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Peter Silverman.


1,803 comments so far

  1. Gabriel says:

    Every motorway side I see is covered in rubbish for mile after mile it is disgraceful we clean up and recycle litter in our towns and cities so we should do the same for our motorways, so do something about it for gods sake

    • Michael says:

      Driving from London on the M1, exiting into the M25 and driving to M3: The filth and rubbish on the side of these motorways is shameful. This is not a sign of civilized society.
      Beyond belief that the Government abdicating its responsibilities and not getting on top of this issue. Another sign how Governments are poor allocator of capital and are just wasteful.

    • Bazza03 says:

      The amount of litter on the A3 in Surrey has to be seen to be believed, it is truly disgusting!!
      However, what puzzles me is the lack of any outcry in the media or the public in general.
      If you mention the subject most people just shrug their shoulders.
      Most people just don’t give a damn. If I get annoyed and take pictures of it and show my friends and WApp groups, I I’m the one that gets the strange looks.

  2. Gabriel says:

    Every motorway side is covered in litter for miles it is disgraceful you say we are recycling well that’s not true if we just leave tons of litter on the sides of motorways do something about it for gods sake

  3. Marina Kozak says:

    Driving from Northumberland to London St beginning of January. Main roads and highways strewn with litter. M18 especially bad. Who is responsible for clearing this?

  4. louise spavin says:

    The A15 layby litter is absolutely disgusting–all the bins full and overflowing. I travelled from Brigg on Thursday and all the way along was rubbish in and on the road from the Red bins!!! Please make this a safer road to travel and do not encourage vermin. Thanks.

  5. David Kettle says:

    I think that people caught dropping litter from cars on dashcams should be fined. There should be an advertising campaign explaining the consequences with some of the fine potentially even going to those who provide the evidence to motivate action.

    CCTV has been used to fine drivers £150, but there is a lack of them so most litter crime goes unpunished. But given the increasing number of dashcams the chance of being caught is much greater and that would hopefully prevent some of it.

  6. Pam Baigent says:

    We’ve just returned from France. It was a pleasure to drive through their beautiful, clean, litter free town and roads. Lovely flowers everywhere.
    Our roads and sign post are absolutely filthy. The roads are strewn with litter. What is happening?!?

    • Larry says:

      Highways England a quango not fit for purpose, unfortunately we do not have government that cares about this massive litter throwing problem unlike other European countries who do care about their motorways, green verges and roads

  7. Margaret says:

    I have just moved to Bedfordshire from Cornwall
    The roadside litter here is so bad I try and choose roads that are not littered to drive because it upsets me so much
    The A421 from the A1 to to M1 is disgusting
    The ring roads around Kempston snd Bromham snd New Denham equally so.
    I don’t complain without doing something every week I go litter picking but I can’t along the roadsides as it’s not safe without cones put down
    I’ve written to the council they blame highways and highways blame the council!!!!
    I was told to raise the issue with the environment agency which I will.
    Our country is a disgrace in Florida road signs clearly show it’s a $500 fine to drop litter
    What’s up with us!
    Why are we so slack about it
    Also where will be in 5 years?
    Some tv advertising might make it shamed on that could help.

  8. Bob says:

    why are we blaming the government? why are you not shaming the public into changing their behaviour the amount of road workers who put their lives in danger every day to try and tidy up the crap that’s discarded by road users.

    Its disgusting that the public feel its OK to destroy their environment and feel its ok to endanger the lives of clean up crews I can Imagine it cost quite a lot of money to continually tidy up after careless and lazy drivers imagine what improvements could be made to the roads if so much money didn’t need to be set aside for trying to tidy them

    I’m sure if drivers who get caught littering were made to tidy up the mess it might change a few minds

  9. Joann Rogers says:

    I am appalled at the amount of rotting Road kill on the A34. Its a horrible sight I’ve lost count how many deer and badgers I saw today. Its grotesque not nice for children to see. Why can’t there be signs to alert people or a bit more thought taken to protect animals.

  10. Lee says:

    At least it’s not just this country that has shocking levels of litter along our major busy motorways.


  11. J Rainsford says:

    i want to complain about the stacked up road work barriers that are on the car park at Monk Street and round into Talbot Street . they have been there for weeks now and nothing seems to be happening to warrent them being there .they look an eyesore for the people in Talbot street and kids are climbing up on them very high pallet s and they are dangerous if one of them fell off .jumping from one to other , so when are they are going to be moved .?

  12. Arthur says:

    Cool, summer is coming so the vegetation will hide the trashes and anyway it’ll end up being buried under dirt within a decade. Problem solved!

    • Pete Ridley says:

      Hi Arthur,

      That is the stance that Hertfordshire County Council’s complaints officer adopted. She seemed to think that a satisfactory solution would occur naturally when the weeds grew back and hid the detritus about which I was complaining.

      I can’t really believe that she keeps her home tidy by just sweeping the mess under a carpet – but it’s good enough for our street verges!!

    • Larry says:

      You dope

  13. Lorraine Thompson says:

    I’m disgusted with not only the amount of litter on our highways but the number of old and rusting highways metalwork and sandbags. Im sure highways CEO earns a good bonus. Shame on the highways agency for robbing the UK citizens.

  14. Kim Pinborough says:

    On a journey back from Cambridge driving along the M11. I counted 10 ++ plastic bottles full with urine left on the verges of the motorway. Lorry drivers or other drivers just leave their bodily waste for other people to see and collect. This is disgusting. Children see this rubbish and comment on why do adults do this?? People need educating and there needs to be regular signs along the motorway saying for people to take their urine and rubbish home with them.

  15. Pete Ridley says:

    I’m currently pursuing a complaint about the detritus on the verge of a strip of adopted highway alongside my and a neighbour’s property in a residential estate in Potters Bar. Due to the substandard maintenance of vegetation on the strip by its owner (Hertfordshire County Council) over many years the strip now resembles a rubbish tip. This encourages litter louts to dispose of their empty drinks containers (all sorts) and other garbage.

    The local councils (Hertfordshire CC and Hertsmere BC) cannot agree about who has responsibility (under the Environmental Protection Act 1990) for cleaning it of litter and refuse (detritus) and Hertfordshire CC has declared that it will not be doing any more work on it!!

    For some reason the responsible authority (one of the two councils) is properly maintaining numerous similar strips on this estate but deliberately discriminating against this one.

    I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that I have been complaining to the councils about the issue for many years. This began because the responsible authority had allowed a laurel bush to run wild, resulting in damage to my garden fence. At the time they agreed to replace two of my fence panels and cut the shrub down to 5ft but have since continued to neglect the strip. That forced me to complain again more recently because of the consequent overgrowth to the laurel and a sycamore.

    They have both now been trimmed and some of the overgrown vegetation cut back but only half of the detritus that has built up along the strip over the years strewn has been left untouched. The strip remains an eyesore along the only street giving access to the estate.

  16. Jane Cornish says:

    In our city (Plymouth) and outlying rural districts Clean Our Patch have taken on the task of getting volunteers onboard in the clearing of our roads and banks of litter. (Doesn’t seem anyone else is going to do it). A 2.7 mile stretch of country road netted myself and a couple of helpers 13 large bags of rubbish. A common one is the yellow plastic wheel nut covers of HGV vehicles which easily come off when scraping past our hedgerows. Are these so necessary as to warrant littering our countryside with them. Without mentioning the amount of plastic bottles etc. Some things need banning and others with a return tax on them. Visitors to our country will be shocked at our disgusting litter problem. WELCOME TO 🇬🇧

  17. Helen Shepherd says:

    For years I have been disgusted by the amount of litter on the sides of motorways and trunk roads, naively I thought that when the highways agency saw what was happening they would do something about it!!
    The problem has got much worse and I regularly cry when passing some of this appalling mess.
    I disagree with those who say that fines are not the answer, put money into the equation and it does make difference. Look at the reduction in carrier bag purchases when a very small tariff was attached to that.
    The Highways Agency should set up an easy access on line reporting system where people with dash cam or an iphone video proving a vehicle has littered can post it to them and the owners can be fined immediately, it will work if the fines are large enough. Perhaps penalty points could be attached too, we need to take drastic action to overcome this abysmal situation.

  18. Arthur says:

    I regularly drive from Cambridge to Ipswich on the A14 and as a French I can hardly understand how a country where people are well known for being respectful in society can tolerate such antisocial behaviour as littering. Like many have said in the comments, surely the worst case of littering in Western Europe.
    The worst is that after seeing this for so many years the new generation will end up thinking that this is just normal.

  19. Larry says:

    Highways England should be renamed highways cesspit Uk with the motto “we keep Britain’s highways to a filthy standard as always “

  20. Debra Tudor says:

    The state of our main motorways and roads across the country are a national disgrace strewn with litter which has accumulated on the side of the roads. In particular M27 from Bournemouth to Portsmouth is atrocious, but others including A13 are disgusting. For an organisation called Clean Highways there seems to be a complete lack of pride in the way our main roads are maintained. How on earth can we expect people to be responsible for their own litter all the time our roadside verges look so appalling. Something needs to be done to fix this. Please let me know your plan to tackle this issue

    • Larry says:

      It’s not for clean highways to have a plan it’s for the dirty British litter throwing public to do something and for cooked highways England to do there job plus councils namely Barnet and south bucks,two if the dirtiest roads and green verges councils in the country I fear for the Uk it’s a cesspit.

  21. L. Puddick says:

    Had a lovely week away for the first time in ages, driven from Norfolk to Shropshire came back today sun was shining the trees with new fresh leaves and blossom was lovely!! But what a disgrace the sides of the roads, rubbish everywhere, lots of plastics snagged in vegetation, every manner of items possible, bottles filled with coloured liquid! Bins in laybys over flowing. A14 – M6 what a disgrace. Did see some litter picking today but more effort needs to take place. These never anybody about to catch anyone throwing their rubbish out of their vehicles. On a positive note nice to see lots of tree planting taken place. Please, please do something about the state of our roads.

  22. Nat says:

    I haven’t been out for months but went on A3 southbound and was severely shocked by litter at sides of motorway in fact everywhere this was from Guildford to Portsmouth it is heartbreaking the devastation to our beautifull nature especially as there has been so much out there with regards to plastic and litter and destruction to our beautifull planet it’ needs to be addressed I pulled off slip road to come home and in middle of road was a plastic Sainsbury’s carrier bag filled with rubbish I wanted to pick all this rubbish up but I had no gloves and I have never in my life seen so much litter in nature and on the streets I think petrol stations should stop selling snacks and food and people can fill up their own water bottles there to have a drink I cannot believe the mess and feel radical steps need to be taken to address this

  23. Sharon Williams says:

    A huge stretch of the A27 – Brighton to Worthing – has more litter than I’ve ever seen. It needs to be collected.

  24. Anne says:

    I travelled south on the M5 a few days ago, and for several miles before reaching Gloucester Services, I was distracted by the vast amount of litter on the nearside verge.

    It looked as if strimming of grass and bushes had been carried out, so all litter had been strimmed into thousands of small pieces and been spread out like a huge white carpet.
    On the return journey north on the M5, made later the same day, the same part of the motorway just after Gloucester services was equally plastered in small pieces of litter.

    Littering laws and litter clearance has become a ridiculous state of affairs in this country. Why on earth doesn’t someone sue the relevant authorities (namely Highways England and the County/DIstrict Councils) and force them to act NOW?

  25. Paul Reynolds says:

    Firstly, like others have said not enough bins in lay-by’s. Then the collection schedule needs to be twice a week not every 6 months.
    Secondly, I agree use prisoners to clean it up. Let them pay back to society. Anyone caught dropping litter not only gets a hefty fine but 100 hours community service, picking up litter.
    It’s time to get tough.

  26. Jacqueline Dennis says:

    Golden Jubilee Way, Eastbourne should be renamed Eyesore Alley. The amount of rubbish on both sides is an absolute disgrace. Turn left at Golden Jubilee roundabout and drive along the A27 and be greeted by the same disgusting mess. I’ve been to third-world countries with no infrastructure for dealing with waste that looked cleaner than this. What has happened to this country?

  27. Faye Allard says:

    A14 from Leicestershire to Cambridge, quite disgraceful. When was ths last time anybody collected anything from the verges and bins

  28. Margaret Barker says:

    Have just driven along the A2 from Aylesham to Canterbury, verges are a disgrace, but having read the emails from so many people, it seems ,either that no one is reading them or that the relevant agency ,couldn’t care less.. there is no sense of pride anymore from ignoring Covid rules to littering parks beaches and roadsides,it is a disgraceful attitude to have. unless a sense of pride can be instilled from a yound age,I really cannot see things changing VERY SAD

  29. Graham Brunton says:

    Every time I travel on A23/27 in the Brighton area I am ashamed of the huge masses of litter everywhere. Have just returned from India and the litter here is just as appalling.There is no excuse to say “the safety of our operatives is a concern” as there are modern ways to deal with this issue. As an ex builder who was fastidious about waste etc ,its obvious from a drive past that most litter comes from open backed trucks and lorries. i.e., blue plastic sheets, yellow buckets,cement bags etc, plastic wrap from timber deliveries.

  30. Chris Grunsell says:

    Highlighting just one road would grossly understate the nationwide problem of litter. Fines and penalties are not the place to start, as they would only scratch the surface of the problem.
    We need to bring back a sense of national pride in our “caring society” .. big stuff but possible, if parliament was to make St George’s day 23rd April each year a clean up day, involving all of us doing our bit of litter picking we could reach the consciousness of each citizen and organisation, including School children, students, businesses and employees and retired folk.

    Where there’s a will there is a way!!

  31. Matthew Williamson says:

    I live in one of the prettiest towns called Stamford in Lincolnshire
    We have a great team of volunteers that keep our town and surrounding area really clean. So why when I drive up the A1 it is an absolutely disgrace at the amount of litter that is on the verges and in lay-bys where bins are overflowing.
    Who’s responsibility is it ? why is there no teams out cleaning up. Surely to god with all the people doing community service, this could be a great opportunity to get these people out there to clean up.
    I feel it’s a problem all over the country not just around here.

  32. Mike says:

    I would like to put forward the UK’s most littered stretch of road.
    The A120 from Hare green all the way through to the A12 at stanway in Essex.
    This road merges from A120 into the A12 and measures aprox 18 miles.
    I dare anyone to find a more littered road.
    It has litter on another scale you would not believe.
    This is a major problem and its happening at an alarming rate.
    In the last year its been getting worse and worse and the last 3 months its accelerated.
    Its far more litter that can be caused just by the casual low life throwing out their trash as they drive along.
    I believe the culprits to be refuge lorries carrying waste without the covers over the trailers.
    I have personally witnessed these lorries with their large trailers spilling out litter as they drive along.
    Unfortunately the times I witnessed them I was on my motorbike so was unable to take down the details.
    Not that anything would be do if I were to report them.
    I feel sad for our children
    They are now being raised to think this amount of litter is the norm!

  33. Steve Turton says:

    Two years ago we went to Vietnam on holiday and my wife and I were appalled at the amount of rubbish in the waterways and strewn along the roadside verges.

    Fast forward to last week when I had to travel along the A47 between Norwich and Kings Lynn and quite frankly it was not as bad as Vietnam, it was far worse.

    The media is constantly promoting the notion that we are this great, caring nation. Releasing beavers back into the wild, planting more and more trees, creating areas of special scientific interest, recycling, up-cycling etc etc. Everyone is on it, so it seems.

    Whereas the harsh reality is that this lovely country of ours is rapidly becoming one big rubbish tip! For everyone one do-gooder there appears to be ten pea brained imbeciles who really don’t give a damn. We see it happening everyday, all around us but we are all powerless to stop it. Littering is what they do and will continue to do, who cares?

    There is a very deep rooted problem here, it hasn’t happened overnight. Where has the pride gone?

    What on earth will it look like in five years time?

  34. Nilu says:

    I have recently (during the last lockdown) noticed litter on A31 and A38 motorways, going through the New Forest National park. I cannot understand how a pandemic can affect cleaning highways?

  35. Svetlana Lord says:

    M66 and its slip roads is becoming a tip.
    Its heart braking to see so much rubbish . As someone else has suggested here – fines for littering should cover more than enough cost for camera installation… just saying…

  36. Carole Shepherd says:

    I live just off the A31 at West Moors, and i often go on the Wimborne By-pass, the rubbish is appalling, its disgusting and i cannot understand why it is not picked up by the relevant council. Go across the infamous Canford Magna traffic lights and towards Poole turnoff, there it is again rubbish after rubbish. The highways surely can make the verges clean. Anyone who comes to Dorset via M27 and A31 are in for a shock, the county is filthy. I cannot see why large signs can’t be erected saying something like Take litter home otherwise you will be fined £1,000. They have this on the Motorway in Cyprus at frequent places and guess what? – no litter.

  37. Sally Clear says:

    We have driven along the A3 this morning towards London. We were on the road for 50 minutes. I was appalled, disgusted and embarrassed by the amount of rubbish and large litter on the verges. Why has this not been cleared during lockdown when there was much less traffic ?

  38. Irina says:

    England became very dirty. Motorway A12 when you ride is full of different tile of litter, and across of London and other place. We are paying huge taxes and for what? Let’s compare Switzerland the cleanest country, and let’s see what happening in UK. Streets, are full of rubbish. Urgently need to take some measures.

    • Maf says:

      We are paying huge taxes each year, Yet the Highways in England are terrible. The A12 is the most disgusting Dual Carriage way I’ve ever seen there are litters and rubbish along the slips roads and hard shoulder, it’s so dirty it’s unbelievable. A40 IS ALSO VERY DIRTY LEADING UP TO M40 i can’t believe M40 JOINS TO MAJOR CITY BHAM & LONDON YET THERE ARE SO MUCH LITTERS ALONG THE EDGES OF THE MOTORWAY AND IN THE MIDDLE. WHY CAN’T OUR MOTORWAY BE LIKE USA FREEWAY OR LIKE OTHER EUROPEAN COUNTRIES WE PAY A LOT OF TAX. GET IT DONE! #KEEPUKHIGHWAYCLEAN

  39. Carl Brumpton says:

    I have just witnessed someone in a range rover sport, throw a can out of the car window while waiting at the traffic lights coming off the M25 onto A3 going south. I do not understand this moronic behaviour. I cannot believe how so many people seem not to care about their country and how it looks. What is most annoying is that it is so simple to keep the rubbish in the vehicle until back home or some other destination where it can be put in a bin !!!

  40. Claire Snowdon says:

    The rubbish all along the sides of the A34 is disgusting.
    There would have been an opportunity to clean this up earlier in lockdown when there was less traffic.
    I cannot believe that people are throwing the rubbish in the first place but the fact that it is just being left is unbelievable – I am annoyed and embarrassed every time I drive along it.
    The hedgerows and trees have recently been trimmed so why could the litter have been collected at the same time.
    Would be happy to help but also wonder why I’m paying such high Council Tax.
    When is it going to be cleaned.
    Shameful for the image of Oxfordshire…

  41. Ingo Henn says:

    Every time I need to travel on a major road or motorway in the UK I get depressed.
    Today I want to single out the huge amount of roadside litter along the A1M in the Stevenage area (north and southbound).
    I have been a litter picker volunteer in Welwyn Garden City for years but sadly we are not allowed to clean along motorways.

  42. alan says:

    Hope things are going ok Peter…!
    Just another note of my concern about the proliferation of drive thru’s being thrown up at service stations around the country. I believe they will significantly contribute to motorway litter and would rather see them banned on environmental grounds, or surcharged to help pay for the cost of regular motorway cleaning (!!!!).
    Of course this applies to other roads and locations, it feels like we are allowing the potential problems and real problems to just get worse by being blinkered to the consequences of ignorant people and greedy companies.

  43. Derek Gilman says:

    Sorry to hear about Peter’s accident and wish him a speedy recovery. He is an inspiration to us all and the least we can do is to keep badgering Highways England and local authorities with our complaints, even if sometimes it feels like banging our heads against a brick wall!

  44. Richard H. says:

    Driving up and down the A1 is one of the most depressing experiences I am regularly put through. The entire route is strewn with rubbish. I feel disgusted, ashamed and utterly revolted by what I see, and by how this how been allowed to happen. It is, sadly a symptom of the values that now apply in the UK. We care little now about what was once a beautiful country. It’s increasingly a rubbish tip, and the government couldn’t care less, because clearing it up, or holding those responsible doesn’t win votes. It never used to be like this.

  45. Sarah Goodacre says:

    I have just started travelling again along the A14 again between Felixstowe and Bury St Edmunds and as others are saying the level of rubbish on the verges, in the hedges and central reservation is scandalous, depressing, sad and dangerous too. It’s going to take a huge amount of people and effort to clear this up… and money too. Just watching Countryfile apparently it’s a problem everywhere, in woods, heathlands and is affecting thousands of small animals everyday too. Perhaps we need David Attenborough to start another campaign!.

  46. Theresa says:

    A14 between Kettering and Bythorn is disgraceful. Of course most of it plastic.
    A45 from Wellingborough to Northampton is also disgraceful…yes more plastic.
    This has been dropped in rubbish for years now. When will it look tidy again.?

  47. Roberta Bailey says:

    Having hardly been out of Brighton for a year, a short journey I had to make on the A27 today filled me with horror. Roadside rubbish has never been so bad. What an earth is going on? People would probably volunteer to help clear it if Highways England would arrange some sessions for them to do so safely in their local area.

  48. Andrew says:

    I regularly drive to work between Bristol and Cheltenham on the M5 and A40 and I’m appalled at the amount of disgraceful plastic and other unsightly litter caught in the bramble and waving in trees of what should be green and pleasant embankments. It saddens me every time I see it that our environment is being destroyed by ignorant and inconsiderate morons. Whatever happened to ‘Keep Britain Tidy’!

  49. Jake says:

    M62 Corridor between Warrington and Liverpool absolute disgrace litter all over the side of the motorway both sides. Disgusting! A lot of it can be seen being blown into farmer’s land!

  50. Amanda batten says:

    Disgusting germ infested Rubbish strewn all along the a299 Thanet around Manston and surrounding area. Could not believe the disgusting mess the lorry drivers have left. It goes for miles and is strewn all up the trees and hedges, affecting our wildlife and environment. Our country is pretty filthy.

  51. Andrew Marshall says:

    I recently travelled from Epping to Mildenhall vis the M11, A11/ A14 link , A14 then A11. I could not believe the amount of litter on the verges and in the central reservation. They were literally covered in plastic bottles, cans, fast food containers, plastic bags and other miscellaneous mainly plastic detritus. Who is responsible for clearing this?
    I thought an act was going through Parliament to put a deposit on many types of containers. However, we clearly also need an advertising campaign to promote a cultural change as many drivers seem to think throwing litter out if their lorries, cars and vans is ok.

  52. David burden says:

    Whilst driving on the 31 in Wimborne there is so much rubbish on the verge who is responsible for this disgusting mess it’s real horrible why is this not picked up!!!!

  53. Margaret says:

    The M56 Manchester to M53 Liverpool and the slip roads A41 South are absolutely littered with rubbish it’s a disgrace !
    Please don’t put the neglect down to COVID

  54. Helen Rowbrey says:

    My husband and I have driven from Portsmouth to Bournemouth and back today using the M27 and A338. I would add not for a jolly but to undertake some matters with an elderly relative. The debris on both sides of the road was disgusting!! Please appropriate Council get someone on to this.

  55. Dave Wright says:

    with everyone aware of the cost of clean up year on year why have we not fitted cameras and fined every litter lout £100 first offence £500 second offence confiscate their vehicle third offence and sell it to cover the cost of clean up and camera install.They are fitted everywhere else for crime detection

  56. Debbie says:

    I’m pleased to note that other people have spotted this huge problem on the road embankments. I drove last weekend up the M5 for an essential visit and was appalled at the amount of litter exposed post verge cutting. As a passenger I couldn’t take my eyes off it all ! Where does it all come from ! What can we do about it ? Who do we complain to and who takes responsibility for it ?

    • Lise Robert says:

      Thank God others are noticing this!!! It’s bloody heartbreaking. We’re supposed to be a first worldcountry, yet our beautiful landscape is strewn with plastic and junk. I’ve noticed it’s particularly worse wherever roadworks are being carried out!? Also, has anyone noticed so many dead Grouse along a long stretch of the M4? I counted well over 30 dead birds over the weekend.

  57. Roger says:

    Apologies if this has been talked about many times. This is my first time on here. I’m sure we share the same disgust at the deteriorating rubbish and littering in our beautiful country. Can anyone tell me whether they have approached MP’s or Ministers with regards to this problem, and if so what responses have been received?

    • Martyn says:

      Hi Roger. I live in Hove and the litter along the A23 and A27 is disgusting. I have emailed three Government Ministers, including Grant Schapps recently but have never got a response. I have also filled out the reporting forms on Highways England site but, again, this has not prompted any response or action. Just trying to work out where to go next but it is so depressing driving past a rubbish tip for mile after mile.

    • Rick says:

      I live in Northern Ireland and it is the same thing here too. The council use the verge sweeper in towns but not between them. I travel quite often to North America from Dublin airport in the Republic of Ireland and this really demonstrates how bad this issue has become, everywhere in the USA and Canada is kept like a golf course and when you return home it’s like a third world nation.
      I have contacted my local MP and the roads service head office in Belfast but just received an unintelligible reply, written in a way which is supposed to shift the blame.
      So clearly guys this is coming from Whitehall if all areas of our nation are expecting the same thing.

  58. Claire Field says:

    Just driven from Sutton Scotney to London on A303 and M3. There is so much litter on the roadside, plastic bags hanging from trees. It is so depressing. A clear up needed and education and fines if people throw litter out of cars.

  59. Jason groves says:

    I drove down the A12 yesterday from Ipswich and it was a disgrace
    But not only that , wind was blowing rubbish onto the road and
    Cars and vans were switching lanes and trying to dodge it .
    It’s only a Matter of time before there’s a big accident. This needs
    To be addressed immediately.

  60. Shumaila says:

    Hi, why there is so much rubbish on motorways near Bury,worsley, white field, Rochdale??? Actually it’s everywhere in north west. So disappointed and can councils take action and clean them. It’s looking like a 3rd world country. Please for God sake clean it and keep our motorways clean. Please!!!!!!!

  61. Pauline Edwards says:

    Its vodka bottles , beer cans and coffee cups thrown down the country lanes around Lancashire that annoys me . Plastic pop bottles and fast food package. I also notice more on the motorways and particularly around junctions on the M 6…. I walk over the m6 on a lane and look down and the rubbish is terrible all in the central area and around the edges….its a disgrace..

  62. Rob Karczewski says:

    I am saddened and shocked and annoyed by the Rubbish/Litter on the verges on the M42 Motorway. We pay car tax, fuel tax, car purchase tax. Why can’t we find the money to support safe roads. Anyone caught littering should be fined and why aren’t the cameras picking these morons up.

  63. Matt says:

    Can we sue Highway’s England? Or whomever is supposed to be looking after the verges. It’s soo depressing. We must be able to sue under the MH Act or the ‘Not Doing your job act’ or something. Please. Any lawyers out there?

  64. Sue Sills says:

    Travelling on our roads has become an Industry; we live in a Delivery world now with imports, tourism, and online purchasing. Facilities offered on our major roads are very poor and are failing to keep pace with the needs of drivers.

    Our Government needs to admit to the changed scenario of travel and provide adequate and effective rest stops, rubbish and toilet facilities, overnight venues and lorry parks. Motorway routes through France are exemplary.

    Those who junk our verges and lay-bys need severe penalties to stop them doing it. Immediate loss of driving licence could be one.

    What we have at the moment on our roads is environmentally destructive.

  65. David Neal says:

    Drove out of Hull towards North Cave for the first time in a very long time and was disgusted with the amount of litter along the length of our journey. THERE MUST BE A WAY TO MAKE THIS BETTER. What has gone wrong

  66. Alison Simpson says:

    The a46 in Leicestershire from the m1 to Syston is appalling. I am so sad and angry when I go there it’s just not good enough. The rubbish is just everywhere. I am not going to just make a comment I am going to push fir action even if I go out every weekend myself. Mrs and council’s I will be in touch.

  67. carol says:

    The amount of litter on the verges and in the bushes on the A27 between Hollingbury and Hove is absolutely disgusting a complete eyesore, when is this going to be sorted out ?

  68. Roland Dunster says:

    I am so very sorry to read of the car accident Peter and his wife were involved in. I wish them both a full and speedy recovery.

    • Tim Reeder says:

      I too am very sorry to hear about Peter’s car crash. Very best wishes to Peter and his wife and wishing them the best.


  69. Litter picker says:

    The litter is terrible everywhere and the councils are not acting so why don’t we all pick some ourselves where its possible? (not motorways obviously) I’ve already started on the A27.

  70. Jane Farley says:

    I am so sorry to hear about this dreadful accident. Peter has worked tirelessly on this issue and inspired many of us to take up this campaign. I hope he and his wife will recover and I am holding him particular in my thoughts and prayers during these critical days in hospital. May he recover fully and please pass on my very sincere good wishes.

    • John West says:

      I’m very sorry to hear this. My thoughts are with Peter and his wife. I wish them both a speedy recovery.

    • RP says:

      So sad to hear this. A true inspiration. Get well soon – we need you now more than ever.

      • julian says:

        Saddened like 100s of others to read this news. Warmest greetings to peter for a speedy recovery. You are an inspiration thank you. Julian Rea

    • George Niblock says:

      I am so saddened to hear of Peter’s accident and hope that both he and his wife make a full recovery. Please tell him that the Scots are keeping up the good fight up here until he can return as Leader of the pack He has inspired so many and all of our5 good wishes and thoughts are with him Big Georgie Porgy

    • Frances Knight says:

      I am so sorry to hear of this accident and wish Peter and his wife a speedy recovery.

  71. Helen Flynn says:

    Dear Daniel,

    Myself and Darren Hayday of Clean Planet Today are very sad to read this news. We had heard on the grapevine that Peter had been involved in a serious car accident. Peter is truly inspirational man who has set the template for many others sick of roadside litter and the lack of accountability everywhere. Our thoughts are with him as he continues with his recovery and also with his wife on her continued recovery.

  72. Andrew Owen Stevenson says:

    I am very sorry to hear of Peters accident and of course, wish him & his wife all the very best……………. what more can u say apart from all
    here will I know say & think the same.

    Regards Andrew

    • David Basson says:

      That was a shock, yes fully your sentiments Andrew wishing Peter, and his wife, a speedy recovery from a very distressing experience.

  73. jo says:

    Well I drove yet again down the A12 and A120 and saw what I thought was a highways crew cleaning up the litter. I thought yippee at last. But nope they were just trimming back the trees.. what on earth !

  74. John Ashurst says:

    I travelled along the M65 from Burnley to the M66 exit and was horrified to see a mountain of rubbish deposited on the verge, no sight of any bins. Who are these litter louts and when is someone going to remove all this rubbish, our standards are so low.

  75. Susan Fraser says:

    Driving round Chester on the A55 today I was horrified at the amount of rubbish on the verges. I have never seen such disgusting roadsides. Instead of enjoying the beautiful Cheshire countryside, all I could do was gasp at the shocking state of affairs.

  76. Trudie Mann says:

    I drove from Barton Mills to Cambridge for work on both A11 and A14 and the amount of litter was horrendous, and depressing. What s happening with people not caring. There needs to be a national campaign as the litter is terrible on almost all roads I travel on. We pick up recyclables when on our local walks but this roadside rubbish is beyond that, when are the authorities going to clear up. I can’t see how Covid influences why litter hasn’t been picked up, and the more it’s ignored the more it will happen.

  77. simon rickman says:

    I drove to Corby from Kettering yesterday, A43 both directions just endless litter, litter, litter, as if someone had been laying down a wide trail of it. Just awful.

  78. Charlotte says:

    I drive on the A14 in Suffolk every day to work and the entire stretch is covered with litter, it’s awful! I litter pick in the town I live in and if it wasn’t unsafe I’d go and pick the litter on the A14 as I’m sick of seeing it. It has got worse over the last year, there has been a lot of overnight closures for resurfacing why don’t they get litter pickers to do it then?

  79. Jacqui Orr says:

    I drove down the A2 to a hospital appointment from Dover for the first time in a year and was appalled by the amount of litter on the verges. I’ve never seen it so bad. Is there any plan to resolve this in the near future? Surely we pay for this service?

  80. Melanie Chisholm says:

    I drove for the first time in almost a year on the A27 from Lewes to Brighton and was utterly shocked and saddened to see the amount of litter on both sides of the carriageway for virtually the entire stretch of the road. Does anyone know why levels are so terrible surely the council workers who normally do this job can still work as it is outside? BBC Breakfast ran a story on communities setting up local litter collection groups at the moment but obviously this can’t be done on a dual carriageway. Does anyone know who I should complain to – Brighton and Hove and Lewes Councils ?

    • Jenny Capelin says:

      Have you had any responses to your message? Over the last couple of days I have driven along parts of the M3, A3 and A331. All the road verges are littered, bins are overflowing and bags of rubbish are accumulating around them. I cannot believe we live in a society that still throws rubbish from car windows but more especially that our councils are not organised enough to collect it. No doubt they have had many meetings about it! I am going to look into how to get a volunteer group together to try and get an initiative going. Are you interested?

  81. Sara says:

    I drove from East Sussex to Oxford yesterday, first road trip since November. The A21, M25 and A40 were all strewn with litter with no break. I have never seen this before and it was very upsetting to see what a state our roads are in. I appreciate we have had a difficult year, but now we need to get this sorted out. What’s the plan?

  82. Lesley says:

    I drive to work from Rushden to Northampton daily and I cannot remember the last time I saw that stretch of the A 45 ever looking so littered, it’s disgusting, makes me sad to think we no longer appreciate our highways.
    I would even don a high vis and if allowed get out there and start a clean up

  83. Adrian says:

    The amount of litter on the entire length of the A404M is so bad it looks like a land fill site. Shame on those who contribute to this mess and I would like Highways Agency to clean this up.

  84. Helen says:

    Why on earth can’t cameras be used to get the evidence needed to fine these people who litter. It is a real problem that needs sorting now as it is a really sad sight. People who litter should be made to do community service wearing a T-shirt saying they are a ‘Tosser’.

  85. Helen says:

    The A12 verges from Witham to Ipswich is like a rubbish tip. There is a blanket of plastic waste. It is appalling and embarrassing that people can be so filthy. Please can the A12 be closed and a taskforce employed to clean up this mess. It should be much easier to fine drivers who litter and to get them clearing up the filth they have left behind.

  86. Dot says:

    The A249 was a total embarrassment to England today. Absolutely filthy, I’m sure with debris from recycling lorries.

    • Larry says:

      No dot, recycling trucks sure maybe but the the major blame is the dirty Uk public litter throwers,if government did their job and imposed minimum heavy fines (£500.00) when caught you would see a great decrease in litter kobbing!

  87. Mrs E Kenyon says:

    I was appalled by the huge amount of litter on the A3 today. I felt ashamed and really needs clearing.

  88. Mrs Shepherd says:

    I live just off the A31 at St Leonards in Dorset and i cannot describe how filthy the verges are, the hedges and the road itself in certain parts. All along the Ferndown by-pass down to Canford Bottom and then onto the Wimborne Bypass, the litter is extremely disgusting, even down to Disposable nappies thrown out of cars. Where do these people live? in a pig sty?. I despair everytime i drive down this filthy area, its getting worse by the day and no one seems bothered.

    The council who is responsible should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

    Dorset is a filthy county and anyone wanting to visit during the EASTER BREAK -PLEASE TAKE YOUR RUBBISH HOME.

  89. Richard Pragnell says:

    Appalling litter on A23 and A27 in area of Brighton. Never collected and strange thing is “green” party are local council. Majority of litter plastics harming wildlife and environment. Please can someone sort as offensive on all counts.

  90. Jenny says:

    I live in a village outside Cambridge and the litter here is appalling. Sign the Petition to clean up our roads. Website Don’t Trash Our Future. https://www.inyourarea.co.uk/post/ugc-voting-petitions/b8bc7e0d-b9da-40ce-9cd8-56588b4b9f66

  91. Phoebe A says:

    Hi All,

    I want to set up a petition about the state of our highways. How impactful will this be and will this get to Westminster? It is truly is painful to drive anyway these days and just seeing the amount of litter on our roads immediately ruins any outing for me. I felt like I was back home, somewhere in West Africa.

  92. Petrina McGregor says:

    Between the A120 and the A133 in Essex (Colchester to Clacton) there is a lot of litter on both sides of the road.

    • John Byford says:

      I just drove this stretch at the weekend and it’s genuinely shocking. How is this issue going so unnoticed? Is it a case of by everyone being responsible no one is responsible? I can’t get my head around it. How is that rising level of litter in any way sustainable for the future?

  93. Gaynor says:

    We’re on the A56/M66 in Lancashire and the rubbish on the sides of the roads and roundabouts is shameful for this country – it looks disgusting – why is it so bad at the moment or is it always like this?

  94. Claire Nickson says:

    We travelled on the M11 yesterday (March 6th) and were angered by the amount of litter and general rubbish on the verges.
    It’s not only unsightly, and does longer term damage to the environment, but also has the effect of making some road users think they have no responsibility to dispose of their own litter – they may be tempted to ‘join the crowd’ and throw their litter out of their car or lorry window.
    Who is responsible for clearing motorway verges, and more particularly, on the M11 ?

  95. L Hickson says:

    What is going on, why are the motorways M6, M62,M57 cluttered with litter, I was shocked today to see how bad it was. Are council/highway employees on furlough? If so they need to get back to work! Not sure why Government should pay them to sit at home when the country needs sorting out. If they are not on furlough can someone explain what is happening and who do I contact for an explanation- thank you

  96. Tim Deveaux says:

    A1 western bypass and slip roads are a mess. How often are these roads litter picked? It’s too infrequent!

  97. Alasdair says:

    A120 between Colchester & Harwich. UNBELIEVABLE. Literally akin to driving through a land fill site.

    Worst I’ve ever seen.

    Can we not have a little more pride in our surroundings??

    • Jon W says:

      I agree. The A120 is particularly bad between Colchester and the A133 turn-off. It has never been anywhere near this bad before. It looks like it has become an unmanaged free-for-all for anyone who wants to fly-tip. The lay-bys are probably the worst. At this rate, the rubbish may very soon become a dangerous encroachment on the carriageway.

    • Petrina says:

      Agreed. Trying to find out who to ask for it to be cleared. Never seen anything so disgusting.

  98. Mary Dangerfield says:

    The M42 junction between Tamworth junction 10 and Measham junction 11 is disgusting with litter it has been in this condition for a very long time. It is what you would expect in a third world country not the UK.

  99. Chris Sanders says:

    That should read Anstey and the junction with the M1

  100. Chris Sanders says:

    I travelled on the A46 yesterday between a step and the junction with the M1. The amount of litter on the verges was dreadful. I felt ashamed of my County to see such a mess. Why aren’t Leic CC doing something about this?

  101. Glyn Prys-Jones says:

    I wish to report the amount of rubbish and litter on the Leicester Western Bypass between Anstey and Thurmaston.
    For quite some time this stretch of road has been an eyesore, but since the verges have been cut ,every bit of litter is now showing.
    I hate to think what sort of message is this sending out to motorists, tourists or others using this road. In fact some may think nothing of adding to the mess that’s already there, as nobody is seeming to care or do anything about it.
    A concerted effort is needed to clean it up, to give people pride in the area, and feel that they are not living with a tip (being polite!) on their doorstep.

  102. Michael Yearsley says:

    I travelled today from Plymouth to Totnes. The A38 Devon expressway was absolutely covered with rubbish from start to finish. Whoever is responsible either for causing it or not clearing it should be ashamed. What a disgusting messy country.

  103. Mark says:

    I despair every single day on my travels for work, at how disgusting virtually ever road is in this country. It doesn’t matter what county I’m in, what road, motorway, bypass or lane I’m driving on, the picture is always them same – tonnes upon tonnes of litter EVERYWHERE. It’s utterly sickening that we allow this to carry on happening, turning a blind eye to it year in, year out. We are one filthy county 😡

    • Jane says:

      I agree. What the hell is the matter with some people. I live in south bucks and basicalĺy every major road is strewn with crap. It is everywhere! It is so depressing and makes me so angry and yet I feel powerless. I have signed up to do my bit in the June litter pick for ‘keep britain tidy’ but i bet we won’t be allowed to litter pick on the verges of the main roads due to safety. Would the council shut the roads in order to litter pick. Highly unlikely, they seem to do sweet nothing. It’s so frustrating that I wish it didn’t bother me and I didn’t care, but I do. I so wish I could wave a magic wand and deposit a ton of litter into the living rooms of all guilty parties. Can’t someone start some massive campaign on social media. Roll on the ‘litter smart camera’ that was on the bbc news this morning.

  104. Sian says:

    The amount of litter in the roads around Epping is appalling. Unfortunately there are too many people with no respect for our environment. What is the council doing to clear it up and ensure that people are encouraged to take their litter home with them. Council employees who are not able to carry out their usual roles during lockdown could be redeployed to sort this out. A dynamic cleaning team is required in the Town.
    Driving along the Crooked Mile is particularly bad.

  105. Jo says:

    A12. And. A120. One word. DISGUSTING

  106. Kevan says:

    I have made 3 journeys from the M25 junction wirhvthe A12 and have been appalled at the waste bith at laybys on the A12 and on the verges.
    Why? It all adds to our taxes. Even the bins in the laybys are overflowing with piles of rubbish next to them. I did 2 trips in Feb, the last one being Sunday 21st Feb. Why is it not being collected either

  107. Robin Lord Banks says:

    Hello my name is Lord Banks and I wish to complain about the litter and debris and filth that is left on the roads around Colchester on the A12 and A120 it is absolutely disgusting, I just wondered in which decade that someone could go down the A12 and down the A1 20 and actually clean it, at the junction A120 to Ipswich Road Colchester there has been a divan bed on the side of the slip road for over one year and the litter south side of that junction is disgusting.

    • Larry says:

      Maybe with your title,if that’s who you are,you can get something done then, because us ordinary people are just banging our heads against a brick wall !!!!!!

    • Jo says:

      I also travel that road every week and it seems to be getting worse week after week. It’s disgusting and not a good first impression on the way to. The coast for holiday makers. It my s as he’s me feel physically sick. It’s the whole length not just a little bit.

      • Keith Hamma says:

        Totally agree the A120 is disgusting and getting worse! I have never ever seen it so bad. ECC Highways are totally incompetent and have been hiding behind the Covid 19
        excuse all year!

  108. David Ricketts says:

    A299 Thanet stretch is neglected by local council.Complain but not interested and MP Craig Mckinley doesn’t care either.It actually looks like it’s acceptable to throw rubbish out of your car window.One day somebody will have a serious car accident from a flying sheet of polythene.Driving out of Dover I saw more litter in the first 100 yards than a 2 week road driving holiday in France.

  109. L Pott says:

    Litter left to accumulate on the A256 from Dover and subsequent roads onwards to Westwood Cross, it’s disgusting and every year gets worse. Council just makes excuses that it takes a lot of organisation for their employees to litter collect but are happy for us to pay our taxes.
    Come on let’s get our pride back in our environment.

  110. Tanja Brown says:

    I live in Sandwich and work in Folkestone and am absolutely disgusted by the amount of rubbish along the A256 and A20. I believe the last time this was cleared was some time ago. It really needs to be addressed again as a matter of urgency. It’s horrible to live in this filth considering we’re supposed to be the Garden of England. Also the increasing number of pot holes along the A256.

  111. Sarah Wilson says:

    Please can the litter be picked on all the roads around Manston Airport. And on the roads from manston to Dover. What a disgusting way for us to live. Live in filth. Regular litter picks. Endlessly having to email TDC, DDC, KCC re this problem. As if you don’t know this needs doing on a REGULAR basis, I am ashamed.

  112. A.Marsh says:

    Most of us don’t want to live in a country which is so dirty and an embarrassment!

  113. Nigel Williams says:

    Horrendous litter on slip road from A40 up to Wheatley, Oxon and also on southbound dual carriageway between Kidlington and Headington roundabouts. So far Oxfordshire County Council doesn’t want to know,, neither does South Oxon DC who advised me to contact Biffa and they don’t want to know either!

    No wonder this country is so filthy.

  114. Louise Burgess says:

    I travelled up the A1 from Sandy to near Grantham and the litter around Wyboston and Sibson Inn near Wansford was totally disgusting. I wrote to Cambridgeshire CC (local highways) who said it wasn’t their issue and to contact Highways England, HE said it wasn;t theor issie and it was the councils, I wrote to Bedford Council (no reply) and Peterborough Council who say it’s not their issue. WHO’S ISSUE IS IT?? I can’t seem to find anyone who wants to take responsibility but the litter in these areas was so disgusting I felt compelled to report it, but no one wants to listen!

  115. L. Sargeant says:

    We travelled on the A143, A14 and A11 this morning. It was shocking to see mile after mile of rubbish strewn across the verges and plastic stuck in roadside trees. The situation is getting worse and worse, and nothing is being done about it. How bad does it have to get before something is done?

    Does anyone look at these comments?

  116. Mart Dean says:

    Programme of interest on the 22 Feb. Panaroma on ‘Rubbish Dump Britain’. Might give an insight into why people flytip and litter and generate some discussion as to possible solutions!?


  117. Martin Spencer says:

    M66 bury slip road to pilsworth industrial est. Is a sea of plastic and debris. Shocking

    • Larry says:

      Although flytipping is a major problem in this country it’s not the main one which is literally millions of Uk people dropping and throwing their litter onto our road ,verges and countryside everyday , never cleaned by highways England or local councils that’s the main issue in this litter strewn, never cleaned country

  118. David Palmer says:

    M66 Slip Rd junction 3 absolute disgrace looks like a rubbish tip, people who throw their rubbish into the side grass, needs sorting, who ever is in charge at Highways get a grip and clean it up.😡

  119. Larry says:

    Denham roundabout, A412,A40 between london and denham an utter disgrace COVID or no Covid the Uk is the dustbin of europe, here we are preaching to other countries about pollution yet
    We have litter problem on our road, kerbs,green verges , that match Bombay at its worst , does nobody in government see what we all can see on our roads or is the whole of the British establishment LiTTER BLIND?

  120. Michael Cohen says:

    We drove on the M25, M3 and A303 to Dorset. The side of the motorway is strewn with rubbish for many miles. It is shameful and a disgrace. Not sure why no one is cleaning the side of the road.

  121. Kate F says:

    A34 between Oxford and Newbury – there is a horrendous amount of litter – mainly loose plastic on the grass verges all the way down. I’ve never seen it so bad. With all the high winds we’ve had to the risk this poses to surrounding natural habitats must be great. Who is responsible for this?

  122. Martin Dean says:

    Plenty of depressing stuff on here (understandably!) so I thought I would post a few links which show that plenty of people care about litter and the state of our roads. They have most probably been posted before but many posters on here might not have seen them. Truckers Cleaning up Britain and UK Litterpicking Groups are doing some great work. The third link is a document from the Welsh Government dated January 2021 (though whether anything comes of it is doubtful!). People can and are making a difference, just need the overpaid clowns in the high levels of Highways England management to get their act together now!

  123. Maria says:

    I drove along the A404 from High Wycombe to Maidenhead Junction 8. Both sides are full of litter and dumped rubbish. It is appalling. Who is responsible for clearing this up and maintaining it? What is wrong with people just dropping their rubbish, why not take it home? Such lovely surrounding areas but looks third world driving around the streets in these towns with all the rubbish. Marlow/Maidenhead/High Wycombe Councils please put your heads together and get this sorted.

  124. Steven says:

    I drive fairly regularly (for essential purposes I might add) between Glasgow and the Cowal Peninsula via the A82 loch-lomondside and I have to say I am staggered by the accumulation of litter on the roadsides. During the 8 miles stretch between Luss and Tarbert the levels of dropped litter from cars and trucks is nothing short of disgusting. Tens of thousands of pieces I would think…mostly plastic. I regularly use the Argyll & Bute Council “report it” app to direct their attention to this, but nothing is done….it seems like Argyll & Bute Council have simply turned their backs on the issue. They compound matters further by not providing any infrastructure (i.e. bins) for motorists in lay-bys. Let’s not forget also that this is a NATIONAL PARK! And what do the National Park do about it? Same as the Council – turn their backs.
    The worst thing about this is….it could all be solved if drivers of vehicles didn’t drop their litter out of their windows. It’s unbelievable to me that someone would think to drop litter anywhere, let alone in a National Park.

  125. HollyBlakemore says:

    Why is there so much on the m56 near Runcorn and Daresbury? The hard shoulders are littered with so much trash

  126. Lola W says:

    Driving up the A11 this week broke my heart – who are these people and where is their respect for nature, wildlife, local people and other road users? Utterly sickening. I realise the main roads are difficult to pick, but on smaller lanes and footpaths every person’s contribution to picking up a couple of pieces of litter makes a difference. Team effort.

  127. Dagmar Vesely says:

    Having just driven to Bucks from London -what a depressing journey!!!Brought me to tears!!!Apart from horrific HS2 works near The Chalfonts-just SO much rubbish along the whole length of the A40 and onwards.Despite writing to my MP and DEFRA many, many times about litter – nothing is being done about this issue?A real health hazard and extreme danger to our ever dwindling wildlife.It’s shocking that our country is in such a state!!

    • Anna says:

      Couldn’t agree more. Everywhere I drive there’s so much litter on roadsides. Who do we report this too as nothing seems to be done? Is there anyone that can get reports out to newspapers to campaign for this if councils aren’t doing anything ? I’m devestated by the amount of litter and making me so depressed !

  128. John Thwaites says:

    I travel along the A120 from the A12 turn off to the A133 and I am shocked and disgusted by the amount of litter along the side of the road. There is a tip centre along here operated by Veolia I believe so much of this rubbish comes from this site and from skip lorries. Who is responsible for cleaning this rubbish ?? I am ashamed of living in this area and someone needs to be held responsible. People who come to Clacton and surrounding areas must be horrified by what they see. Come on cleanhighways do your job.

    • S-J says:

      The A120 is the responsibility of Highways England. You can report the litter problem to them here and they’ll schedule it to be cleared: https://report.highwaysengland.co.uk/ .

      If you believe the waste centre is causing a lot of the litter, get in touch with your local councillors and they’ll get on the case with the company.

  129. Ian says:

    Just drove a small section of the A1 fro Hatfield to Stevenage, every square metre of verge is covered in litter as are the slip roads and roundabouts. It’s a disgrace and shameful. Myself any other locals have collected over 60 bags of b and c road litter local to wheathampstead in the last month but it’s back in a couple of weeks we need to establish where it coming from eg skip lorries or scum chucking it out their van or lorry and then enforce some serious fines. The country looks like a failed state

  130. Litterfree 67 says:

    I work as an Electrician in the South of England on a Government Network and I can wholeheartedly say the situation has got very bad everywhere I go over the last Year. I know it’s sometimes difficult to clear litter from Motorways due to the risk to those Clearing it up. It not only has to be dealt with but we need to pro-actively start trying to catch people that do it with all types of covert cameras. Fines, extra points on licences and Driving Bans need to be introduced to the culprits. It has go to disgraceful embarrassing level. It’s not just British people that are dropping it the, lots of continental drivers lob rubbish out their lorries. I’ve seen some real solid evidence – lots of it in Kent and the M25. The Slip roads and places vehicles slow down are terrible.

  131. Jon Tydeman says:

    The slip roads at junction 5 of the M27 at Southampton Airport are an absolute disgrace. I am pretty sure they haven’t been cleared of litter since the roadworks started two years ago. Who is responsible for this awful mess and how can they be held accountable?

  132. Michael Thomas says:

    I am a very active cyclist and am so dissapointed that the increasr in rubbish in thr country lanes in Gloucestershire. It has definately got worse since lockdown with a huge increase in the amount of discarded beer cans and bottles. I have contacted the local councils and police as clearly people are drink driving and have had no responce. There has been no rubbish bremoved from the roads since Christmas.

  133. Thomas T says:

    What a disgrace the amount of litter at the Junction of the M6/A500..Junction 16
    It’s fine leaving a litter bin on the the A500 but what’s the point if they are continually full to overflowing Having used this Junction on a regular basis Highways England say it’s a local authorities responsibility and the local authority say it’s a Highways England responsibility, so as usual it’s a merry go round and ‘nowt’ gets done
    I just wonder what would happen if the Queen was visit the area….would it be cleaned?
    your guess is as good as mine

  134. Jo Lymer says:

    I am SO fed up of my local Councils not doing anything about the growing amount of litter near me. I live in a small village which is just off the A50, the amount of litter that blows into the verges from the road is appalling. I collect at least 2 large bin bags each week and that doesn’t even touch the litter I am unable to get to. The roundabouts, slip roads and middle of the carriageway is a disgrace and we’re supposed to be in lockdown??? Nobody wants to do anything about it and I am ashamed…

  135. Matthew James says:

    I’m sure everyone on here agrees every little helps when it comes to fighting this problem. I’ve noticed on the parliament petitions site that there is a petition for more funds to clean roadsides and heavier fines for littering. You’ll find them here https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions?state=open&q=litter
    It needs at least 10,000 for a response and 100,000 for a chance to get it debated by end of May so pass it on! I’ve no doubt this has been done before, but obviously the more it’s done the better. I notice the petition to keep gyms open is over half a million..

    • Anna says:

      I’ve just signed this but there’s not many signatures. Can you start sharing this on social media. I think it’s important we get the signatures over 10000. It’s appalling the state of the verges and country side now

      • Samantha says:

        I have signed the petition. It is a shame there a so few signatures. It would be great if this issue had some momentum behind it. I remember a few years back Jeremy Clarkson campaigning for government to do more. I believe Highways England are payed a lot of money to keep the motorways clean, this is obviously not happening. Our roads and countryside look like a third world country. I met two people on a walk last Sunday. They clean a section of a road where they live every week and fill bags and bags of rubbish!

  136. Paul Callaghan says:

    I too have grown increasingly disgusted at the ever increasing amount of litter and other disgusting items being thrown from various types of vehicles . In particular motorway exits at junctions local to myself in Greater Manchester and obviously throughout the country in general.
    I feel that something radical needs to be instigated to discourage this kind of antisocial behaviour.
    A couple of years ago on a visit to the States I was pleasantly surprised at the cleanliness of their Freeways , obviously due to heavy fines ( $2000 -$3000 )being imposed on those litterbugs committing the offence .
    Maybe we could monitor these particular areas by using the “SMART MOTORWAY”
    camera technology that is already operating to enforce speed restrictions.
    These images then being used against the offending culprits to issue a fixed penalty fine realistic enough to deter them from any repeat behaviour (£1000 -1500 ) should suffice.
    The revenue from these fines would help offset the cost of adaptating the existing systems and software … just a thought !!

  137. Heidi says:

    Just wanted to say the litter on the a2 coming off at the bexley roundabout is disgusting. Last year there were beautiful flowers growing in the summer .This year they will have to compete with the cans and plastic bottles. Do people actually drink all alcoholic drinks /at all these takeaways ?
    Or is someone dumping loads at once ?
    Or is rubbish falling off lorries.
    I have to look at it every day .I’m tempted to get out of the car and pick it up .But I know this would be impossible .

  138. Rex Wager says:

    Litter on A1M is there nothing anybody can do to clean it up One section I travel J4 to J8
    But all A roads B roads as well Has no one got any pride in the UK

  139. Martin Dean says:

    Found this on the web. It’s Highways England’s 2020 Litter Strategy which looks great – if only they could bring it to fruition! I do have a bit of sympathy for HE. A few months ago the M53 by me had the grass cut and most of the litter picked. It looked so much better. Even Junction 5 southbound was cleared. A few months later the motorway and the junctions are litter strewn again. The litter looks like a combination of industrial waste plus the usual few hundred bottle and cans. Agree with Mitch below that a few signs might make some difference. Might try an e-mail to the address given on the document, will be interesting to see their reply 🙂 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/937593/MCR19_0231_-_Highways_England_Litter_Strategy_Update_2020_rev_11-20.pdf

  140. Mitch Ainsworth says:

    Sorry meant to say signs not songs and my name is Mitch 🤣

  141. Mitch Ainsworth says:

    Some very sensible comments on here. What about positive songs which remind people of the benefits on having clean roadsides, environmentally and from a general well-being perspective? Motorway 🛣 agencies spend a lot on other signs and cameras? Why not have a roll out of signs which encourage responsible litter handling on roads?


  142. hayley floyd says:


  143. D Delemere says:

    There is a lot of litter on the side of the A45. It really looks bad.

  144. Martin Dean says:

    Just thought I would ‘up’ an earlier posts link with regards Clean Up Britain and an up coming programme (hopefully) about the state of UK roads. Send any video clips you have. This is what is required to highlight the problem to a national audience. It is a problem that can be sorted. I can remember when rivers and streams were devoid of life and filthy so I am sure given a bit of political will we can conquer these ‘rivers’ of plastic and make driving on the countries roads more pleasurable 🙂 https://mobile.twitter.com/cleanupbritain/status/1353352659223408646

  145. Philip Bush says:

    A120 colchester to clacton is disgusting rubbish all along route new low plaster board discarded in one section shameful as last section of road to ferry to Holland cleanest country in Europe. Highways England national discrase.

  146. Joe Mann says:

    Driving South on M6 yesterday between Manchester and Sandbach the littering on the hard shoulder was an utter disgrace. Do Highways England ever inspect these carriageways?
    Also we clearly need a national campaign to address the idiots throwing their crap all over the place. Fines & warnings needed. We have enough cameras to fine retrospectively.

  147. Sandra says:

    Why don’t we use inmates to clean up the road side litter it is embarrassing, specially during the pandemic when we suppose maintain cleanliness
    Highway maintenance what are they for exactly?

  148. Mr T Nicol says:

    since the cutting back of the foliage along the A46 Western Bypass it has as you probably aware exposed an absolute mass off plastic waste along with other rubbish

    I am well aware of the present problems we all have at this time, but can this very unsightly problem be cleared.
    somebody must take responsibility for this every growing problem.

  149. Heather Penelope Whatmore says:

    I too am sickened by the rubbish bordering our roads and paths. Identifying products and their purchasers with a unique code should be possible in todays computerised world and thus make penalty enforcement for littering a practical option.

  150. laurac says:

    Please do something about our roadsides! it is revolting and so depressing, not to mention embarrassing!
    The roads in North Yorkshire such as the A59 have just got worse and worse during the pandemic, you can barley see the grass anymore. Makes me want to move – why don’t we fine higher and who is responsible for ensuring the roadsides are clean?

  151. Andrew Smith says:

    Here is an idea to stop litter.

    Apparently QR codes can create more different codes than there are atoms in the universe. Why can we not have every individual item sold have a unique QR code. Then, when you buy your bottle of coke, or sandwich, it is traceable to your credit card. And when it is found at the roadside, you have a bit of explaining to do? Okay, not all litter has necessarily a QR, but most could. And, while we are at it, make it an offence for which penalty points go on your licence if you or any passenger litters from a vehicle. That would stop the lorry drivers flinging bottles out their cabs at road junctions…..

    • Craig says:

      That’s an excellent idea, partly because it would cost a lot less than setting up a nationwide network of cameras and could rake in huge sums in fines for the exchequer.

      Given that the country will be saddled with debt for decades to come as a consequence of the economic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, surely the Government should be interested in this kind of income-generation.

      Does anyone here know of anyone in industry who could actually put this forward as a practical proposal to central government?

    • William Thomas says:

      I thoroughly agree and it’s time that something was done. We are like a third world country with our litter

  152. Sam says:

    I have just moved to the countryside in Dorset and everytime I travel the A31 inbetween Wimborne and Ferndown I feel sick at the increasing rubbish thrown out by the road a bath a blacksack of rubbish endless cans etc. We have to do something more positive.I cannot understand the mentality of people throwing litter out of their vehicles. We all have a responsibility. If the council clear it up at night then it returns. Maybe we now ought to force a law against dropping litter people caught not only fined but made to do community service litter picking for a number of relevant hours. How could they be caught? Video CCTV. Might be cost effective now.
    Its embarrassing and a health hazard. Education needs to be forced within schools. Then within years it will roll out. Children educating parents as they do with recycling.

  153. Annette Martin says:

    Please and you give some advice on what I can do and who can I speak to about the rubbish that is mounting on the roadsides in North Devon? It is heartbreaking to see it getting worse and worse. What department of the County Council is responsible for clearing it away? I cannot find anything on their website. I look forward to getting some response as I feel so upset and need to make my feelings known. Thank you Annette

    • Mike Grant says:

      You will probably need to refer your complaint to the local district council, North Devon not the County Council, as they will be responsible for cleaning most local roads. Best wishes in tracking down someone.

    • Larry says:

      Welcome to cesspit Uk , just to say you will be knocking your head against a brick wall of beaurocracey because nobody in government cares. Highways England is not fit for purpose, they are just a crooked quango enjoying the spoils of government money being wasted on them , an investigation into them would help but by whom? not the civil servants that use our roads like us but are totally blind to the crap that litters our roads and countryside everywhere,it’s a bloody national disgrace.

  154. Daniel Olszewski says:

    Hello, to everyone. I have pointed so many times litter issue to different local authorities. Some response where very quick some not. Anyway, the main issue is public and the mentality of leaving or throwing litter or different sort of litter. In my opinion must be a huge advertising in social media to rise this issue.

  155. Helen Flynn says:

    Re: Peter’s post today (Monday 25th Jan) Results of Defra’s survey asking the question “What local Authorities think of working with HE”?

    Defra obviously didn’t like the responses they received and are therefore trying to hide the results! Maybe they included words like ‘nightmare’ uncooperative’ inefficient’ ‘useless.’

    Given that HE are a bloated top heavy government quango I guess it’s in Defra’s/the government’s interests to keep the public from seeing the results.

    We mustn’t let them get away with it.

  156. Joe says:

    I noticed that Clean Up Britain are looking for smartphone video clips of major roads, slip roads, verges and roundabouts that are heavily littered (shouldn’t be too hard then!) for a BBC programme. Link below, but if not doesn’t take you through, just look up CleanUpBritain on Twitter and you will find the details near the top of their thread.


  157. Les Walker says:

    I wrote the comments below on March 12, 2018. Since then, the situation has deteriorated even further in spite of all that Peter Silverman and others have tried to do to urge those responsible to take action. At a time when we hear so much about concerns for the environmental and people’s well-being, how can those in authority continue to allow this to happen?

    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.

    • S-J says:

      What parts of the A12/A120 are particularly bad, would you say? As the A12 is undergoing some closures due to bridge repair work soon and this could be the ideal time to get litter removed.

  158. Piers Buckworth says:

    I have recently moved to the countryside, Henley-On-Thames to be specific. I am truly horrified and deeply saddened by the extent of the rubbish problem on the side of our beautiful country roads and motorways. I thought we lived in a first world country who took pride in our natural beauty and civilisation, what exactly am I paying national and council taxes for ???? I would love to at least communicate with someone who has some information for me on who exactly is responsible for cleaning these roads and if there is any plan whatsoever to deal with this devastating problem, do I call the council ??? Any advice on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

    • I can only comment on the amount of rubbish strewn at the sides of the motorway from east midlands airport to Millenium point Birmingham where I drove my Mum today for her covid vaccine for which we are grateful.There were vast piles of rubbish drinks bottles,plastic.Surely during lockdown when traffic is less it would be a good time to clean up this rubbish and make us proud of our surroundings,it was shameful.

    • Piers, Please check out “Whoi s responsible for this highway?” at the top of my In INFO menu on the right —>

  159. J Stannard says:

    Travelling frequently on the M20 and M2 I am appalled by the disgraceful state of the verges covered with litter. Here in Kent we have to suffer the impact of operation stack when there are delays or problems in Calais resulting in the verges which normally are already disgusting being even more covered in litter. Apart from this, everywhere it seems our highways are allowed to remain uncleared to the detriment of the environment, people’s mental health by having to gaze at such appalling rubbish and not forgetting the wildlife that forages. Isn’t it about time Highways England made this a necessary priority. It seems that all pride and respect for our countryside and highway verges making it a pleasurable experience to drive down has long gone. We pay our road taxes and is not this necessary expenditure part of that! What tourists must think I don’t know. What’s being allowed to happen to ‘our green and pleasant land’

  160. Monica says:

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

    • Monica says:

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

  161. Rob Hamilton says:

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

    The council tells me to inform the highways agency.

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

    • karen beresford says:

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

  162. Lennie says:

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

  163. Rubio says:

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

  164. Mark Woolley says:

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

    It really is a national disgrace

    • steven says:

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

  165. Dave Formstone says:

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

  166. J Clement says:

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

  167. Andrew says:

    This sums in up really, please share.

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

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

  169. R Stanley says:

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

  170. Dorothy says:

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

  171. Patricia Marks says:

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

  172. Jon Tydeman says:

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

  173. DAVID J CROKER says:

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

  174. Daniel says:

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

    • Patricia Marks says:

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

  175. Mrs J A Thorpe says:

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

    • Daniel says:

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

  176. Larry says:

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

  177. Julie Gay says:

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

    • Cyril Tickell says:

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

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

  178. Roland Dunster says:

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

  179. Hello everyone, it’s my first pay a visit at this website, and article is in fact fruitful for me, keep up posting these content.

  180. Pete miners says:

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

  181. John West says:

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

  182. Peter C says:

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

  183. Jemima Wade says:

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

  184. Christopher Horne says:

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

    • Diane Molloy says:

      I’m near the A12. The A406 gives it a run for its money. Having said that, on the rare occasions I now visit the South Kent coast pretty much the whole way down its the same. I don’t think authorities know where to start it’s so out of control

  185. Andre says:

    Hi all

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

  186. CU says:


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

  187. David Basson says:

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

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

  188. George Niblock says:

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

  189. S Ashley says:

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

  190. Janet Prendiville says:

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

    • Karen Coombs says:

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

      • Jo says:

        What a great idea!!
        If we could all see a difference people may just change there disgusting habits. I don’t get angry much but one thing that does really rattle me is little bugs. My partner and I were walking our dog last year and this white van man just through his McDonald’s wrappers out the window almost at our feet as the drive by. I got my phone out to take car reg only to be greeted by break lights and. A finger guester. We made a hastily retreat .

  191. Rubio says:

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

  192. Andrew Swin says:

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

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  196. Yvonne Sanders says:

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

  197. David Basson says:

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

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

  198. Dominic says:

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

  199. George Niblock says:

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

  200. Bobby says:

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

  201. Andrew Stevenson says:

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

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

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

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

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

  202. BM Wilson says:

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

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

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

    It is an absolute disgrace to the County of Essex.

    • Diane Molloy says:

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

  203. John West says:

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

  204. Ion U says:

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

  205. George Niblock says:

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

  206. Graceellul says:

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

  207. Andrey Panna says:

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

  208. Jo Newland says:

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

  209. Martin Dean says:

    Good on you Peter. I admire your tenacity!

  210. George Niblock says:

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

    • Gordon Tylet says:

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

  211. John Caudwell says:

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

  212. Colin Smithers says:

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

    • Larry says:

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

    • Robert Kelley says:

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

  213. George Niblock says:

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

    • Stewart Thompson says:

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

  214. Hayley Floyd says:


    • Stewart Thompson says:

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

      • Andrew in Cambridgeshire says:

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

  215. Zo says:

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

  216. Andrew says:

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

  217. Larry says:

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

  218. Larry says:

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

    • John West says:

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

  219. Nicola Cooper says:

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

  220. John Norfolk says:

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

  221. Graham Willis says:

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

  222. MR J L JAMIESON says:

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

  223. Rachel White says:

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

    • Larry says:

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

  224. sheila andrews says:

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

  225. Suzanne Halmshaw says:

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

  226. Dominic Randall says:

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

  227. David Capes says:

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

  228. Helen Flynn says:

    Dear Peter,


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

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

  229. Alex Lamb says:

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

    • Rob Chesters says:

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

      Regards Rob Chesters

  230. John West says:

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

  231. Mike Grant says:

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

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

  232. Matthew Jones says:

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

  233. Matthew Jones says:

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

  234. Claire Austin says:

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

  235. Larry says:

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

    • Craig says:

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

  236. Sarah Holmes says:

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

  237. Craig says:

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

  238. Colette Jones says:

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

  239. Kerrie says:

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

  240. P Haxby says:

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

  241. Margo GLOVER says:

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

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

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

  242. Larry says:

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

  243. pete miners says:

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

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

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

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

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

  244. Brian Reynolds says:


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


    Please treat this as a Freedom of Information Request.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

    • David Basson says:

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

  245. Charles Meynell says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • ian says:

      Hi There.
      I take a very similar route as you do every day for work. I can say truthfully that the A42 both directions between the M1 and through to the M42 both ways (which is suppose to be part of the National Forest) are disgusting. The lay-bys along the route are over flowing with rubbish meaning they blown all the way along the route of the A42.
      Unfortunately I cant see the local council doing anything about this and it is a shame as our Parish council are strongly for recycling and clean environment.

  246. Iain Ambler says:

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

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

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

  247. Vanessa Yates says:

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

  248. Jane Goodger says:

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

  249. Jane Goodger says:

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

  250. caroline taylor says:

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

  251. John Roy says:

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

  252. Michael Barnard says:

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

  253. David Gregory says:

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

  254. David Basson says:

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

  255. Matt says:

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

  256. Alice Sharples says:

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

  257. George Niblock says:

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

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

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

  258. Colette Jones says:

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

  259. J says:

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

  260. Stephen Wilde says:

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

  261. Stella Ashley says:

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

  262. John Micheal says:

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

  263. Ben Parkes says:

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

  264. George Niblock says:

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

  265. Peter says:

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

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

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

  266. Mark says:

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

    • Larry says:

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

  267. Helen Flynn says:

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

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

    • Karen Coombs says:

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

  268. Louise says:

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

  269. David says:

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

  270. Andy says:

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

  271. Craig says:

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

  272. Craig says:

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

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

  273. Robert Pickles says:

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

  274. Kathleen Broderick says:

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

    • Peter kenworthy says:

      I’ve reported it twice to highways England and to Oldham council
      Nothing has happened and it’s absolutely shocking

  275. Maureen Fitzgerald says:

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

    • Stephen says:

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

  276. Anne says:

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

    • Helen Flynn says:

      Dear Anne,

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

  277. Helen Flynn says:

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

  278. Helen Flynn says:


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

  279. Helen Flynn says:


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

    • Brian Reynolds says:


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

      • Helen Flynn says:

        Dear Brian,

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

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

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

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

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

  280. George Niblock says:

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

    Nil Carborndum etc

    Big Georgie Porgy

  281. Larry says:

    Litter free

  282. Larry says:

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

  283. Andrew Nightingale says:

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

  284. Craig says:

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

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

  285. Craig says:

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

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

  286. Karen Coombs says:

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

  287. Helen Knowles says:

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

  288. Craig says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  289. Peter Olson says:

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

    • Craig says:

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

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

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

    • Brian Reynolds says:

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

  290. Stephen Wilde says:

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

    • Andrew Tolley says:

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

  291. Michael Grant says:

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


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

  292. Richard Lewis says:

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

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

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

    • Michael Grant says:

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

  293. Karen Coombs says:

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

    Dear Mr Baker,
    Congratulations on your re-election.

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

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

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

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

    Steve Baker MP

  294. Andy Slade says:

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

  295. April Lambourne says:

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

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

      • Derek Gilman says:

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

  296. Brian Reynolds says:

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

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

  297. Alan McNulty says:

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

  298. Terry Dean says:

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

    • R. Pickles says:

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

  299. Mrs.Jones says:

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


  300. Karen Coombs says:

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

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

  301. Helen Flynn says:

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

    • Larry says:

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

    • Karen Coombs says:

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

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

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

      Thank you so much for raising this with me.

      best wishes


      Laura Farris MP
      Member of Parliament for Newbury

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

          • Helen Flynn says:

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

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

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

      • John West says:

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

  302. Derek Gilman says:

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

  303. Andrew EDgington says:

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

  304. Anthea Dempsey says:

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

  305. Sue Murray says:

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

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

    Thank you – Sue

    • Helen Flynn says:

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

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

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

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

  306. Martin Dean says:

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


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

    • Helen Flynn says:

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

  307. marcin says:

    a27 and a23 disgusting worst then Bangladesh

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

    • Larry says:

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

      • Helen Flynn says:

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

  309. Brian Reynolds says:

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

  310. George Niblock says:

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

  311. David Basson says:

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

  312. Karen Coombs says:

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

    Our ref: 21531046

    Dear Mrs Coombs,

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

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

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

    Kind regards,

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

  313. Phil Mahony says:

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

  314. Helen Flynn says:


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

    Thank you for your help with the above matter.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    • Karen Coombs says:

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

      • Helen Flynn says:

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

    • Martyn Heath says:

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

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

  316. Ian says:

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

    • John West says:

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

  317. Susan Tavernor says:

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

  318. Barbara Ashby says:

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

  319. Julie Gay says:

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

  320. Paul Jarman says:

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

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

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

    Kind regards,


    • John Oldershaw says:

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

  321. Anne Bent says:

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

  322. Karen Wood says:

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

    • Martyn Heath says:

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

  323. Kathy Taylor says:

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

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

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

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

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

    Let’s not forget who drops the damn stuff.

  325. Geoff Sargeant says:

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

  326. Mike Pease says:

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

    Thanks everyone.

  327. Mike Pease says:

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

  328. Paul Haxby says:

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

  329. Robert Pickles says:

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

  330. Diane Clarke says:

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

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

  331. Susan Webber says:

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

  332. John Norfolk says:

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

  333. Ian Dare says:

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

    • Karen Coombs says:

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

  334. Digby Williams says:

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

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

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

  335. Steven Dennard says:

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

  336. Jan Sefton says:

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

    • John Woolmer says:

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

  337. Matt says:

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

  338. John West says:

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

  339. Philip Mahony says:

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

  340. Peter Turgoose says:

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

  341. Ben Parkes says:

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

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

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

    Why is it not being cleaned up?

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

    What can we do to improve this situation?

    • Philip Mahony says:

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

  342. David G says:

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

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

      • Cheryl Norgan says:

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

      • Brian Reynolds says:


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

  343. John West says:

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

  344. Michelle says:

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

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

    • Hi Michelle,

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

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

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

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

      • CRISPIN HOLLOWAY says:

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

  345. John West says:

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

  346. Stephen Wilde says:

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

  347. Phil Mahony says:

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

  348. Shaun Birks says:

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

  349. GM Foster says:

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

  350. Philip Mahony says:

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

  351. Hayley Floyd says:

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

  352. Maggie Mullin says:

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

  353. Delphine Greene says:

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

  354. Larry says:

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

  355. Iain Ambler says:

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

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


  356. Richard Cooper says:

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

    • R A Cooper says:

      That should be weak of course!

    • David Basson says:

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

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

        • Helen Flynn says:

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

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

  357. Helen Flynn says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  358. Helen Flynn says:

    Dear All,

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

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


  359. Margaret Frampton-Carr says:

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

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

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

      Thanks, Peter

  360. Michael Grant says:

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

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

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


  362. R A Cooper says:

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

  363. George Niblock says:

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

  364. David says:

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

  365. George Niblock says:

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

    • Larry says:

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

      • Glynis Reed says:

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

      • George Niblock says:

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

  366. Robert says:

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

  367. Lewis Halsey says:

    Peter Silverman continues to do a bloody fantastic job.

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


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

  368. George Niblock says:

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

  369. Helen Flynn says:

    Dear All,

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


    • David Basson says:


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

  370. Kate says:

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

  371. Kate says:

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

    • Billy bee says:

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

  372. George Niblock says:

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

  373. John Woolmer says:

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

  374. George Niblock says:

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

  375. Rahel says:

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

  376. George Niblock says:

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

  377. Larry leigh says:

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

    • Peter brown says:

      In a nutshell mate

    • Mark Godfrey says:

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

  378. Maureen Wagstaff says:

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

  379. Rachel McNally says:

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

    • Lewis says:


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

  380. Rachel McNally says:

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

    • George Niblock says:

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

  381. Rachel McNally says:

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

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

    • nicola leahy says:

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

      • Oz says:

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

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

        • Larry says:

          Here here

        • George Niblock says:

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

  382. Helen Flynn says:

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

  383. A Taylor says:

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

    • Sarah says:

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

  384. Katherine Jacob says:

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

    Lets celebrate and recognise the councils who do something!


    • Larry leigh says:

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

  385. Katherine Jacob says:

    Dear All

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

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

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

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

    Your thoughts?

  386. Chris says:

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

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

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

  387. Richard Cooper says:

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

  388. Sarah Wheeler says:

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

    • Helen Knowles says:

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

    • Billy bee says:

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

  389. J Armstrong says:

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

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

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

  390. gwen maka says:

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

    • Billy bee says:

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

  391. Maureen Wagstaff says:

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

  392. George Niblock says:

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


  393. R A Cooper says:

    Well done Peter – keep at them!

    • George Niblock says:

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

  394. Joy Walton says:

    The A14 joining the A1 -disgusting!

  395. George Niblock says:

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

  396. ROBERT KELLEY says:

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

  397. Valerie Carus says:

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

    • Larry leigh says:

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

      • George Niblock says:

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

  398. Diane Clarke says:

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

  399. Diane Clarke says:

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

  400. Dire Streets says:

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

    • Diane Clarke says:

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

  401. Christine Gandy says:

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

  402. Helen Flynn says:


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

    Dear Ms Flynn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Kind regards

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

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

    Dear Highways England,

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

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

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

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

    Yours sincerely,
    Helen Flynn

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

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

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

  403. T Poole says:

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

  404. Diane Lomas says:

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

  405. Dave says:

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

  406. George Niblock says:

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

    • Diane Clarke says:

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

  407. Derek Gilman says:

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

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

  408. Kathryn Trickett says:

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

  409. Helen Flynn says:

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

    • David Basson says:

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

  410. OC says:

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

    • Jonathan R says:

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

  411. Carol Foster says:

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

  412. Gayle Seymour says:

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

  413. Marjo says:

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

  414. Annette kirby says:

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

  415. angela parsons says:

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

    • Vanessa Dent says:

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

      • Virginia Wenban says:

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

      • Derek Gilman says:

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

  416. Richie Bell says:

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

  417. Kirsty Mitchem says:

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

    • Larry leigh says:

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

  418. Pauline Cordery says:

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

  419. Alan Wicks says:

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

  420. Rebecca says:

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

  421. Neil malloy says:

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

  422. Richard Cooper says:

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

  423. Jonathan R says:

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

  424. David Formstone says:

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

  425. Paul Wiley says:

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

  426. Mary says:

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

  427. David says:

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

  428. Robert Pickles says:

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

    • Dave says:

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

  429. Helen Flynn says:

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

    Thank you everyone! Helen

    • Sarah says:

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

    • Annette kirby says:

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

  430. Pete Miners says:

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

  431. Raymond Leggett says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

  432. David Hanson says:

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

  433. Steve Wheeler says:

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

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

  434. Jeane says:

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

    • Les Walker says:

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

    • Yvonne Sanders says:

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

      Dear Ms Sanders

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

      Kind regards


      Customer Contact Centre | Advisor

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

      Tel: 0300 123 5000

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

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

  435. Brian says:

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

  436. Brian says:

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

  437. Chris Dring says:

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

  438. helen sawyer says:

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

  439. Deborah Bullock says:

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

  440. Allegra Stone says:

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

  441. Jeff North says:

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

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

  442. David Sandets says:

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

    • Sarah says:

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

    • Chris Dring says:

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

      • mary stubbs says:

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

        • Les Walker says:

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

    • Alice says:

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

  443. Stephen Robson says:

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

  444. Jane Rusher says:

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

  445. Janet Douglas says:

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

  446. DAVID FIDLER says:

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

    • Fiona Battrum says:

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

      • Sarah says:

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

  447. Daniel says:

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

  448. David Sandets says:

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

  449. Jood Gough says:

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

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

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

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

    • Alice says:

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

  450. J Grogan says:

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

    • Sarah says:

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

  451. Paul James says:

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

    • Larry leigh says:

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

    • David Rate says:

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

      • sian says:

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

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

  452. Jane Bosley says:

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

  453. Paul Strong says:

    200 mile journey from Cardiff to Lincoln.

    The amount of litter is sickening.

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

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

    Wasted my time.

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

    Frankly our road verges are a national disgrace.

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

  454. Douglas.G.Lucas says:

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

  455. J D HUNT says:

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

    • Alice says:

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

  456. Sarah says:

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

  457. John Seabrook says:

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

  458. April Lambourne says:

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

  459. Karen Coombs says:

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

  460. John Norfolk says:

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

    • Richard says:

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

      • Norman Roper says:

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

  461. Sarah says:

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

  462. Jermayne says:

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

  463. Terry Vickery says:

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

    Terry V.

    • Milly says:

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

      • Fiona Battrum says:

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

  464. Jeane says:

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

  465. Mirko says:

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

  466. Jean Glayzer says:

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

  467. M karakas says:

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

    • Mary Ann Dowrick says:

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

  468. alan says:

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

  469. Pat Crompton says:

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

    • Helen says:

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

  470. Yvonne Sanders says:

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

  471. Tricia Mulvany says:

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

  472. Tricia Mulvany says:

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

  473. Frances Knight says:

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

    • Virginia Wenban says:

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

  474. Annabel Pearce says:

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

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

  475. Les Walker says:

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

    • Mary Ann Dowrick says:

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

      • Mary Ann Dowrick says:

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

  476. Richard Powell says:

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

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

  477. John D says:

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

    • Sally Hart says:

      Yes another good idea

    • Terry Dean says:

      John D,

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

      I’m up for it.

  478. Amanda Flude says:

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

    • Tony Measom says:

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

  479. Had Enough says:

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

  480. Les Walker says:

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

  481. Mark says:

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

  482. Brian Mead says:

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

  483. Mike phillips says:

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

    • jane Farley says:

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

  484. Lee Robinson says:

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

    • Sally Hart says:

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

  485. chris Gandy says:

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

  486. Claire Bass says:

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

  487. Tom Cooke says:

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

    • Jane Tierney says:

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

  488. Martin Bannerman says:

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

    • Mark says:

      My thoughts as well Martin.

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

      • Helen Piper says:

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

  489. Jane says:

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

  490. Vivienne Carter says:

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

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

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

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

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

    • Mary Ann Dowrick says:

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

  491. Jonathan Burns says:

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

  492. Linda Hardie says:

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

  493. Diane sadler says:

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

  494. Matthew says:

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

    • Laurence Wells says:

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

    • Rlj says:

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

      Well done Peter… keep it up.

  495. Mark Godfrey says:

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

    • Simon Martin says:

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

      • Anne says:

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

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

    • Mike Phillips says:

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

  496. 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.

  497. 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.

  498. 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.

  499. 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?

  500. 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.

  501. 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!

  502. 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.

  503. Paul James says:

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

    • Lydie Dalton says:

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

  504. 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!

  505. 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


  506. 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

  507. 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?

  508. 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

  509. 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.

  510. caroline taylor says:

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

  511. 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.

  512. 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.

  513. 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.

  514. CAROLINE BONHAM says:

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

    • Larry leigh says:

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

  515. Rick says:

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

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

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

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

    • Matt says:

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

      • Derek Gilman says:

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

    • Fiona Battrum says:

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

  516. 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.

  517. 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.

  518. 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?

  519. 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”!

  520. 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?

  521. 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.

  522. 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.

  523. 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.

  524. 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?

  525. Trevor Mepham says:

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

  526. 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.

  527. 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!

  528. 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

  529. 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.

  530. 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.

  531. 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

  532. 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?

  533. Sandra says:

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

  534. 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.

  535. Craig says:

    World Cup: Japan fans impress by cleaning up stadium:


  536. 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.

  537. 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.

  538. 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.

  539. Jean says:

    A2/potholes etc Canterbury-Dover

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

  540. 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…

  541. 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.

  542. 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?


  543. 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….

  544. Bren Groom says:

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

  545. 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!

  546. 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.

  547. 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.

  548. 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!!!!!!

  549. 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.

  550. 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 ?

  551. 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!

  552. Cherry Mills says:

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