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M32 J1 – not cleaned for over a year

On April 17, 2013, in Highways Agency, M32, by PeterSilverman

Photos show that a verge of the southbound slip road of J1 of the M32 has not been cleaned for over a year!

M32 J1  green bag


Andrew Edgington send me the photograph on the left last year – one of several showing the badly littered state of J1 of the M32 in South Gloucestershire. Last week he sent the the one on the right pointing out that the green bag was still there – over a year later!

The junction falls within Highways Agency Area 2. The maintenance contract for this area was awarded to Atkins-Skanska from 1st July 2012.

Andrew had complained to the Highways Agency last year and received a response from their then contractor for the area Balfour Beatty. Their Customer Care Officer said that:

Whilst I do not wish to appear unhelpful, as litter is not safety critical and with premium being placed on cost saving given the current financial climate, our budgets are restricted to maintain the minimum acceptable standard.

Our Senior Route Engineer confirms that that we are correctly working and following the litter picking requirements outlined by the Highways Agency and unless we are instructed to spend more money by our Client we will continue to follow these practices

He then wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport saying the contractor had said they did not have enough money to keep the motorway clean.

He received a reply from Graham Dalton the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency which failed to address any of the points he had made.

He wrote again to the Secretary of State. This time he received a reply from Ginny Clarke, a Highways Agency Board Director on 24th May 2012. She said that the junction was:

“.. difficult to access safely and the traffic management alone would cost £1,000, Clearance of  this litter will be programmed with other with other works to get best value from the traffic management”.


” The Environmental Protection act code of practice ….. states at paragraph  11.4.7 that for motorways litter picking should be combined with other maintenance operations (such as sweeping and gully emptying)”.

She made no reference to the Secretary of State’s duty under S89(1)  to …… to ensure that the motorways  are, so far as is practicable, kept clear of litter and refuse.  She seems to be implying that cleaning need only take place when there is other maintenance work to be done. Please refer to How the litter code is misinterpreted (2)

10 months later this section of the junction had still not been cleaned. The green bag was still there.

Peter Silverman
17th April 2013








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