported the filthy conditions on the A1 particularly from Sandy to Blackcat roundabout to St Neots and also beyond to Buckden. The slipway onto the A1 is also disgusting at St Neots, has anything changed? I did once see some litter pickers near Sandy and at one layby but otherwise the litter just sits there. So in essence things have changed, it has got worse! I read the other reports and it is evident that no one is taking responsibility and we are all meant to just ignore it and hope for more snow to disguise it? Then it will be spring and the plant growth will hide it up. What an embarrassment and how very depressing.

  406. Joanne says:

    A6104 junction with M60.
    Junction 31a slip road onto M6.

  407. Una Villis says:

    The amount of litter on the motorways is getting much worse, It is so sad to see our beautiful country side blighted in this way, so I have an idea, close sections of the motorway one way at a time and do a massive public clean up similar to the beach cleans carried out by volunteers. It would inconvenience people and that might make them think. Very busy people do not like being inconvenienced. While the clean is going on educate with huge billboards. Get the children involved they will shame the lazy adults who still think Mum will clean up after them. What do you think? It would take a lot of organising but maybe link up with another environmental organisation. We must do something.

  408. P Morrod says:

    A13 out of London towards the Dartford Crossing is absolutely filthy. Lots of plastic litter all over the banks. A disgraceful state of affairs. I live in continental Europe and often drive back to the U.K. and it’s so sad to see this as a representation of Britain.

  409. Ian says:

    Its not just me then. I live a mile from Junction 21A of the M25,,,, the council seems to litter pick about twice every year leading up to the slip road and the M25 bit is prob done once a year, they both seem to leave out the slip roads and roundabouts (same around the country), its getting really bad and some places more rubbish than grass. I have over the last two years asked why oh why grass cutting can;t be co-ordinated with litter picking, I think the overpaid managers in the public sector are just dim wits who could not get jobs in the real world. Personally I would sub litter picking out to the private sector with a real ring fenced budget. OR once we are out of Europe get all the little toe rags to pick it as part of rehabilitation. Massive fines as well with 10% going to the CCTV operator as an intensive.

  410. Alice says:

    While I have reservations about Highways England’s standards on roads they maintain, particularly around slip roads and roundabouts, the real eyesores are they trunk roads looks after by local authorities, while are really disgusting in places (the A road near Ely and the A12 in Essex particularly spring to mind). It is just horrible driving on so much of the network and the depressing feeling is compounded by the sense that the problem couldn’t be more obvious but no one takes any interest in sorting it out.

    On the other hand, most of the M40 is wonderful so let’s have more of that!

  411. Karen Coombs says:

    My husband and I have done litter picks twice in the last three weeks – the slip roads off the A50 and the roundabout to the A515. A boot full each time.
    The central reservation of the A50 is full of litter and the weeds untreated.
    Last time I drove down the A38 between Willington and Burton, I was horrified – overgrown verges, litter everywhere, bins overspilling in the laybys.

  412. Adrian Stewart says:

    A17 from sleaford is litter strewn bottles cans mostly good related items. Councils grant permission for these fast food outlets so its their resporesponsibility to clean the mess created. Unsightly and danger to wildlife.

  413. Cheryl Peers says:

    Fly tipping never dealt with in months by Stevenage Borough Council and North Herts District Council.

    I have taken photos of a toilet fly tipped 4 – yes 4 months ago and it is still there in a disused bus stop. Stevenage Borough Council are aware of it. There is also a fly tipped old mattress further along High Street Graveley. NHDC notified but not dealt with – been there many months.

    There is a proposed travellers site in the area beyond the place where toilet bits are – God knows what Stevenage Borough Council will do with the expected rubbish if they can’t be bothered (or arsed might be a better word) to move one toilet.

  414. Derek Gilman says:

    Roads in Kent are in a dire state. Garden of England?? What must visitors think when, travelling through the county,they are met by streams of rubbish along the roadsides and central reservations, filthy broken signage, HE obsolete road works detritus and swathes of industrial wrapping material. If I was arriving from the European mainland, I would be tempted to turn around and head back home. This must be affecting tourism – especially return visitors.

  415. John Woolmer says:

    Failing to clear roadside litter is shameful – especially when HE and others are paid to do so.
    Just returned from Prague & Budapest…their roads and litter management put us to shame. Why do our ‘authorities’ allow such ribbons of filth and neglect to continue?

  416. April Lambourne says:

    As leaders of a community litterpicking group for the last 6 years we are disgusted and depressed by the state of highways and lay-bys in the South East. The message has to be got across to the general public and also lorry drivers, including those from Europe, that littering our highways is not acceptable in this country – Highways for England need to clean up effectively and fine heavily those responsible. Surely there is enough cctv evidence. To prosecute some high profile cases? I wonder if KCC are still giving out a free bin bag to lorry drivers entering the country or was the stopped because of cutbacks?

  417. Avis Reynolds says:

    I live in Maidstone, the county town of Kent in the Garden of England. My German friends describe their drive from Dover to Maidstone as a drive through a dust bin and cannot understand why? They said no German would put up with this lack of care and maintain on the autobahn. I simply stated nobody listens, the government doesn’t care and so the nation doesn’t care either.

  418. T Barham says:

    I am frequently saddened and ashamed of the state of our roads and verges. It appears to blight the whole of Great Britain. It’s obvious that Highways England & local authorities don’t care. Where has our national pride gone?

  419. Richard Beattie says:

    Last month I was in one of the poorest countries in Europe. On the drive to the airport, I barely saw any litter, which was typical of the overall condition of their road network.

    Then I landed in the sixth richest country in the world. My entire drive home from Manchester was blighted by mile after mile after mile of total filth, just left to pile up on the verges.

    The excuses always wheeled out at both a local government and national level are as pathetically hollow as they are predictable – lack of funding, health and safety, public behaviour so on.

    Look abroad and these explanations crumble.

    The difference is that other countries see the condition of public spaces as a matter of pride. We don’t.

    Other countries resource roadside cleaning because it makes a place look presentable and it matters to people. We don’t.

    Other countries use common sense to coordinate basic works such as grass cutting with litter picking, rather than shredding roadside litter and then just leaving it. We don’t.

    Other countries hold local authorities and highways agencies to account if they fail to look after the areas they are paid to maintain and have a legal duty to look after. We don’t.

    The agencies responsible for keeping roadsides clean – local authorities and Highways England don’t care about this issue. The people who pay their wages – the public – largely do care. The government’s role is therefore to force the agencies to care.

    The carrot approach isn’t working. It’s time for a very big stick!

    Other countries put actions above cicular dialogue and put frontline resources into something if it needs fixing.

    Other countries care what residents and visitors alike think. We don’t.

  420. If I was with John Hayes MP I would ask the following.

    We know the culture of littering is bad but that does not exempt Highways England and Co from removing litter properly, regularly and monitored by a KPI. Highways England are an arrogant organisation but publicly funded who think will not listen to it’s customers. The whole organisation is in total denial and disinterested in the litter problem and as waiting for cultural change to solve the problem, yet in the meantime are gladly acting illegally by flouting the Act of Parliament passed by Margaret Thatcher called the Environment Protection Act 1990.

    Summary: National embarrassment, dirty, filthy environment condoned by the Government, Ministers, Department of Transport, Ministers and the private contractors funded by the taxpayer. No real and proper anti-litter strategy to SOLVE the highway litter problem. It’s not hard but needs resources and policy and a KPI.

  421. Derek Gilman says:

    Our ‘green and pleasant land’ is becoming a rubbish tip. With financial cutbacks, local authorities and Highways England are increasingly unable to cope with the problem. Cleared stretches of roads/motorways are littered again within days. We do not need any more reports, enquiries, consultation documents, strategy statements…etc. We need decisive action by way of effective public education and monitoring, stringent fines and user friendly bottle/can return deposit schemes. If other countries are able to do this, why do we find it so difficult? And on a local level, why not make everyone responsible for clearing rubbish in front of their properties? Sorry, scrub that…far too draconian and an infringement of civil liberties!?

  422. Ray Krystofiak says:

    I have made numerous complaints to Watford Borough Council and Hertfordshire County Council regarding the amount of litter on the verges by the M1/J5, A41 roundabout. The excuse I am given is that the roads have to be closed off before any litter picking can take place. What nonsense. When the litter is eventually cleared, the roundabout unfortunately returns to the same filthy state within a matter of weeks.

  423. Peter Walker says:

    I have been reporting a build up of roadside rubbish on the M25, junctions 21A to 27 and the J21A exit slip (clockwise), for over 10 years but very little has changed ! In early November this year I reported the same issue and I was advised that the next clean for this part of the M25 itself (not the slip road) is 1st—13th February and by then that stretch will not have been cleaned for nearly 5 months. Allegedly, litter surveys are carried out fortnightly on this section of the M25 and necessary actions are put in place to address the issues based upon the grading……this simply is not happening.

  424. Geoff says:

    I travel all over the UK regularly – there does not seem to be one area that hasn’t escaped the dreadful blight of roadside litter – I am constantly amazed at what we have allowed our beautiful country to become ! We need action NOW – Bottle & can deposit scheme would be a start – then tackle the fast food & drink industry !

  425. Brenda Shore says:

    Many major roads in this country are a disgrace. I live near the A38 in Derbyshire. It is covered by many local councils who are the end responsibility to clean but are short of funds and staff. One council litter picking division who applies to HE to have to get it closed off for four nights every spring told me he finds HE are slow to respond to his requests. Many slip roads are so littered that I think it is now almost impossible to clean up. Bins and anti litter signs are totally inadequate. However toll roads are clean and well maintained. I could go on. it’s totally shameful.

    • Geoff says:

      Hi Brenda – I too live near the A38 in Derbyshire & travel it regularly – they are currently cutting back vegetation on the stretch towards the M1 – they are exposing mountains of litter , however no one bothers to co-ordinate a joint litter picking exercise which would be common sense you would think – ?? I am ashamed of Derbyshire every time I use this road – Whatever visitors to our region think I cannot imagine !

  426. i live in a delightful part of England – a small village between Warwick and Stratford upon Avon. My village is litter free but the surrounding roads leading to main roads and motorways are disgraceful – full of litter and dumped detritus. Bring in a returned bottle scheme – as in my childhood – that would reduce litter by 50%. Do it now! Why do continue to wait?

  427. Clifford Cotterill says:

    I haven’t travelled along the A14 for a few weeks but whenever I do it’s an utter national embrassment. Litter of all descriptions, paper, plastic, vehicle bits from the M6 junction to the A1.

    Another black spot is the A38 from north Birmingham towards Lichfield.

    I have driven in many countries around the world and with the possible exception of The Gambia, our roads are the dirtiest. I suppose if we leave the EU, we can concentrate on making them even worse.

    Clifford Cotterill

  428. Nigel says:

    Message to John Hays MP Minister of State for Transport: The state of our roadsides and verges is a national disgrace; drive through any northern European country to confirm this. The collection of roadside litter in this country is poorly funded, shambolic and piecemeal. It is not good enough for the government and the highways agency to simply blame motorist behaviour. Radical changes are needed. Please also introduce a deposit return scheme for plastic and cans.

  429. John Ford says:

    Hillside through roads in the Chilterns AONB regularly littered. Lay-bys on A413 and A418 between Great Missenden and Oxford regularly used for fly tipping. If we can’t keep our own countryside clean what chance the oceans? Needs a change in the law and a change in behaviour.

  430. Justin Matthews says:

    Why not pick up rubbish after carrying out strimming/cutting works? It seems not to happen together.

    • David Sandbrook says:

      Litter picking prior to grass cutting is better. Litter picking after hedging is the only way to remove litter ‘buried’ in roadside hedgerows.

  431. laurence wells says:

    M25 and A3 particularly as you approach London and slip roads and roundabouts in particular are a disgrace just as many London borough and counties generally. At last we see multinationals and Michael Go e acknowledging the issues. But there need to be joined up procedures and ambitions across industry, government, councils, highway agency, schools and so on. Enforcement of the law is needed: people litte because they are lazy, utterly selfish and do not even contemplate the repercussions for those who have to suffer through it, those who have to clean it up and society in general. There needs to be strong penalties and publicising of these (stick) and education through all media and schools (carrot) together with taxation (stick) and deposit return schemes for glass and bottles. Plastic cups an dither single use items need to be phased out whilst resources put into and scrutiny of the highghways agency and other bodies responsible for cleaning it up.

    • Laurence

      Agree totally. Since 2006, I have been lobbying my MP for deposits systems on all drink containers similar to Germany but at the time it was ignored; now it is at the top of the environmental agenda only because of the Marine Conservation Group and Surfers for Sewage who have hit the government with the embarrassing statistics of ocean and sea littering. Deposits are sensible and will cut litter everywhere including motorways. The next thing is coffee cups and all fast food containers and food on the go. If consumers in the UK cannot act in a proper manner and bin their litter then more legislation is required. I have German friends and when I visit Germany I never see drink related litter and very little fast food litter. Their anti-littering has come from behaviour change over decades due to small changes in government legislation and what you see is a country that is not covered in filth as is the case with the UK. I am embarrassed to be English when my German friends come to stay.

  432. Robert Pickles says:

    Digraceful. Embarrassing. Disgusting. Pathetic. Utterly ashamed to be English.



    I sum up the state of the Highways England network and the appalling litter problem.

    Department of Transport and Highways England blame the nation for the litter problem;

    Denial there is a problem leading to a culture of inaction throughout the supply chain;

    No KPI for litter picking yet one for biodiversity so how can you have one without the other;

    Highways England and private contractors funded by the taxpayer ‘doing their own thing’ and do not recognise the letter of the law EPA 1990;

    Health and safety and other excuses used to avoid daily or weekly litter picking in order to save money;

    No national anti-litter campaign that is hard hitting;

    No enforcement of waste lorries where rubbish blows from trucks;

    Overall, the network is a national disgrace and resources are not being spent to regularly and properly litter pick all areas of the network.

    Spending £8 million per annum on the whole network is not a triumph but says litter is not a priority;

    A new national litter collection and soft landscaping should be formed so they can concentrate on litter picking and grass cutting and soft landscaping management. At the moment we have an unkempt, unmanaged network, bad practices of grass cutting before litter picking.

    Finally, the whole network is a national and northern European disgrace and the levels of litter are never seen on the continent. Are we a first world country? I think not, we are demonstrating a nation equal to third world and one that has no pride.

  434. John Ford says:

    Rural roads in the Chilterns regularly littered by refuse thrown from car windows, especially on hilly inclines. Seems it is easier to chuck stuff out when the car is going slower. Regular route to work from Great Missenden to Oxford: laybys on A413 and A418 in both Bucks and Oxon are regularly littered, quite often with fly tipping.

  435. Marc Fovargue-Davies says:

    Every time I go into Cambridge on the A10, it’s like driving through a bin bag; some undoubtedly blows out of the recycling centre just north of the city, but that doesn’t explain fifteen miles of trash. It never ceases to amaze me that we can tolerate this at all – let alone in a country that relies heavily on tourism. Nor is this ghastly attitude restricted to roads – every summer, I pull a dozen or so bin bags of trash out of the River Cam, between Baits Bite lock and Waterbeach. It’s quite tempting to go and deliver it all to the Palace of Westminster…

  436. S.Dennard says:

    1) A huge amount of the UK roadside litter is plastic bottles & drink cans. A good number of the comments compare our roads to much cleaner highways on the Continent. A sensible plastic bottle / can Deposit scheme in the UK as on the Continent would keep our highways far cleaner without the need for arguments of who cleans the roads, how often it’s done and who pays for it.
    2) Greater pressure on fast food multinationals to emphasise “Keeping Britain Clean” in their marketing the same way they tell us that their food is sourced ethically and is good for us, will also help the state of our roads.

  437. Louise R says:

    Just travelled from SE24 in London to Sussex via A20 and M25. All of it was dirty. All of it. Did not go more than a few meters without some plastic trash visible, the A20 was particularly awful. This included central reservations, slip roads, junctions, and included a carpet, full bin bags of rubbish, and accident detritus still on the road. There was a particularly horrid dump just before Swanley services. Stuff was caught in trees and fences. We have gone backwards, it NEVER used to be like this. Absolute disgrace, England has become exceptionally third world and no one in charge seems to care. How can you expect people to take pride in their neighbourhoods and areas when profit is put above doing the job properly by those making decisions at the top?

  438. Eleanor Williams says:

    Having been a litter gatherer for years, I despair to see the state of Northamptonshire roads, the A45 is especially bad. I’d like to see bottle/can return depots instituted, you’d get many people out collecting them then! Having lived in Canada for many years, I know that that system works. I enquired about this with our local MP (Chris Heaton-Harris) and was told that the Dof E considered that it was not viable to install such facilities.

    I’d also like to see community service include litter picking.

    Another issue is highway contractors not removing all their debris from road works – signs/stands, sand bags, cones, etc. are regularly left cluttering up verges.

  439. Chris Dring says:

    As many people have said, it is not just HE’s roads which are unkempt. In fact some of the motorways round here (Chichester) are positively clean compared to minor roads in the County. I too see slip roads as the worst problem of all because nobody seems to take responsibility for them. A bit of joined up thinking here wouldn’t go amiss. Do something about coffee cups and plastic bottles and the litter problem would be far less. Oh, and get rid of those stupid traffic management regulations. I mean what danger is someone walking down a verge really In?

  440. Mark Risso says:

    British roads are simply a national disgrace. What will it take for someone in authority to sit up, listen and have enough about them to do something about this serious problem?

  441. Nigel Spencer says:

    Our motorways locally are a disgrace. I am regularly told by Balfour Beattie that they carry out monthly inspections and grade the state of the roads in line with the Highways Agency website. This is clearly not the case in our area and what is more surprising to me is that the Highways Agency do not do any spot checks just relying on feedback from the contractors. This is no way to run an organisation.

  442. Dennis Cowen says:

    Highways around south Hertfordshire are deplorable in terms of littering and emptying of what few litter bins there are (in lay-byes). There is no link-up between grass-cutting and litter-picking. Grass-cutting needs to be more regular which would allow litter-picking BEFORE thus avoiding grass-cutting machinery chopping up litter into smaller pieces and making it hard to collect. Finally litter-picking should be carried much more regularly as the sight of litter creates more people to litter.

  443. Alasdair Ritchie says:

    In these uncertain times surely we need to collectively clean ourselves up and look like we give a damn? Why are our roadsides so damn scruffy compared to all our neighbours and peers? Seriously – how can it be so difficult to keep them clean? Do we litter more than other countries? Maybe. Well let’s step up the punishment then, make it draconian if that’s what it takes. Do we not clean the roadsides as often as other countries? No? Well then let’s start doing so. Right Now.

  444. Digby Williams says:

    I live in East Kent and the majority of our local A & B roads have litter strewn verges. There are hot spots around busy junctions or in the vicinity of retail or industrial parks that are like public rubbish dumps. It is never ever cleared by the local authorities. While that is a disappointment it has to acknowledged that 95% of the litter is food & drink packaging thrown out of car windows by selfish ignorant people. If it weren’t for the behaviour of this (sizeable) minority the roads would be much cleaner. It is truly shameful that our beautiful country is reduced to this by these people. There should be a permanent and persistent campaign of public information about littering coupled with an aggressive regime of enforcement and fines for offenders. I also think that throwing litter from a vehicle should be treated as a driving offence with fines and points on the licence leading to a ban for persistent offenders.

  445. Adrian Phillips says:

    It has all been said a hundred times before: our roads are filthy, far worse than those of our neighbours in other European countries. They are a national embarrassment. The problem affects not just motorways and M-way junctions but most main roads. Far too little effort is spent on promoting better public behaviour and far too little money on cleaning up the mess. Nothing short of a sustained national campaign will change things – why can’t the Government grasp this nettle?

  446. Judith says:

    The A10 between Cambridge and Ely is always
    A mess from churned up grass verges,
    Road kill and litter. The is a waste landfill site in the
    Same area too.

  447. David Basson says:

    Motorways in Southern England are simply not picked for litter regularly enough. Slip roads especially bad. I regularly report litter but response is generally slow.

  448. Joy Armstrong says:

    The verges of the motorways and main A roads in the Midlands are filthy. I regularly travel the M1, M69, A1(M) or M42 and they are all, without exception, filthy. Its not like this in France where I also travel regularly – not just the tolled autoroutes, but the national roads are clean too. I am ashamed to be British. Thanks Pete for continuing the battles on behalf of us the public, who are disgusted at this state of affairs. ps Writing to my MP has produced no results either.

    • Andy Levene says:

      So true Joy. I’ve just returned from driving across the Charente region in SW France. I drove about 600 KMs and I can honestly say I saw maybe 4-5 plastic bottles by the roadsides.That’s all in 600 KMs. They were all normal public roads (‘N’ and ‘D’ roads equivalent to our ‘A’ and ‘B’ roads) not fee paying toll roads. No litter in the laybys at all. No litter on central reservations, or roundabouts. I see more roadside litter in 100 metres in the UK than in my 600KM drive across France. Why do we treat our roads as an open dustbin and the French don’t?

  449. Carole Thin says:

    The A34 going south from Oxford is always litter strewn. The council doesnt bother about it.
    There is probably a law against it but I would love to organise a litter clearing group myself.

    • Roger says:

      Have a look at our website. If we can help you set up a group we will. Last year we collected over 3000 bags of rubbish (and lot of larger items) across our borough.
      This year it’s a lot less because we’re only collecting ‘new’ droppings! Maybe we’re lucky but we now get great support from the council as well. The difference between areas we look after and those that must be cleared by HE because of H&S issues is amazing.
      Go for it Carole.

  450. Brian fowle says:

    No matter how many times we complain about the litter on our roads very little ever gets done about it, the government, local authorities and a good deal of the population
    are not interested. What has happened to our green and pleasant land I despair.

  451. G H Bell says:

    If we want to impress our international visitors about our filthy habits, just ask them to look at our verges.

  452. Cliff Cooper says:

    Junction 18 M1 linking to the A5 is a disgrace and is never cleaned. Lorries park under the M1 and leave their rubbish and the island is overgrown and covered in litter. Highways England when contacted denied liability and said only the sliproads were theirs but the map showing their resposibiltiy also shows the A5 is theirs so what is going on? Who is liable to clear and clean the Junction 18 island. let’s have a definitive answer once and for all?

  453. Cheryl Peers says:

    The verges, particularly in Stevenage, Graveley and Hitchin are absolutely appalling due to the amount of litter and fly tipping – eg toilets and mattresses.

    I have asked Stevenage Borough Council several times some months ago to remove a fly tipped toilet – it still has not been done. Also North Herts District Council – fly tipped mattress never removed and is still there.

  454. H Langley says:

    I am part of a litter group In Canterbury and try to address the appalling problem of litter in the city. However, the kent highways are quite unbelievably filthy and are never cleared. The A2 from The end of the M2 towards Dover is in a shocking state. the roundabout is full of rubbish as are the verges and these have NOT been cleared in my memory. We have made this point again and again. I even wrote to the then MP. We are told that the verges cannot be cleared without coning off the lanes and causing major traffic disruptions. I regularly drive to Holland to see my son in The Hague. The motorway verges from Calais to The Hague are almost litter free. I sometime see them being cleared with just on truck with a very large and well lit arrow drawing the attention of traffic to the litter picking. No coning off, regular attention to the roads and clean highways. This area is certainly not the only highway to be full of rubbish so clearly this is a national problem and a national disgrace, one remarked on by almost everybody I speak to. Please can something be done to stop this country becoming a filthy, uncared for place to live and visit.

  455. Michael Pease says:

    The Highways Agency and numerous local authorities are simply failing in their duty to keep the roads clear of litter. For example, all of the M60 is blighted by litter. I have asked Client Earth whether they are interested in taking the HA to court on the matter (as they have done on pollution against the Government).

  456. Frank goddard says:

    I travel some 40k miles per year and this time of year is particularly bad for litter displays. As grass is cut and or dies back the uncleared litter is revealed. At least in the summer months our country can appear somewhat litter free. A journey along the A1 will particularly disappoint and shame. This road, namely our primary international route is a disgrace. I invite any member of the HA to travel the A1 between Doncaster and Ferrybridge with a visiting foreign driver this week in particular and let me know if they feel any sense of pride,

    Regards Frank Goddard

  457. Mike Coker says:

    The amount of litter along the verges of UK roads is unbelievable. Slip roads and lay-bys are particularly bad. And when compared to the rest of Europe it is a national disgrace.

  458. Richard LJ says:

    I could provide a huge list of road route numbers that look like a fly tip site. But the M27 and A32 junction just north of Fareham is a rubbish dump. Given the abundance of traffic cameras it’s surprising that more people are not caught and prosecuted. I have just returned from a few years working in Belgium where the roads and motorways are just, if not more, heavily used, yet litter is not such an Issue. Perhaps because the Belgian authorities pursue litterers and there are police cars on the roads.

  459. The approach road to the council refuse tip in Rushden Northampton shire is absolutely awash with wind blown litter and has been for months with seemingly no effort to clean it up. Trevor Dilley.

  460. Dean says:

    Hi Peter, re, your letter to Daily Telegraph (attack on litter police). The Telegraph claim that ” a public backlash is growing over the use of private companies to hand out litter fines on behalf of councils. ” Well that is certainly not the case in my home city of Hull.www.hulldailymail.co.uk/news/hull-east-yorkshire-news/new-litter-wardens-coming-hull-462090

  461. Derek Gilman says:

    I must say our local (Swale) borough council (SBC) do respond promptly to local issues, issue a case reference number and report back on progress. But this overlooks the problem of the general public – or a large majority. Example: I reported heavy littering of a local rural lane. SBC contacted the local contractors (BIFFA) who were reluctant to clear the lane without a clearance of 1.20 m from moving traffic. SBC put pressure on them to resolve the issue, which involved four months of negotiations and resulted in an application to Kent County Council to close the lane for cleansing, which was finally granted. The lane remained pristine…for a couple of weeks. But the usual detritus of plastic bottles, cans and fast food cartons is now again making an appearance, which after all the time and effort, is disheartening. To recap: some local councils do try; the general public don’t give a toss. What is needed are stringent fines, a deposit/return scheme for plastic and tin cans and an awareness campaign with anti-littering signs along motorways/major trunk roads.

    • Totally agree Derek and Highways England their their publicly funded private contractors to adhere to the Environment Protection Act 1990 and a KPI for monitoring litter collect standards along motorways and a KPI for monitoring the general appearance of the motorway network ie. grass verges cut short to collect litter, hedgerows cut back so blown litter underneath can be collected easily and a KPI for clearing litter on all slip roads and central reservations. The law is clear. The legally interpretation requires ‘highways free from litter’ and must be done regardless of cost, resources and health and safety; of course authorities must provide health and safety but all of this is not a barrier to weekly and monthly litter picking on the whole network. It is about time we have a separate national organisation that deals with the soft landscaping and litter clearance for all motorways and A roads in England. It is clear that Highways England is incapable and unwilling to remove litter and maintain the appearance of the network.

      On Saturday I had the pleasure of travelling from the Tollgate Gravesend to Maidstone via the A2 and M2. The whole motorway, including the slips are heavily littered and plastic clinging to trees. The gutters have not be touched and the road detritus is shameless; that is not general maintain but neglect and the taxpayer is paying private companies for the pleasure of a non-service. Our motorways simply resemble a country that has given up, does not care about the environment or a country that doesn’t care for its’ citizens. How refreshing to go to Germany, France and Netherlands and drive along beautiful motorways that are cared for. Why is Britain so against maintaining our networks to a similar or higher standard? We have simply given up.

      Having served a litter abatement notice to Maidstone Borough Council in Kent in April of this year due to the disgraceful state of the A229 leading into Maidstone. They promised the earth and cleaned the network overnight and made a big thing about having to do the work out of hours. At the time I state that what they have stated is illegal and highlights they are balancing litter clearance with budgets. It went quiet once I stated this. On Saturday I drove passed the same area and once again, it is in a total Grade D littered state. So once again, I have served another litter abatement notice. Let’s see what excuses Maidstone Borough Council come up with this time.

  462. Rob Nowland says:

    I have been trying for years to get my local authority, London Borough of Sutton, to respond to removing leaves from our streets before they block gully grilles or decompose so much that they fill up the pots and cause flooding. I am often told the the Street Cleaners are not responsible for clearing leaves.

    I must be fair, similar to most councils, Sutton Council, have a separate annual leaf clearing program which is quite separate from everyday street cleaning, but it can be several weeks before streets are anyway cleared to proper standard, if at all, and in the meantime the rotting leaves cause flooding problems before eventual removal from the streets.

    When I have spoken to the Street Cleansing Department, it is explained that they do not regard fallen leaves and rotting leaves as their legal responsibility, since it is all to do with their interpretation of detritus under the Code of Practice for Litter and Refuse regarding leaves.
    And I too struggle to understand this definition, since in the two adjoining sentences of s5.5, there is a clear contradiction of detritus regarding leaves and it does appear they are only detritus when they have decayed so much it cannot be identified as a leaf or it is a mushy mess in the gutter or pavement, which surely was not the intention for leaves to be identified and defined in such a way.

    It is quite clear, there must be at some point before leaves become detritus under the insipid definition of the Code, but at what point do leaves become the authorities legal responsibility to remove them under s89 EPA 1990.

    Can this forum give please give me some advice on how the definition can be explained properly for authorities to live up to their duties under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, and indeed is there any stated court cases regarding the legal responsibilities for the removal of leaves by a local authorities or come to that, any duty body. RobN

  463. Stella Ashley says:

    I have recently emailed my MP Mr Bernard Jenkin about the disgraceful state of the A120 out of Parkeston Quay (Harwich International as it is now called) and I have just received an actual letter from him stating he has sent my ‘concerns’ to Highways England and is awaiting a response from them… Call me cynical but the response will probably not supply any satisfactory answers let alone a solution,it will just be yet another buck passing exercise. What are the sorely tried taxpayers of this country meant to do to get heard?

    • The response from Highways England will state they collect X number thousands of black sacks of litter per annum and litter picking is a dangerous exercise and they will thank you for highlight the ‘hotspot’ and will review the cleaning of the road in the future. What they will not state is that they are acting illegally, including their private maintenance company funded by the taxpayer. They will not state that the Environment Protection Act 1990 (ironically introduced by Margaret Thatcher) clearly states that highways must be kept ‘free from litter’ and the Act uses the phrase ‘where practicable’ that means it MUST be done at all times, without excuse, lack of resources and lack of budgets. The words ‘where practicable’ were used in the Act of Parliament for the very reasons that are making the whole UK litter ridden. It was drafted so there was no excuse not to keep the network litter free. What we have is Highways England and their private contractors doing their own thing, not adhering to to the law and making every excuse possible, in particular, health and safety. As long as a safe working practice has been put in place and risk assessed then litter collection should be done daily, weekly and monthly to ALL areas of the network. Did you know that Highways England has a Key Performance Indicator to monitor and protect flora and fauna yet no Key Performance Indicator for monitoring the adherence to the Environment Protection Act 1990, the frequency of litter collection, the amount of litter on the network, yet the fact roadside wildlife is killed due to litter along the motorway verges has been conveniently divorced from the KPI that exists for flora and fauna. The two go together but we know why no litter KPI exists because it means Highways England will need to resource the problem probably and above all take the litter crisis seriously.

  464. Had a wonderful journey on Saturday along the A2 from Gravesend The Tollgate to the O2 Arena. The whole journey was nothing more than a linear dustbin. The slip roads in Gravesham was piled with old uncollected litter, verges unkempt and plastic in abundance on the young trees along the A2. I cannot believe how the incumbent contractor covering Kent simply neglects the motorway network and is allowed to let the litter pile up to a Grade D- standard? What I do find offensive is the private contractor covering Kent is employed to MAINTAIN the roads. In my mind this should involve sweeping the kerb line adjacent to the hard shoulders and slip roads and keeping clear the concrete central reservations free of weeds and piles of road debris and detritus? The whole stretch of the A2 between Gravesend to the London border at Dartford is nothing more than neglect at the taxpayers expense. I cannot believe that the years of road debris along the kerb lines, concrete central reservations and the safety barriers has been left uncollected for years. The verges are overgrown throughout this stretch of the A2 (and probably beyond into Kent) allowing litter to blow, collect and then become hidden in the summer only to be exposed now. Highways England and their substandard private contractors have no pride or standards themselves and view the litter problem as somebody else’s problem and have been given the green light by the Department of Transport to flout the Environment Protection Act 1990. In other words, their neglect is illegal and should be challenged in the courts then perhaps things might change in our environment.

  465. keith says:

    Section of A30 from Blackwater to Minley Road roundabout verges a disgrace. Contractor cut grass without picking litter! Section will not be picked until next years(2018) cut! County council working in conflict with local District here and result on Roman road worse than anything they left behind.

  466. Jacqueline Taylor says:

    I was out walking this morning – I live in Bricket Wood, near St Albans – and coming out of Bricket Wood leaving Oakwood Road and walking towards the M25 slip road on the A405 footpath I can see that absolutely nothing has changed there. The wheelbarrow that I reported years ago still remains and is now accompanied by even more rubbish. In the layby where lorries park up it is of course much worse and despite the large sign indicating CCTV in operation (which I believe to be totally untrue as clearly do the offenders) the problem has become much worse. No effort whatsoever has been made to clear this rubbish.

  467. Stella Ashley says:

    I am new to your site which I found whilst trying to email Highways England concerning the state of a major road in my area, the A120 from Parkeston Quay Essex,which links up to the A12.My first thought was of relief to have found your site.
    My second thought was what a state this country is in when a private citizen has to set up a website in an effort to get the relevant bodies to do the job they are paid to do, by the taxpayers of this country. I am constantly picking up litter, even, can you believe it dirty nappies! Living in an area that has a busy port is a total nightmare. I cannot imagine what the thousands of continental visitors who enter the country via the port think of us as they drive past the growing piles of discarded litter along the verges and hedges. What a start to their holiday. Sick man of Europe is correct as another email said. But what are we to do about it as it is so obviously out of control? What can we do when none of our politicians is listening and least of all Highways England whose answers to my previous emails have been pathetic.Could you not set up a petition on 38degrees to get everyone in the country to sign? Everyone I speak to is as frustrated as myself so surely if so many feel the same we could get the ball rolling?

  468. Vincent Stops says:

    I don’t use the M11 much, but on a recent trip out of London I was very aware of a lot of road side plastic litter.

  469. Andy Slade says:

    Unfortunately the UK has lost its Civic Pride. I am of a generation who were brought up with the “Keep Britain Tidy” initiative and to see the accumulation of litter and fly tipping throughout the country is totally depressing. The comparisons with other West European countries made by many is true, we have become the dirty man of Europe. It has reached such a level it must now be a drag on the UK’s economy and tourism.
    I believe 95% of the problem is caused by 5% of the population. It is clear we are unable to effectively manage the problem through our government agencies or by our overstretched police. This 5% add to the problem mainly as they have no Civic Pride as this has never been ingrained into them and also they know the chance of being caught in the act is remote. Fly Tippers tip because it is of benefit to them financially and in time as the prosecution they may likely face if ever caught is a few hundred pounds against the cost of desposing legally.
    Until we make the risk of prosecution prohibitive to these guys the problem will just escalate.
    Last year I commented on the the roadside signs I noticed in the USA when on holiday quoting “Fine for Littering $1000”. That’s £ 700 +. It seems a deterrent over there as their roadsides seem considerably cleaner than ours. If we aren’t going to Police it properly surely increased fines must be used.
    The infrastructure around our transport hubs is a total disgrace. I use the M4 and M25 junctions local to Heathrow airport as an example. What first impressions does this give to tourists and business community arriving through Heathrow!!. Cross any urban road bridge over a railway on foot in the UK and your likely to see an accumulation of rubbish on the rail side of any boundary fence which has been there for years and possibly decades. Network Rail couldn’t care less. Unfortunately all this accumulation becomes all to more evident in the winter months with vegetation die back. However this is the time when it could be effectively removed but rarely is this opportunity taken.

    • Paul Plumb says:

      In regards to safety of the litter pickers. So the answer is do nothing and leave everywhere in a mess! Virtually every country in Europe and beyond is infinitely cleaner, tidier with significantly less litter than the UK. There is no will to want a better environment, otherwise all parties would look and find a solution. All I ever hear is excuses as to why something can’t be done.
      Paul Plumb

  470. Network Rail Track-side litter

    In my last update I pointed out that NR’s web site claims they are only responsible for cleaning the track-side for up to 100 meters from a platform. By law they are also responsible for any track-side in a built up area. They have to keep it clear of litter.

    Clifford Cotterill reports as follows:

    For huge quantities of litter and general urban detritus Network Rail could start on the line from Birmingham New Street to Lichfield. There are piles of litter and rubbish around and between the following stations: Duddeston, Aston, Gravelly Hill, Erdington, Chester Road, Wilde Green, Sutton Coldfield, Four Oaks, Butlers Lane and Blake Street.

    Can you add to his list?

    • Andy Levene says:

      I live in Bournemouth. Last year, the Railway station was given a complete makeover -everything was repainted and cleaned. Except they left all the trackside litter that has been there for years. Litter directly under, and adjacent to, the platforms. To me, it was unfathomable. You repaint a station, make it all shiny and new looking, but don’t include a litter pick of the station tracks. I imagine it’s because SW Trains were responsible for completing the station improvement works, but Network Rail is responsible for the track and therefore SW Trains declined to pick the litter up as part of its station renovation. You couldn’t make it up!

  471. Frank goddard says:

    Don’t be too despondent. Silver clouds do exist. Whomever is responsible for the clean A19 from Dishforth to Middlesborough deserves a medal.

    • Frank, the A168/A19 from Dishforth ie the junction with the A1(M) right up to the the Tyne Tunnel is an HE area in its own right and is known as DBFO (AREA) 26 .

      The contractor is Autolink Concessionaires (A19) Ltd which was set up for this. In 2016 it made profits of £10.7 million on a turnover of £31.1 million. It looks as if they are well funded. Maybe that’s why they are doing such a good job.

      I will try and find out more about their cleansing strategy.

  472. Steve Hickson says:

    Last Friday I drove from Kent to Colchester using the M25 and A12. The point of this post is to express my complete horror at the state of the A12. The whole length is one huge rubbish tip; roadside verges and central reservations are strewn with litter and rubbish, lay-bys are equally rubbish strewn with un-emptied bins too numerous to mention. The drive was a completely dis-spiriting affair – it’s plain to see that the councils in charge of litter clearance have just given up. The return journey took me via the A130 and the A13 due to 90 mins delay on the M25, both these roads were equally as litter strewn. I’m not sure how we allowed our main roads to get in this state – no one seems to care, least of all the authorities who are meant to be keeping these roads clean and tidy.

    • Alice says:

      I have also done this journey a few times in the past few years and it is one of the worst I have encountered – I almost couldn’t believe what I was looking at.

    • Steve, the A12 from the M25 to Colchester is a Highways England road maintained by them apart from litter collection which bizarrely is down to each local authority en route.

      I have been campaigning for some years to get litter picking transferred to HE. so that the same contractor cuts the grass and picks up the llitter.

  473. Pam Brace says:

    We must go forwards and backwards.Forward to clearing the rubbish,stop charging lorries and vans with building rubbish ect because they dump anywhere because it costs them money to take it to the special yards.
    Government needs to step in at stopping the excess packaging and plastics which are overwhelming now and hard to dispose of.
    More people,more rubbish and more unneccessary packaging..

  474. Another fortnightly drive from Gravesend Kent to Newark Nottinghamshire completed via the A2 in North Kent, Dartford tunnel approach road, M25, M11, A14 and A1.

    A2 in North Kent, well, once again, after years of complaining and promises looks unkempt and grossly littered. All verges litter ridden, all slip roads have months of rotting litter and yet I am told that AOneUK the PRIVATE contractor funded by the TAXPAYER is working hard to remove the litter – what crap!

    Dartford tunnel approach road – neglected probably because nobody can decide or wants the responsibility for litter picking this strategic route, local council, Kent County Council or Highways England. Love the sign welcoming tourists from the north to the Garden of England.

    M25 Lakeside area – nothing to add except untouched for a year to my knowledge. Constantly heavily littered.

    M25 Lakeside to the M11 turn off – adhoc litter picking but once again not excuses for for not getting out their weekly to remove the litter and KEEP is CLEAR as the law states.

    M11 – a Highways England HOTSPOT – so where are the areas being kept clear of litter? Another sick and cynical PR exercise on behalf of the Tories via Highways England.

    A14 – well the roadworks exempts any removal of litter now but in my experience not one construction contractor ever continues with litter picking during construction yet apparently they are required to do so. Ironically, they are in a good position to fail;y or weekly litter pick because all health and safety measures are in place. So lets face it, even when the measures are in place they is no encouragement or interest from Highways England bosses to insist to the contractor to do the task of litter picking under their contractual execution.

    A1 – Huntingdon to Newark – a complete linear dustbin all nicely hidden by overgrown verges and central reservations, split responsibilities between Highways England and local councils so in the end little is done to lawfully remove litter.

    This is the Tory Britain that Theresa May and Michael Gove talk a lot about. A Britain where environmental issues are continual ignored. They talk of the anti-litter strategy yet they have the answers already; get Highways England and the taxpayer funded private contractors to do their job as law dictates and abide by the letter of the law. What May and Gove are doing is nothing more than fraudulent abuse of their powers and taxpayers’ money by allowing private companies to do what they want to do and yet profit from their lack of public service.

    • Paul says:

      Its a shame Brian that you had to start Government bashing at the end, yes we all know its budgets etc etc, however many of the Contractors have been employed on long term frameworks and their T&C’s are set within this Contract, irrespective of whichever Government is in Power. Much of what we see is a) not being enforced by HE of their contractors and b) diverting resources elsewhere.
      I regularly drive between the M50 and Newport South Wales and witness almost daily the increase in litter from HGV drivers who park in the layby’s overnight, leaving the often conveniently packaged waste in carrier bags rather than take them home.

      The leaves are coming off the trees and shortly the true filth story will be evident as it is at every time of the year. Its not just truckies and skip drivers that fill our highways and by-ways, many rural roads are a mess and in discussion with the local council I was advised that it was a H&S issue as they could not put men out into a 30mph zone without protection, whatever happened to the old Stop & Go Boards used by contractors felling trees.
      We will not I fear see any improvement in our environment until the green lobby get behind us and start their lobbying, surely the two must go hand in hand, its pollution of another sort, and when will the Highways England insist upon Truck Drivers paking off highway in dedicated lorry parks, as often seen on the Continent, I was under the impression that it was illegal to camp out alongside the road, patently not, mind you there are no Police around to stop it if it is.

      well like most of you one could go on for some time s I will leave this here.

      • Paul

        I’m not getting into an argument with you over your comments regarding ‘government bashing’ but I have been engaging closely with government and Highways England since 2004 and am well versed on government attitude. The fact is, the Tories do not value the environment and refuse to engage with the subject of litter. They refuse to get Highways England and their private contractors to stop acting illegally. I am fully aware about government frameworks, I worked for them for 32 years. When the private contractors sign up to their framework them sign up automatically to the law; the Environment Protection Act 1990. No debate, no discussion, it is the law.

  475. H Langley says:

    Here in Canterbury we have just had another Litter round table meetin for residents to try and work with the council to address the appalling litter, graffiti and fly tipping problems in the city. The last meeting was in January where a number of points were raised and some promises made. Surprise, surprise virtually nothing has happened. We were told the council can only afford 10 extra bins per year. The contract with SERCO is inadequate and apart from the city centre( which is on show to tourists) the remainder of the city , which has 40,000 students descend each academic year, is quire dreadful. It is beginning to be residents and community litter picks which are the only way to keep the city even remotely clean. See out Canterbury Grot Spot Facebook page and you will get an idea of the reality of this world heritage city!!!!!

    • Another example of a Council ignoring their statutory duty to ENSURE so far as is practicable that they KEEP their land CLEAR of litter and refuse. EPA S89(1). It say “practicable” not “reasonably practicable” so cost should not be an overriding factor.

  476. Clive Glazebrook says:

    I’ve been actively watching this surfers against sewage petition for a while now. Whist their mission is bringing back bottle deposits to stop plastic pollution in our oceans, i think this could have a dramatic benefit to our roadsides too. Please take a look as they are looking to present to government this week!


  477. Brian Reynolds says:

    M11 between M25 to Cambridge. Not sure which part of the M11 is the ‘hot spot’ under the government’s anti litter strategy but I am seeking the same amount of litter and the same illegality of Highways England NOT compiling with the EPA 1990. In simply terms, why ‘hot spots’ when the WHOLE Highways England network is a disgrace in terms of litter? £8 millions per year to clear litter? That’s pennies compared to the the amount of kilometres under their control. I would like to know why Highways England has a KPI for bioversity and not litter? In other words, wildlife can choke to death by having its’ head stuck in a container but this could be avoided if HE intensively litter picked its’ network weekly or daily to avoid damage to flora, fauna and the general environment. Jim O’Sullivan is a disgrace as the CEO at Highways England.

  478. John Woolmer says:

    The article on the lack of loos for lorry drivers only highlights the fact that we are a dirty country and that successive governments have failed to tackle the situation.

    I cannot condone the fact that lorry drivers use lay-byes as lavatories and leave their excrement behind…filthy! Any self-respecting driver would find a lavatory, no matter how difficult that might be.

    Pride of place would help – as would serious fines and more police activity – BUT council recycle depot charges are so punitive for commercial vehicles that fly tipping becomes almost inevitable. The government must make it far easier and far less expensive for trade waste to be legally disposed of at depots.

    At the heart of the matter lies the fact that throwing litter onto pavements and verges is now regarded by many as ‘normal’ in our throw-away culture. Failure to clear litter and detritus by HE and councils is unforgivable – especially when they have a duty to do so and are paid to do so – but the sad fact remains that irresponsible people (mostly drivers & passengers) are the real culprits in leaving our once beautiful country ankle-deep in filth.

  479. Iain Dreger says:

    Most of the trunk roads that I use in and around Sussex are chock-full of what seems to be mostly commercial-type rubbish (from refuse lorries?) while in urban areas the streets are awash with rubbish dropped by pedestrians by or thrown from vehicles, by those too lazy or thoughtless to find a bin or take it home. And once it’s there, it stays for a long time. It’s a dreadful situation that’s fast getting worse. I’ve just returned from a driving holiday in northern France and the contrast couldn’t be greater – hardly any litter on the roads, even in busy areas. The towns and villages are litter-free and look like people actually care about living in them, and clearly the authorities there have effective policies. Why can’t we learn lessons from our friends across the channel?

    • Derek Gilman says:


      You’re quite right – we have no civic pride any more. It’s all too easy to blame local councils, the Highways Agency etc but they do – in some cases, make an effort to clear up the mess. I have seen areas cleared of litter and rubbish…only to revert to their original state within a couple of weeks. It is the general public which needs educating, a scheme for cans/bottles to include in their price a returnable deposit as in other northern European countries and swingeing fines for litter and fly tipping culprits. It won’t happen…it would be deemed too dictatorial. I don’t want to sound too despondent, but this country will eventually descend into one huge rubbish tip.

  480. Terry Vickery says:

    As per my recent email, I had an issue with litter on the A12 and made an application to assist ( volunteer ) with several other litter pickers to Colchester Borough Council to clear the litter and debris, this was then passed on to the Borough health and safety officer ( will post the response at a later date ) but within a few days that section of the A12 was litter picked and has continued to this present day. As a leader for a litter picking team we regularly litter pick outside of our village envelope it seems to be the only way of keeping the amount of rubbish at bay, it also seems that if you become a visual threat to any Council system it appears to galvanise a reaction.

  481. Mark Godfrey says:

    I frequently use the A13 from Dagenham to Lakeside and for years the turn off to wennington to the Roundabout to join the M25 is full of litter , plastic bottles , tin cans large containers containing Urine obviously from Lorry drivers , the trees and bushes are full of litter , please there should be more T.V. and media coverage about keeping our country clean and tidy obviously these days the people in our once green and pleasant land do not care or give a damn about our country we should be taught at a young age to care and to keep this country clean because I witness all the time young people who just throw their litter on the floor , streets , parks etc. Even though there are many bins provided nearby ? .
    Because when I was at school it was drummed into our heads about throwing your litter in bins or taking it home with you , our parents did the same and taught us to have respect for our country and land .

  482. Brian Goodson says:

    Action needs to be taken on three fronts with regards to the tide of litter :
    1. Adopt-a-Highway : this scheme operates in the U.S. It means that organizations – clubs (Rotary, Lions etc.), schools, scouts, guides etc. or just groups of people get t0gether with the local authority to keep a designated length of road clear of litter.
    2. The use of prisoners and/or those on community service.
    3. The removal of temporary road signs, cones etc. when work has been completed. We have all seen rusting signs accompanied by their rotting sand bags along many of Britain’s roads. They are not only an eyesore but are positively dangerous and could be moved to where they are needed. In this connection, several years ago I contacted the Highways Authority to be told that this was the contractor’s responsibility. When I pointed out to it that they – the HA – were responsible for the contractors completing the work and clearing up afterwards, the silence was deafening! I even wrote on one occasion to Keep Britain Tidy as it was called at the time on this issue and they replied asking me to send a photograph to illustrate what I meant. I ask you. Little wonder we are in such a mess.

  483. David Hartley-Mitchell says:

    We travel the section of the A45 from the roundabout at Wellingborough to the off ramp to Northampton town centre on a daily basis. As every day passes the amount of litter has increased to a point we are taking a much longer yet alternative route just to avoid seeing this dreadful example of the lack of concern some people have for our countryside.
    As you rightly state on the home page of this worthwhile website the lack of responsibility of concern from the councils is shocking.
    Having just returned from a road journey of France I am ashamed at how we disregard the place we call home.

  484. Chris says:

    I have just joined the M6 J14 up to the A5 Cannock J12 following A Staffordshire Recycle Lorry, When joining the Motorway there is a sign saying please take your litter home, I just happened to join after this recycle lorry, I kept a distance because of all the plastic bags coming out of the container on the back, listening to Radio Stoke a few weeks ago saying its costing over a million pound to clean up and people are throwing rubbish out of cars, I can say I have never seen anyone throw rubbish out of the car on the motorway but the amount of rubbish that came out of this container Today I can see why it costs so much if this is occurring everyday.

    • David Basson says:

      Chris, I witnessed a similar scene a few months ago in Hampshire, took details of the vehicle, and reported it to the Environment Agency, after a long time trying to trace the correct people. They said they had “limited powers” to deal with the escape of waste from a vehicle on a public highway but nonetheless approached the operator, warned them and reminded them of their duty of care. HE deny they have powers to enforce (but we say they do have residual powers), the police will deal if they are given details and you are willing to make a statement.

  485. Craig says:

    Very disappointing to watch the RideLondon cycling event on television and to witness so many of the professional riders, in full view of the cameras, throwing their empty plastic drinks bottles over the hedges into fields and into the hedges that run adjacent the verges. And all this in a designated area of outstanding natural beauty in rural Surrey.

    This cycling event is being broadcast live on BBC1 on a Sunday afternoon, sending out completely the wrong message to people, especially children, about littering.

    Is this litter going to be located and then picked up by the organisers or the local council? I doubt it. It will remain uncollected for months, probably years.

    The organisers of this event should be prosecuted for allowing this littering to happen. If they were really serious about litter and the law, they would change the rules of the race to ensure that professional riders keep their bottles on their person or in holders on their handlebars until they came to designated collection points at which point they could lob them into big bins. The same rule would apply to all professional riders so no one would lose time by carrying the extra weight of a bottle.

    • Sally says:

      Organisers to my knowledge are Prudential, I am more than happy to write to them regarding litter.
      Is there more that can be done to get some action on a bottle deposit scheme in this country. How can I write direct to Michael Gove as this is something he has said he will consider. So many people I speak to are disgusted at the state of this countries roads and villages and like most governmental issues no-one seems to accept responsibility, God help us when we are out of Europe and do not have any of European legislation to follow as we can’t seem to follow our own legislation.

  486. David Leonard says:

    My wife and I drove from the Catthorpe junction for 15 miles eastwards on the A14 yesterday. We were disgusted by the overflowing bins and piles of rubbish in every lay-by and on the verges adjacent to them. We regularly visit France and the contrast is amazing, frequent litter pickers and teams emptying bins and cleaning lay bys are always evident. The A14 is the main route from the east coast ports to the midlands and northwest, what an example for our country!

    • Geoff Sargeant says:

      Just driven the A14 eastwards towards Huntingdon – pleasantly surprised at lack of litter around Kettering – all lay-bys had about 4 large yellow litter bins & a large sign urging people to use them – looks like it was working …! Well done to someone for some pro-activity .. at last !!

  487. Jacqueline Taylor says:

    I’ve just returned from the Calais and Boulogne areas of France and what a total contrast their roads and pavements are. Most of the villages are decorated with flower baskets, pots of flowers and hardly any litter to be seen anywhere. When returning to this country you realise just how disgusting and dirty our roadsides are. Litter is not collected anywhere near as often as it should be despite the rubbish that is published in these reports that are made. Someone, somewhere clearly is not making the rules as they should be made. This country is drowning under its rubbish.

  488. Just completed the Highways England national survey and one of the questions asked is what can Highways England do better in the short and long term. In the short term I have asked them to introduce as a matter of urgency a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for litter monitoring and collection on the basis that Highways England have one for biodiversity. I made the point that biodiversity includes flora and fauna and as such tonnes of litter left along all verges, roundabouts and slopes are killers to wildlife. It is pure hypocrisy on Highways England not to include the national litter problem affecting their network with biodiversity. A KPI for litter would mean that a standard would need to be set (even though the EPA 1990 and DEFRA guidance does this), their private contractors would be required to adhere to this KPI and as such their performance would be recorded against how clean the network under their control is. I guess this is why Highways England have resisted having a KPI for litter for decades.

    • David Basson says:

      Excellent idea Brian, a KPI is essential. In my experience around my area of M27 in Hants there has been an improvement in contractor litter collection, I have regularly emailed HE litter contractors in Area 4, being specific about locations of “accumulations of litter” which is the buzz expression.
      The use of CCTV signage in relation to litter does appear to have made some difference here, (J12 to J8). Keep up the pressure!

  489. Jacqueline Taylor says:

    I frequently use the Watford Berrygrove roundabout driving up the slip road on to the roundabout from the Watford by-pass. The rubbish throw out of vehicles onto the right hand side verge is absolutely disgusting. To my knowledge this has not been touched for many months.

  490. Abul Nasir says:

    I want to name a flytipping hotspot in my area opposite Lister Community School E13 Plaistow just alon St Marys Road and corner off Eastern Road. Its degaussing area sore for the eyes and inhabited, its part of the highway agency never been taken in account people leave all sorts of things there rodents everywhere smell is unbearable. I urge you take a second look at this site my suggestion is make in to open plan with greenery with view of people can admire instead dipping rubbish into it. I’ve been living in the area for over 20 years it has always had this problem it is time to make a change in Plaistow East London, please I’m beg you to take this statement serious because its getting worse. Thank you.

  491. Sajan says:

    I travel the A38 regularly , from Derby to sheffield … so much mess on lay- bys which are very terrible, it distracts me when I see all
    Exit and entry on slip road especially from the Firdern junction on A38. I have complaint many time to derby city council for Findern roundabout is heavily littering around verged and traffic sigh are hidden behind the bushes. PLEASE LOOK AFTER 🇬🇧


  492. Sally says:

    I have recently returned from a walking holiday in north Wales which was quite litter free, what joy.

    Driving through a village in Anglesea one morning what a shock to find someone from the council cleaning the streets, I stopped and told him how clean everywhere was and what a welcome sight he would be in England. Thanked him and we parted with waves and smiles!

  493. I have been given the email address of the Network Steward from Highways England. His name is Wayne Moore and his email address is wayne.moore@highwaysengland.co.uk

    I assume that this person has the title and the same level of Highways England spin regarding litter but emailing him will at least get your complaint logged. At the same time copy info@highwaysengland.gov.uk and jim.o’sullivan@highwaysengland.co.uk The two latter email address are the Highways England HQ in Birmingham and the Chief Executive of Highways England who never responds in person but at least your complaint is logged. I always copy my MP Adam Holloway, Conservative for Gravesham who no longer responds to any of my emails so that demonstrates the level of concern from this Tory government.

    Keep hammering away and perhaps in years to come we may have a clean highway operated by a responsible and accountable government body that is heavily funded by the taxpayer

  494. Graham says:

    I have been trying to get the A27 swept between LYONS FM worthing & Shoreham holmbush for the last 7 years …since ADUR DISTRICT COUNCIL HAVE been responsible its now a disgrace..it has to be the filthiest road in great Britain. ..SHAME ON YOU ADUR DISTRICT COUNCIL…

  495. Mark Godfrey says:

    Please can anyone tell me why our country and the people who live here so complacent about and just do not care about this once beautiful country ? I travel all over the UK and our streets , Roads , and especially our Motorways are full of Litter and Rubbish and other countries which I have visited especially France are so clean and litter free ? We need to show our LITTER and RUBBISH in the worst areas of our country to the public with photos , videos , T.V. and especially the media name and shame people and councils , and everyone responsible for Littering and just not caring for the places that we all live in and to have more responsibility for their actions by fines , photos of the perpetrators , using the internet by naming and shaming them .
    We all must try and tackle this huge problem here in the UK and push the Government to help more by more laws and prosecutions to offenders and more advertising on television , cinema’s , signs , adverts , using the papers more etc.
    We must get the messages out there a lot more to KEEP BRITAIN TIDY

    • Brian Reynolds says:


      Many of us have been campaigning and lobbying government for years ; in my case since 2004 and there is complete deflection and denial. Even now the so called National Anti Litter Strategy is a document of air and not one mention of the Environment Protection Act 1990 and getting Highways England to produce a KPI for litter standards, adherence or enforcement of their private contractors to perform. Network Rail is the same, dirty standards. As for a national campaign don’t hold your breath! I’m waiting to see if this government will introduce the deposit system on plastic bottles and cans. This would aid the litter campaign and help clean the network up and start the public thinking about litter. This government is trying it’s hardest to make excuses not to do it yet the rest of Northern Europe has had one for decades! And this is the self governing post Brexit UK this government wants? They can’t even deal with litter!

    • Derek Gilman says:

      Agree entirely. We live in a ‘couldn’t care less throw away society’. Even the bodies responsible (Highways England, Local Authorities) seem uninterested (with a few exceptions – my local authority always makes an effort to respond!). On a national level, it is disheartening to see all the detritus left behind after road works have long been been completed: road works signage structures/frames, sand-bags, cones etc. Our road sign system is a disgrace – many signs are filthy/illegible, twisted, disfigured, facing the wrong way or completely hidden by shrubbery – and no one seems to care. And as for the litter…according to Highways England, it doesn’t seem to be a problem. I would ask how many of these officials actually get out and about to see the litter strewn roads/motorways. The threat of a Litter Abatement Order does seem to galvanise official bodies into action (see previous correspondence). On a local level, I find litter picking can be quite satisfying and can result in others joining in…I have been approached a couple of times by people recognising the problem and saying that they also pick up litter locally.

      • Derek

        I am still keeping the pressure on Maidstone Borough Council regarding the bottom of the A229 Blue Bell. I had to remind them yet again the law states ‘as is practicable’ meaning cleaning regardless of resources, money, traffic management being a issue. They have confirmed that they all these issues do not stop they from regular litter picking yet at the same time stated that parts of the A229 are cleaned every 6 months! I wait back to them and stated that for the category of road, six months is unacceptable and litter accumulates at these locations within weeks and if not cleared then this condition does not meet the wording in the Act of Parliament of maintaining a highway free of litter.

        It is this that the general public need to become savvy with and challenge local authorities and Highways England. Even the new Anti-Litter Strategy does not mention the EPA 1990 (the law) and it mentions that the DEFRA cleaning standards need revising. No! It needs Highways England to have a KPI for litter and have an independent body monitoring their performance on litter clearance and likewise with local authorities. I find it inconceivable that Highways England has a KPI for Biodiversity (protecting and enhancing natural habitats) yet nothing for litter. Therefore, it is acceptable for piles of old litter to be deposited and remain on verges and embankments only to become a danger to wildlife; plastic bottles whereby mice get trapped, broken glass so wildlife can cut themselves, plastic sheeting being eaten by young birds. I could go on but yet Highways England choose to separate litter and biodiversity and deliberately ignore their legal obligations and happily for them they are getting away with it. Now we are in the summer period and the litter is hidden, the must be so happy.

  496. Just back from a week in Haute Savoie in France. Every motorway and street was 99% litter free. Recycling bins all immaculate.

  497. Apologises in advance for what I am about to write but it sums up just how contemptuous Highways England their private contractor (funded by us the taxpayer) are towards the public.

    I have complained to Highways England and AOneUK Area 4 covering Kent about the amount of graffiti on the bridge abutments between Dartford to Faversham in Kent on the A2 and M2. Where I live in Gravesham I reported 3 months ago the offensive graffiti sprayed onto the bridge abutment near to where I live that reads ‘F**k You 2017’. Under Highways England’s own rules all offensive graffiti must be removed within days of reporting. Has this been removed? No. What an impressive this graffiti gives to tourists coming from the continent. How much does a pot of paint cost to remove this graffiti? Shameful bunch of incompetence.


    Thank you, Brian, for your encouraging reply. I’ll continue with this dispute, and, I trust, get there in the end!


    I’ve been compiling evidence of litter on a recreation area near my home (in Newcastle Upon Tyne) for four months. Over this time, I’ve emailed the council about the state of this area four or five times, to no avail. When emailing, I was unable to keep a copy for my records as I had to use their form to contact them, so I’ve asked their data protection office for a copy of our correspondence since early January, and have been told that this will take up to 40 days to complete.
    I wonder if this amount of time is normal for such a procedure? I suspect the Council of delaying tactics.
    I’ve also asked another department for their cleaning records for my area over the last six months (as advised by the Litter Abatement Order website) and they quickly replied when they assumed I was asking about a premises. When I wrote that I was interested in street cleaning, they went, and remained, silent.
    I feel very alone with this project. I can’t stand litter and the despoiling of nature, but most people seem to moan about it but do nothing else. One or two have phoned the Council, received an assurance that the area would be cleaned, but it hasn’t been. I don’t think this area has been properly cleared in the five years I’ve lived nearby. I want to take legal action to ensure that it is done, now and in the future, but it’s hard, and lonely.

    • They should treat your requests as freedom of info ones and respond in 20 working days. Write and say they that as the both requests are for environmental information they are subject to the Environmental Information Regulations and should be dealt with within the statutory 20 working day time period.

      When making info requests in future use https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/ and then its all on the public record.

      I suggest you focus on the park. Keep photo records showing the general state but also specific areas to show how long litter is left in situ.

      Without sending the photos to them write and point out politely that they are not keeping it clean.

      If they do not respond you can issue them with an Environmental Protection Act S91 WARNING LETTER giving them 5 days to clean it up or face a court action..

      If that does not have the desired effect you could go to court BUT there are risks involved.

      There is lots on the Clean Highways web site about this. I would also be happy to advise on drafting the communications etc

      Elizabeth, you are not alone


      • Brian Reynolds says:

        Hello Elizabeth

        You are certainly not alone with the chronic litter issue in the UK. I give my local authority in Kent no excuse and issue a warning notice straightaway. Local councils and Highways England use budget and health and safety as excuses but the law requires public areas to be litter free within the cleaning guidelines from DEFRA. Normally the warning notice is enough to get action but if not keep stating that the Environment Protection Act 1990 is the law and the words ‘as is practicable’ means litter removal with all measures and risk assessments and regardless of budget being available. In others words, do your job and remove litter and keep it clean for the future. The authorities are banking on the public being ignorant of the law but we know better now.

        • ELIZABETH HAYNES says:

          Thank you Brian for your encouraging reply. My battle with the Council feels a bit less difficult now, with the support on the site!

      • ELIZABETH HAYNES says:

        Thanks Peter. I have been studying your site and have taken advice from it. I have lots of photographic evidence, both of the general mess and of specific areas. I first complained to the Council in February 2016 and the street manager came out to view it. He made lots of encouraging noises but did nothing and then he was transferred and I got cancer, so shelved the whole thing till Jan 2017.
        On 13/1 I complained to the Council about the site, and, in addition, about two full bin bags of rubbish which had been dumped there (it’s always happening, along with illegal motor biking). They said they’d ‘assess the job within 15 working days’, but there’s no evidence that they did. They eventually took one rubbish bag away in early March. The other had been, by that time, thrown over the fence. I contacted the highways agency but my mail wasn’t even acknowledged, and the bag remains on the A1 verge.
        I complained about the state of the area several times over the next few months, politely, but eventually threatening legal action. (These are the emails I’m awaiting a copy of). These mails were not acknowledged or replied to. On 18/4 I wrote to the Chief Executive, sent it first class signed for, giving five days’ formal notice of court action, but haven’t had a reply.
        I can’t bear seeing all the rubbish on this potentially pleasant walking area, and I can’t bear the indifference – or worse – of the Council.
        I’m intending to apply for a LAO. I can’t see any alternative. I know it’ll cost money, but what are the risks you mention? For instance, might the Chief Executive say she didn’t receive my letter? If so, perhaps I should write again.
        Thanks again for your encouragement and advice.

        • Elizabeth, I am away for all of next week. I suggest we talk on the phone about the risks associated with an application for a Litter Abatement Order. I am on 01895 625770

  500. Highways England Area 4 Private Contractor Called AOneUK

    Been corresponding with AOneUK the private contractor (funded by the taxpayer) that covers maintenance services for Kent and Sussex but to no real avail. When you send an email to then the standard acknowledgement goes something along the lines of ‘your inquiry is important to us and we will reply as soon as possible’. To date I have never received a response as to why they as acting illegally and misintrepreting the Environment Protection Act 1990 and only adhoc litter picking to suit a budget. The law states ‘as is practicable’ meaning removing litter to all locations to achieve a litter free highway without funds be a consideration. If the law stated ‘as is RESEASONABLY’ practicable then funds would be a consideration before litter picking could be implemented. Therefore, I asked the question and to date have been ignored by AOneUK and Highways England.

    I went further and asked a separate question of AOneUK and Highways England as to how much budget was allocated this financial year for Area 4 for litter picking, the number of kilometres of the network covered under Area 4 and how many dedicated teams of litter picking operatives are employed. To date no reply. What a surprise and it says it all about Highways England and their private contractor being contemptuous towards the public and more importantly towards the deliberate and evasive manner they both flout the Environment Protection Act 1990. What is concerning is that ministers at the Department of Transport must know this is happening and it is supported at that level.

    Litter is a national UK crisis and will get worse because of no government leadership but it is within the realms of Highways England to change behaviour and take litter seriously and remove litter on a weekly basis on all motorways and A roads and to all locations without excuse, distraction, buck passing and blaming others.

  501. Linda Eziquiel says:

    The verge of the Blackwall Tunnel Southern Approach Road from the Sun in Sands roundabout onwards is filthy with litter and looks disgusting, due to accumulated dirt and general debris – it’s been getting steadily worse for years. Leaving London on on the A2/M2 through Kent is also a great disapointment for the same reason.

    • Chris says:

      Linda, I totally agree. I have lived in the area now for around three years and I can’t remember it being so bad when we first moved here. I have literally just driven down the A102 at the Sun in the Sands roundabout and was disgusted to see the amount of litter and debris at the side of the road. I spotted several dumped mattresses, black bin bags of rubbish and bits of cars / lorries such as tyres. Instead of spending money erecting new electronic advertising boards on the roundabout, maybe the money would be better spent removing the litter? Actually, put the new advertising boards to good use and tell people to stop throwing their rubbish out of their vehicle windows and have some respect for our environment.

  502. Jason Melham says:

    I live parallel to the A34 near Tothill Services. Surprisingly the traffic noise is not a problem, however the constant littering is!
    Our house is situated just off the old A34 slightly south of Tothill and sadly there is a Parking Layby on the main A34 adjacent to our house.
    Disputes several phone calls to the council and the highways agency no one ever appears to firstly remove all the mass of litter, empty the poor attangement of bins on a regular basis or consider and additional larger bins to reduce the lazy and annoying litter bugs we have.
    Please help!

  503. Andrew Mellonie says:

    I can’t stand driving anymore. So depressing to see that this is a massive issue everywhere. I travel all over the world and often tô developing countries. Rarely I see littering worse than here in the U.K. Yesterday I was in Peterborough . The A47 is a disgrace! Even the town around the station is dreadful. Why would any tourist come to the UK?

    • I am the same. All my precious holidays and mini breaks are now in Germany, France and the Netherlands. I refuse to drive through what are national linear dustbins.

  504. P. England says:

    We travelled approx 10 miles along the A14 today, in an easterly direction from the M1 Catthorpe interchange. There was an unbelievable amount of litter – some of the worst we have ever seen on any UK motorway – paper litter, glass and plastic bottles, assorted plastic rubbish. To begin with, we thought it might just be an isolated area near to the major interchange that hadn’t been cleared, but the problem continued all along the roadside for the 10 miles or so we were on this road, absolutely disgusting. I’m amazed that the amount of glass littering the verges hasn’t resulted in a roadside fire in this time of very low rainfall. Surely this is a potential hazard to motorists?

  505. Craig says:

    The verges of the M1 (junctions 9 to 10), close to Luton, are badly littered in both directions.

    I have been driving up and down this particular section of motorway regularly since the summer of 2016 and it looks as if it is never cleaned. It’s a disgrace.

    Highways England is aware of this website and therefore must surely be aware of the prominent ‘Have Your Say’ section where this comment and the hundreds of others have been posted. Yet it doesn’t show the basic courtesy of responding to any of these concerns.

    Public relations, as defined by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, is “the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics”. On that basis, with regard to motorway litter, Highways England has failed through a total lack of engagement with its publics.

    Someone in the Highways England in-house public-relations department will be monitoring these comments and yet there is never any corporate acknowledgement that there is a litter problem on the motorway network. In this way, the big issue of the illegality of Highways England not clearing the verges of litter is, conveniently, never addressed.

    Can I suggest, therefore, that one way of getting Highways England to engage with its publics would be for each of us to get the local press involved when we see a significant section of highway blighted by litter? That way, the Highways England press office, which is the corporate voice of the organisation, will be nudged into making a statement.

    If you travel along a section of road or motorway that is constantly littered, please look up the contact details of the local newspaper that covers the area and make them aware of the problem. Articles on litter do appear in the regional press from time to time and so there is an appetite for these stories. Unlike many other countries, ours is blessed with a large number of local newspapers. Articles that feature in the local press are routinely picked up and ‘run with’ by the national newspapers.

    You may want to tell the local newspaper, for example, that the litter:

    1. brings the area down

    2. that it’s a bad advert for their area

    3. that it’s costing jobs (see Peter Silverman’s post on his Twitter feed from 9 March in which a group of US tour operators has declared that it is withdrawing from the UK because of the appalling quantities of roadside litter)

    4. that the relevant bodies responsible for litter-picking are breaking the law if they do not ensure that their highways are kept free of rubbish regardless of cost.

    5. If possible, include a photo – a photo is worth a thousand words!

    6. Tell them how the the litter affects you personally.

    • Brian Reynolds says:


      I have and will continue to highlight the illegal and fraudulent abuse of Highways England ignore the law but what I would like to happen is for a national conference convened that includes all on this site and anybody else who wants to attend and have Jim O’Sullivan CEO of Highways England and MPs and other officials in government sit and take the flack from the public and publicly broadcast on the BBC. It’s time for Highways England to stop playing their silly fraudulent games and change their deep seated bad attitude towards litter or face the public. Government agency department totally unaccountable to the public and fed public funds from a government that allows knowingly that Highways England are acting illegally.

      • Craig says:


        I applaud your vision and would be delighted to help you organise a national conference but the problem would be actually getting Jim O’Sullivan, CEO Highways England, and those in the executive arm of government, to turn up to it!

        It just isn’t in their interests to put themselves in a position in which they would be shown publicly to have done a bad job.

        They would have to be forced to attend and, ultimately, only the law (aided by enforcement) can force anyone to do anything in this country.

        We do have the law on our side, of course, but it only addresses localised littering by allowing individuals to apply for one-off Litter Abatement Orders and does not touch the underlying systemic problems of, for example, not having an independent ‘watchdog’ to monitor, and hold to account, Highways England.

        So…does anyone know if Highways England, as a corporate body, can be prosecuted? The directors of any company or corporation are always legally responsible for their actions so surely, in theory, this should be possible.

        Beyond corporate prosecution, having Jim O’Sullivan face the music at a House of Commons Select Committee might be the best way to ‘encourage’ him to face his critics. However, I don’t believe that even select committees have the power to force anyone to attend their meetings.

        • Craig

          I agree with you and I was making the point when I was in the world of fantasy today. I am hopeful that the litter crisis nationally has now reached the point where more and more of the nation are noticing and complaining and the issue will get onto the political agenda and I mean a proper agenda where proper practical action is needed and demanded instead of the ‘hot air vacuum’ called the National Anti Litter Strategy that is mainly a buck passing document and a vision. I have had a vision since 2004, that of a clean UK with high profile national education and publicity, making littering anti social, a schools programme especially for teenagers, proper permanent anti-littering signage at all major motorway junctions with cameras and tougher laws on fast food and food on the go and above all, instilling into all public bodies and railway operators, Network Rail and Highways England that the law is clear in terms of ‘litter free’ and involves removing litter WITHOUT funding being a consideration. Everbody argues that litter should not be dropped and I accept this but at the same time we have UK laws, made by a UK government that requires litter free highways in ALL locations and not simply in the easy parts that do not need traffic managing, coning and other health and safety measures. We all know that Highways England and their private contractors are using every trick in the book not to litter pick and set their own standards which is not even a standard. I met Simon Dukes from the then Highways Agency in 2005 covering Area 4 and he specifically told me that areas such as slip roads and central reservations are not regularly litter picked because the traffic management costs too much per kilometre. When challenged about this I was told that traffic management causes delays to traffic and affects the performance targets for free travel at Highways England. So they have targets for traffic flow but nothing for litter clearance and cleanliness standards even though the DEFRA guidance standards exist and are frequently quoted when a complaint is made but not implemented. In fact, Highways England have stopped quoting DEFRA to me because I have stated that I am only interested in the word of the law and compliance and not a guidance document that has no legal standing.

          The government always quotes DEFRA first and the law second and seem to think that the DEFRA guidance needs reviewing. No, what needs reviewing is the illegality of Highways England and their publicly funded private contractors both for non performance.

          The best method of seeking a determination regarding the illegality of Highways England would be through a judicial review but this is expensive. Being an ex-civil servant I do know that no government department wants a judicial review because they tend to be embarrassing for them as in many case they go against the government. This action would at least publicly highlight the high level mismanagement within Highways England, the determination of the government ministers and the CEO to deliberately deceive the public over litter and the non performance to keep all highways litter free.

          It amazes me the lengths of denial and buck passing central government are doing to not properly address the practical measures for clearing litter in the UK. Strange how Area 4 covering Kent and Sussex have refused twice to give me the budget allocated to litter clearance per year in the area and the amount of kilometres of network that requires clearance under law.

          And that sums up the level of deception and entrenched attitude throughout the World of Highways England.

          • Craig says:


            I concur with you that a judicial review is what is needed but, as you indicate, the likely cost of many thousands of pounds would be prohibitive for most people, myself included.

            I believe there is another way, though:

            With reference to Peter Silverman’s excellent e-mail of September 2016 to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) in which he demonstrated that the ORR is in breach of its duty to monitor Highways England’s compliance with EPA S89 (http://www.cleanhighways.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/ORR-meeting-14_09_16.pdf), it seems to me that making a complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman would be the best way forward. It would also be free of charge.

            Here is some useful information that I have lifted (from Wikipedia, no less) about the role of this particular ombudsman:

            ‘The [Parliamentary and Health Service] Ombudsman may investigate the administrative actions of a Government department or a public authority after a Member of Parliament has referred a complaint by a member of public who claims to have suffered injustice as a result of maladministration…or service failure.

            ‘The Ombudsman possesses wide powers of investigation and is able to determine the procedure for the investigation and to obtain information from such people as required. In respect of the gathering of evidence and the examination of witnesses, the Ombudsman has the same authority as the High Court. Defiance of these powers can be treated as contempt of court.

            ‘If the Ombudsman finds that there has been injustice caused by maladministration or a failure in service, a remedy to put things right can be proposed. This can include an apology, a compensation payment for hardship or injustice and compensation for financial loss. Although the Ombudsman does not possess the power to compel a public authority to adhere to its findings, in practice, the public authority will comply. In 2010–11, more than 99% of the individual recommendations for remedy made by the Ombudsman were accepted by the body complained about.

            ‘In rare instances where the body complained about does not accept the Ombudsman’s findings, the Ombudsman may lay a report before Parliament explaining that the injustice done to the complainant has not been, or will not likely to be, remedied. In such an event, the Select Committee that oversees the work of the Ombudsman is able to examine the matter and reach its own conclusions.

            ‘Reports issued by the Ombudsman are susceptible to judicial review by the courts. However, it has been held that the court would not readily interfere with the exercise of the Ombudsman’s discretion.’

    • Andrew Mellonie says:

      I’ve contacted Rutland County Council regarding their stretch of the A1 . It’s appalling and never cleared. Lay-bys are not cleared despite what they say. Neither are slip roads. I copy my local MP and press and they just aren’t interested.

  506. Michael Tannert says:

    I have just driven on the A38 between the Little Eaton island and the Ripley turn off and there is a settee on the side of the road that has been there for at least 3 weeks! What sort of impression does this leave on visitors coming to the Peak District?

  507. trevor dilley says:

    In Northamptonshire the main pollution is road repair furniture left by the road authority s contractors ?especially the A45..it beggars belief that it doesn’t seem to matter to the people responsible.

    • Alan Robinson says:

      On a lighter note, over the last 12 months, when out litter picking on the A82, my plastic bags occasionly contain a few items that can be of further use. I have an ample supply of leather gloves, tossed out by drivers of log lorries, assorted wheel trims (a good sign that the road is full of potholes), a brand new bicycle tube, road atlas of Scotland (Lands End to John ‘O’ Groats cyclists pass frequently) a charity box that had been broken into, flower tubs and road cones, which are carried separately in my wheel barrow. The road cones (I’ll let you into a secret), make ideal mudguards for mountain bikes, if you don’t mind the colour, and plectrums for strumming a guitar. And when picking up confectionary wrapping papers folded in a little bows I tend to think that the tossers are of the female variety.

      • Derek Gilman says:

        Perhaps there is money to be made here? All we need is a few ‘Steptoe’ type entrepreneurs to take matters forward and hey presto – problem solved! Wish you well with your recycling!

  508. Paul McMaster says:

    Litteraction Website seems highly commendable and would help satisfy my litter anxiety, but surely this justs plays into the hands of the rightful street cleaners allowing them to abrogate their responsibility when a harder line action is required to make them accountable

    • Brian Reynolds says:

      Write to your MP and the rest of the top highways officials and see the response! Highways England is acting contrary to the law and putting budget before cleaning and blaming the public. I have hit them all constantly with this and yet water off a ducks back, even from my MP Adam Holloway for Gravesham. Unfortunately the UK is not interested in a litter free motorway network and this government is certainly not going to fund such trivia.

  509. Derek Gilman says:

    Although out of my area (Kent), travelled down the A133/A12 recently from north of Colchester to the M25. Some stretches of the A12 were almost pristine, but were interspersed by stretches which were appalling. This is a Highways England managed trunk road. Why the inconsistency? Can the whole route not be cleared on a continuing rolling basis – giving an overall clean appearance, rather than a piecemeal clean/filthy/clean look? Is there no joined up thinking here?? Yet another route (like the A2/A20/M20 from the Channel ports, which give overseas visitors their first impression of filthy England!

  510. Julia Morgan says:

    Interestingly, no litter on the 6 Toll Road the other day (Easter 2017)!

  511. DAVID GORDON says:

    Hi, website moderators etc, Can we have a page for people (unpaid) who actually pick litter on a regular basis, ie weekly. It would be interesting to network up together on this.

    • Brian Reynolds says:


      There is a website called Litteraction. It has hundreds of national volunteer groups now throughout England. Some are even risking life and limb litter picking A roads and motorways now. Quite damning on Highways England the government but I guess this is what this incompetent administration wants. Free labour.

    • Derek Gilman says:

      Good idea! This would work for local litter picking initiatives (although Litteraction seem to cater for this). I think major trunk roads and motorways might be more problematic.

    • Brian Reynolds says:

      I have seen on the internet that many States in the US have a system whereby locals Adopt a Road. There are roads signs stating that the road is adopted for litter picking and volunteers go out and clean up. Here we have private contractors employed by Highways England to do this role at the cost to the taxpayer. The current term contracts throughout England are very lucrative to them. I think the new contract covering Kent and Sussex Area 4 is in the region of £600m yet we still have a regionally network that is filthy and barely meets any standard. Reason? The contractor is not monitored by Highways England and Highways England has no national Key Performance Indicators for clearing litter and keeping the national and local network free of litter. Instead they do not clear the network and let it build to Grade D- and blame the public and the litter crisis and gives the impression to the nation that they (Highways England and private contractors) are pulling all the stops out to remove litter. Very cynical from a nation government agency funded by the taxpayer and above all they are all acting illegally by deliberately flouting the word of the Environment Protection Act 1990. A UK law passed by a UK government and ignored by their own government department.

    • George Monck says:

      Dear David

      Peter Silverman asked me to reply to your query about a page for people (unpaid) who actually pick litter on a regular basis. Our http://www.litteraction.org.uk website does just that. Do please have a look.

      All the best.

      George (CleanupUK)

  512. Paul McMaster says:

    All of the comments below are excellent grist to the mill, however it’s not getting anything done. I too have been out and cleared my local lanes but I can’t clear up the whole County and some. In fact t there are some roads that make me truly anxious when driving along them.
    I have just witnessed a carrier bag full of rubbish, blitzed into a thousand pieces because the lazy moron on the mower thought it to difficult to get off to pick it up, thereby adding to my anxiety and creating an eyesore into the bargain.
    Are truck drivers allowed to camp out overnight in their cabs,I thought it was illegal.
    The M48 lay-by at Chepstow is a regular jaunt for overnight truckers, and a week after a clean up, it looks like a rubbish tip, with carrier bags, clothing and general litter all over the place, and where are the cameras, Police or anyone in authority. The police and councils are just not interested.
    I am also amazed at Council leaders out members, are they blind to all of this, you would think they would want this cleared up to present their borough/district to best effect, patently they to have little pride in their area.
    What are we to do?????

    • Anne J. says:

      “I don’t know” is the answer.
      I agree – one can only do so much locally, without risking life and limb.
      Two weeks ago I cleared a local field gateway, and got 10 empty vodka bottles. A week later there were 8 empty cans of beer and (strangely!) an unopened 4-pack of cider. Lots of other items as well. It just keeps on coming, like some rampant disease.

      Like you, I find roadside litter totally distracting, and I wonder how many accidents and near-misses occur as driver attention migrates to the verges rather than the road ahead.

  513. Sally says:

    A friend recently collected her Aunt from the airport, the first comment her Aunt made, what is this about the Uk being strewn with litter everywhere it has been on the news so much in Germany. They set off from the airport and very soon they saw litter along the roadsides, overflowing bins etc , no fake news in the German press just the sad truth that England has become a filthy country.

    With an election looming is there no way we can lobby to get this country cleaned up?

    • Brian Reynolds says:

      Unfortunately not! I’ve been lobbying since 2004 locally and nationally and the governments in the UK are in denial and care less for the environment and the litter problem. My German friends have the same response to your friend, a country that is filthy dirty. Typical German response ‘what is the problem with your government? Here in Germany it would be dealt with’

      Here in the UK our strategy is clean it yourself and Clean for the Queen. Dumb nation!

      • DAVID GORDON says:

        Strangely enough, when we went through Germany about 4 years ago on the autobahns, I was amazed at the amount of litter on the verges (yes could even see it travelling at 100mph) I thought the Germans would be different, apparently not so it must be an urban myth.

  514. Alan Robinson says:

    I’m a volunteer litter picker over a mile stretch of the A82 trunk road where I live just outside Spean Bridge in Scotland. It is mainly a straight fast stretch of road, 60mph and mainly wide verges, and it needs litter picking once a week to keep it tidy. I’m doing my bit for the local community, and being keen hill walker, in my late sixties, the exercise and fresh air by the roadside is mainly enjoyable. From my experience the main culprits for tossing litter out of vehicles are local to the area, sometimes coming across delivery notes for materials and receipts for purchases by debit/credit cards used at local builders merchants and take-aways. I phone people if there information/name is on the litter and let them know that they are causing a danger to the people who collect it. Animals, especially deer, can smell the fresh left overs of a take-away a mile away. When you regularly collect litter then it is usually ‘fresh’ and therefore I often wonder whether there is sufficient evidence to get a prosecution, especially when finding a receipt with the packaging. And this leaves me thinking that if everyone over the age of 16 had to have an ID card with DNA/finger print informaiton, would it discourage littering? Common sense tells me that litter picking on trunk roads should be transferred to Transport Scotland’s regional contractors who also undertake grass cuttng. And when a slow moving vehicle with flashing lights, a keep right arrow at the rear and signs saying “Sorry for the delay, workmen picking up litter.” In time, would the penny drop on the culprits causing the inconvenience?

    • DAVID GORDON says:

      We need to get together on this, I think we need a separate page for people who actually go out and pick it up and we can share stories etc This is the good example of going out twice a week and dealing with it personally….again, if enough people go and do this, it will make the offenders feel guilty.

  515. Andy Slade says:

    With reference to Peter Silverman’s latest addition on the 21st April. It is the British disease and it has contaminated the thinking of central, local government and their agencies. They are just buck passing the problem from one to another to protect their own budgets and resources.

    If they are not blaming lack of money and resources they blame health & safety legislation linked to Chapter 8 Traffic Management. It’s alright to walk and cycle on the edge of our road networks but because you are in contracted employment it then becomes too dangerous to walk grass verges protected by hard shoulders on our motorways or on a great majority of road verges where there is sufficient safety margin against traffic with suitable PPE. Somebody needs to get a grip and do a sensible risk assessment on the risks associated with sensible managed litter collection on our road networks with mobile protecting vehicles or nighttime working or the country is going to be submerged in a layer of litter with all the negative impact on tourism and inward investment into the country.

    I urge everybody to raise this issue whenever possible with their prospective members of parliament in the next few weeks.

    • Andy

      What Highways England, their contractors (funded by us the taxpayer) are doing is acting illegally and ignoring the words of the Environment Protection Act 1990. In the act it states ‘as is practicable’ and NOT ‘as reasonably practicable’; the latter meaning that resources and funds are required to litter pick.

      All areas of the highways at all times can and should be litter picked as long as full risk assessment take place, traffic management put in place where necessary. This solves the health and safety barrier/excuse Highways England constantly use. I have witnessed the the Area 4 contractors for Kent litter pick the verge adjacent to the hard shoulder and only pick large items and leave the small items. The private contractors are protected by the poor high level management of Highways England. Litter has never been a priority with them, there are no KPI’s and no standards of cleaning or any independent body monitoring Highways England and their private contractors so they do what they want.

      I have repeated the concern to my MP Adam Holloway, Gravesham and all the top management and Area 4 private contractors that the law and the interpretation is being distorted to suit budgets and not as it was intended when introduced in 1990. Since I have done this, all concerned have retreated and refuse to give me a definitive answer. Basically, Highways England and their contractors are using large sums of taxpayers money and stating they are litter picking but it is a nationally crisis problem but in reality they are simply allowing the network to degrade to beyond Grade D and keep it at that level and blame the public.

      If I had the funds I would seek a Judicial Review against Highways England and their failure to properly interpret the Environment Protection Act 1990 and meet the obligation of providing ‘litter free’ highways.

      The contemptuous nature of the replies that the public receive when they make complaints to Highways England about the network being heavily littered is nothing more that bordering on fraudulent abuse of their powers as a central government body.

      I agree, if the nation demonstrated about their country being turned into a dustbin and having public bodies that refuse to fund and act legally then the tide of attitude and arrogance from Highways England the Government would perhaps changed.

      It fills me with fear and dread what state the network will be in 2020-21 when we leave the EU and funds become even more limited.

  516. Mark Godfrey says:

    It was such a lovely day on bank holiday Monday , we decided to go out for a nice drive through Ongar , Epping , down to Broxbourne Hertfordshire , Nazing , and finally stopped off at Dobbs weir a stunningly beautiful place obviously spoilt by litter and Rubbish strewn everywhere , in gutters , grass verges , pavements and bushes .
    This area was a place of outstanding beauty which should be loved by everyone who visits the area and course when I see litter I can not help it , I have to pick the litter up and dispose the it in the nearest bin .
    While we were in the procedure of doing this a council Litter picker arrived and we started to talk to him and he told us that people and the general public just do not care anymore and in fact moan at him for not doing his job ! .
    He told us he is just so Fed up of living here in the UK and is moving to France because he was retiring soon , he said our country was the dirtiest most filthy place in Europe and the people living here have no care or responsibility any longer for our once beautiful country .
    We need to get the message more out there with signs , posters , advertising on T.V. , newspapers , magazines etc. Keep Britain tidy and to take your litter home with you , and to fine drivers ,cars , lorries , public transport from throwing litter out of their windows etc.
    Because every little helps to keep our beautiful country clean and litter free , other countries in Europe and elsewhere are so much cleaner then ours .

  517. DAVID GORDON says:

    It seems most people are missing the point I think re whose job it is to clear it up.
    We do weekly litterpicks around the village and adjoining A roads. We do this of our own volition, no funding, no grants no organisation – we do not like the litter, so we go out and bag it up. If you feel strongly about the litter, go and pick it. If enough people do this, motorists will see you doing it and a movement will get going and people will feel more guilty about chucking litter out of their cars if they see people out there picking it. We go out once or twice a week and just do it. This is about educating society, and not whinging about whose job it is to pick up after people. Picking it will educate people by a gradual process of talking about it to friends and being visible doing it and looking like a private individual picking, not a council employee.

    • Derek Gilman says:

      I agree wholeheartedly with your comments and think most people who take an interest in this site are likely to pick up litter themselves. There is an attitude of ‘it’s not my responsibility…’ or ‘the local council should sort this out…’ In these cash strapped times, we ALL have a duty to do our bit. However, there is a difference between litter picking on a local level and tackling the gargantuan amounts accumulating on our trunk roads and motorways, where attempts to litter pick privately would probably end up in prosecution under some trespass or health and safety regulations (there seems to be a 1.2 m safety margin rule before any litter can be picked by contractors). Litter on these roads tends to be bulkier and often on a larger scale, e.g. swathes of plastic and industrial wrapping, burst tyres, even highways authorities’ redundant road works signage and supporting structures. This can only be dealt with by the statutory bodies concerned and is the reason this site exists, i.e. to put pressure on them to do something about it. But keep up the good work!

      • DAVID GORDON says:

        I agree
        but I think we need radical action so again, if we go out on the trunk roads with bags and pickers, yes we may get arrested, but think of the headlines!!!!
        Also, it is getting the offenders to see us out there risking life and limb and prosecution, eventually this will make the offenders feel more guilty especially when they find friends or family out doing it.

  518. Adam Smith says:

    The A27 in West Sussex is among the worst I have seen for litter. There are several lay-byes, none of which have litter bins. As a result, litter is discarded there, often in bags, and this litter is then dispersed up the carriageway and verges. I wrote to Chichester District Council asking why no litter bins are provided. Their response was that the bins previously provided filled up too quickly, encouraged people to leave waste, and so were removed. Read that last sentence back again: the bins were removed because people used them to dispose of rubbish!

    I suggested they might make better use of CCTV, certainly on the slip roads, or regularly close a lane of the carriageway to clear the litter (and really publicize the fact that the road is partially closed because of persistent littering). People need to see and feel the cost and inconvenience of the problem.

    • Adam

      I have suggested to Highways England the need to close a lane during the day and litter pick and place a safety sign stating ‘Sorry for the Inconvenience to Your Journey This is Due to Removing Your Litter’ but I think this is not politically correct for them as they are frightened of the public backlash. Also, another barrier, they have targets to keep traffic flowing and avoiding delays yet Highways England has no Key Performance Indicators or weekly cleaning standards for litter and removal. I realise your case is the local authority but I suspect this is the attitude. Every suggestion the public puts to the authorities that is simple, practical and aids the anti-litter campaign is batted back with excuses. Shameful country. Would it happen in Germany? No.

  519. AOneUK the private contractor for Area 4 in Kent and Sussex. The whole motorway network in Kent, the Garden of England (joke, it is the Dustbin of England) are the most deceitful of organisations working for the taxpayer and Highways England. Having complained and complained to all the top dogs regarding litter in Kent and nationally I just happened to watch Colas, their subcontractor ‘litter picking’ the A2 in Gravesham, North Kent; I say litter picking in the loosest of terms because one man was behind the van picking up large items such as plastic sheet and cardboard and the remainder of litter was left on the verges and to the gentle slopes. I think the van driver and litter picker were more interested in driving rather than doing the job they are legally obliged to do. Highlights just how private contractors set their own standards and work unmonitored. Needless to say, the A2 on Monday remained at Grade C AFTER the contractor had passed by. Amazing how Highways England spins the litter problem as a major problem when they are part of the problem by not directing their contractors to litter pick properly and frequently throughout the network and hence why our motorways are mainly at Grade C and Grade D. The new National Anti-Litter Strategy for England states the Government wants Highways England to identify 25 Hot Spots on the network. I think the reverse should happen; find 25 Clean Spots on the network. And the Government wants this country to take back control of our laws! They can’t even use the strict ones we have already. Litter of this degree would never happen in the rest of Northern Europe and certainly not Germany, France and Austria. Are we that low in this country where this is accepted as a standard of living in the short term?

  520. Joan Fryer says:

    Not only is this country becoming a third world one with regard to the dismantling of public services in preference to privatisation, it is also becoming a third world country with regard to litter. Whilst travelling along the A34 recently, it was disturbing to see the amount of rubbish strewn out of vehicle windows by people who think the environment is a huge rubbish bin.

    In Canada there is a telephone no. advertised along the side of the highways for people to report the registration no. of vehicles whose occupants are guilty of this outrageous behaviour – they are moronic. Is it any wonder that Bill Bryson finds it incomprehensible that the inhabitants of this beautiful country has nothing but contempt for it. It is upsetting for all those who respect and love our beautiful countryside.

  521. P McMaster says:

    I travel the A40 between Monmouth and Newport daily, both sides of the Highway, are heavily littered, to the point that you would think this would raise concerns with the local highways depot stationed alongside the carriageway.
    I am intrigued to understand what type of Contract these Authorities sign up to with their Contractors that allow this apparent lack of performance to continue.

    Typical examples noted are full carrier bags of litter and bottles of urine,both of which emanate from overnighting truck drivers, which I thought was still an illigal activity.

    Just where are the enforcing authorities when you need them

    It amuses me the amount of TV programming which extols the beauty of the British scenery and country side yet ignores the filth in our towns and along the highways.

  522. Sarah Drury says:

    Thanks Peter for being such a terrier. Villages round here (SW of Ipswich) litter-pick once or twice a year but don’t cover the lanes in between. Some of these, because of density of traffic, are dangerous for pedestrians. The council refuses to put in pickers for Health and Safety reasons. The litter stays there from year to year. One good sign is that the huge local Tesco at Copdock roundabout finally gave in and contributed six of their staff to join our village pick, thereby acknowledging that most of the rubbish originates from them. But when the stuff is deep in undergrowth it’s sometimes impossible to reach without special equipment and clothing. As others have said, when official grass cutting is undertaken on verges, the operators have no instructions re litter so leave it in place. Madness.
    Once I saw a squad of ‘community offenders’ in action round the A14 underpass. Once in ten years. As for the A12 and A14 and their slip roads: truly a national disgrace. There has to be a change in attitude from top (legislation, government and commercial organisations, schools) to bottom (drivers, cyclists, walkers).

  523. Roger Needham says:

    Today 10 th April 2017 I have driven along the M54 motorway, from Wolverhampton to Telford, and the litter along the banks of the motorway is obscene. Coincidentally I was listening to BBC Radio 2 which was airing a feature on this subject. The same picture is to be found along all of our motorways, their junctions and normal roads. Until we start fining these offenders HEAVILY we will never bring it under control. Increase the fines to an obscene amount and put it towards the clean up costs and the cost of cameras. I have a dash cam and will send any evidence of littering to the authorities.

  524. trevor dilley says:

    The A45 between Rushden and Northampton is absolutely awash with obsolete road repair furniture and flotsam that seems to have been abandoned,it has been the case for many months.There is also an abandoned rail repair that has also seemingly been forgotten since last year.

  525. David Brooker says:

    The main roads and motorways, especially the junctions, around the Gatwick area are some of the worst I have seen for litter. What on earth do visitors to our country think…?

  526. Hi , A case of fly tipping of off Switchback road north, entrance to Malders Lane . It had been dumped by fly tippers
    During the day blocking the road. A local who live in a cottage nearby reported it to the Police who came and blocked off the road. What had been roofing material which was made up of dangerous material containg asbestos.My wife and a friend go walking most days in that area and always pick up litter much thrown from cars , vans and lorriesee.

  527. Alexander Marchenko says:

    A27 east of A23 junction is so filthy… Lay-bys are not equipped with rubbish bins and people have no alternative than carrying bags in their vehicles, which many apparently don’t do.

  528. Clifford Cotterill says:

    Drove along the A14 eastwards on Wednesday 5th April.

    The amount of rubbish on the embankments between the Catthorpe interchange and the A5199 has to be seen to be believed. I have driven in France, Germany, Poland, Spain Portugal, Belgium, Holland and Brazil and never seen anything remotely as bad.

    One thing about Brexit, I think our European neighbours will be delighted to see the back of the dirty man of Europe. It’s nothing short of outrageous. ‘England’s green and pleasant land’? What a joke.

  529. Brian Lambert says:

    The A14 east of the M6 junction for about 10 miles is a tip. The lay-bys are worse than a tip. This section of the A14 is always full of litter, most of which appears to have been throw from passing vehicles.

    • Brian

      We travelled along the A14 you describe last August 2016 and it was a tip then. I love the signs put up to state ‘We are aware there is litter and removal is ongoing’. Basically meaning don’t bother to contact us because we will do some litter picking when we feel like it. Third World Brexit Britain! The EU must be glad for ‘the Dirty Man of Europe’ to be leaving in 2020.

  530. JOHN WOOLMER says:

    From personal experience I feel that council charges at waste sites are largely to blame for many of the increases in fly-tipping. Small operators of garden and household waste disposal, small building firms and even private individuals wanting to clear their surplus goods face hefty charges issued by councils at their sites. Sometimes these charges are so high for waste disposal from lorries, vans and trailers that the drivers/owners see fly tipping as their only option.
    Councils should try charging a minimum sum (that covers their costs) and then see how this reduces the amount of fly tipping – especially in rural area and onto farmland.

  531. John Canvin says:

    For two years residents have been asking Harrow Council to clear fly tipping from private leasehold roads behind Rayners Lane shops. They refuse to do so as the roads are private, but subject to public rights of way … but they still collect resident bins from those roads, they occasionally put community service personnel there to collect litter for an hour or two, they have as a one off cleared fly tips from a private road in Edgware, they have threatened two traders with enforcement action to clear a fly tip behind their shops, and have offered to prosecute tippers where traders can supply cctv evidence (although have never kept this promise).
    Has any Council in the UK been known to buck this trend and do the right thing?
    Thanks for your site. It is a very needed facility.
    With regards John

  532. This is an article from my local newspaper. The area in question is a small lorry park area on the edge of town owned by Highways England. Yet another location that they cannot manage properly even though it has been an ongoing problem for several years. The ministerial response is to request ‘Hot Spot’ areas from Highways England for clearance in March. I have written a detailed response to all concerned this morning state that if Highways England and Area 4 AOneUK were doing their job and it was funded correctly then there would be no ‘Hot Spots’.


  533. DavidG says:

    This https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.397832,-0.1587566,3a,75y,98.69h,63.29t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1svXttwN8M2n6DCmQQMO3jtg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en is the corner of Mitcham Common in the London Borough of Merton. This is private land. I reported it two years ago to the Mitcham Conservators. It looks the same today.

    Sections 43 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 allows officers to issue community protection notices to an individual or body, if satisfied on reasonable grounds that the conduct of the individual or body is having a detrimental effect, of a persistent or continuing nature, on the quality of life of those in the locality

    Trafford Council have been using the letter to good