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Letter from Jesse Norman MP, Under-secretary for State (roads), to Claire Perry MP 13th Sept 2017

In this letter Jesse Norman has misrepresented HE’s statutory duty. He says that it is to “collect litter” which implies HE can do this “as and when they decide to get round to it” which of course is what their contractors do. The duty however is to “ensure” the highway is “kept clear of litter”.

He goes on to say Highways England “complies with the gradings set out in the Litter Code of Practice”. How do you comply with a grading?  LCOP 7.3 / 7.4 effectively says that road verges should be cleansed on a regular basis to Grade B (clear of litter, apart from some small items). But there is no regular cleaning – it’s all reactive cleaning.

Apart that is in the new Asset Delivery contract which only applies to those areas where the old contracts have come up for renewal.  The Area 7  contact says that the M45 and parts of the M1 are to be cleaned just once a year!

On safety he says “Sadly, littering is wholly preventable and collecting it on motorways puts people’s lives at risk, as it is necessary to install traffic management in order to pick litter safely. Additionally, the time and money spent could instead be used on improving the road network.”

What is new here is that he is saying is that workers are put at risk not while they are picking up the litter but while they are putting out the cones to create a safe gap between the litter-pickers and the moving traffic.

I have asked HE for clarification on this.

Peter Silverman
8th November 2017


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