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ORR’s Annual Assessment of Highways England

On July 20, 2017, in Highways England, ORR, by PeterSilverman

No criticism by the ORR of what Ministers described as our “filthy motorways” with “appalling” amounts of “litter scarring our motorways”

Office of Rail & Road’s
APRIL 2016 – MARCH 2017

Only one paragraph in the 62 page report refers to “litter”

2.48   In 2015-16, we identified a number of actions Highways England should take to improve its performance in relation to litter on the network. It has responded to these actions in 2016-17.  For example, the company published its updated litter strategy 8 in June 2016. It has also provided us with evidence that it is working with stakeholders, such as Keep Britain Tidy, and has increased its focus on clearing litter ‘hot-spots’ on the network.

In the previous year’s report they included a section on litter which referred to stakeholders having raised the issue with them. However the only stakeholder to do so was Clean Highways.

No mention was made of HE’s statutory duty to keep their network clear of litter

No physical inspections of the condition of the network were, as far as I know, ever undertaken by or on behalf of the ORR.

In contrast to this two Ministers made disparaging about HE litter in the period covered by the report:

Lord Gardiner, later to be the DEFRA minister with responsibility for drafting the Government’s Litter Strategy, said;

“I am very conscious that many people from abroad see how filthy our motorways are and wonder about us (6th July House of Lords)”.

And Transport Minister John Hayes stated:

 “I want to do more to battle against litter and graffiti scarring our motorways, trunk roads, roadside facilities, and other places nearby” (His personal introduction to Government’s Litter Strategy April 2017) and

HE’ strategy on litter does not appear to be working, as the amounts of litter on roads is quite appalling“. (In a meeting with HE CEO Jim O’Sullivan in  February 2017 obtained via a FOI request)

Peter Silverman
20th July 2017






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