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Copy of e-mail of 29th July 2015

For the attention of Andrew Jones MP
Department for Transport

Dear Mr Jones,

Please accept my belated congratulations on your appointment as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport with responsibility for national roads and Highways England.

I run the Clean Highways campaign and work closely with Andrew Gwynne MP. I therefore read with interest your answer to his question about litter on Highways England’s network.

You said that “To be fair to Highways England, they are not the people who deposit the litter in the first place

This is true but on the other hand it is Highways England, and Highways England alone, who have a statutory duty under S89(1) of the Environmental Protection Act to ensure, so far as is practicable, that the motorways, and some of the trunk roads, on their network are kept clear of litter and refuse.

It’s possible you may not be aware of this duty as it is not spelt out in any of the Highways England launch documents including the Road Investment Strategy and Highways England’s Delivery Plan, or even, strange as it may seem, in their Litter Strategy document. Please refer to Highways England seemingly in denial of duty on litter.

In any event HE are clearly not complying with the duty.

In March 2010 one of your predecessors, Mike Penning MP, described the motorways as being blighted by litter. However in his subsequent period in office he oversaw a 40% cut in routine maintenance / litter- picking funding and introduced a new cost saving contract. When this was implemented in Area 10 in November 2012 it resulted in a 57% fall in the average amount of litter collected each month.  Area 10 covers the Manchester and Liverpool conurbations and includes Andrew’s constituency.

Road user concerns about the resultant accumulations of litter on motorway verges were vividly demonstrated in my Dirty Dossier.

If you have time please refer to my ongoing report “Litter on motorways and trunk roads”. Towards the bottom of the page I have summarised the various initiatives I am working on with HE to help bring them into compliance with their duty on litter.

I would welcome you support in this endeavour.

Kind regards

Peter Silverman

(Phone number removed)

pdf version

Disappointing reply received on 28th September 2015


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