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County Councils and roadside litter picking

On August 14, 2015, in Legislation, Local Authorities, by PeterSilverman

District Councils, not County Councils, are responsible for highway litter-picking

Local government is some areas of England is in the hands of a “Unitary Authority” responsible for all local government matters.

In other areas the old two tier systems still applies. The County Council is responsible for certain functions including “highways” while the District Council is responsible for other functions including “waste collection”.

But who is responsible for litter picking the highways?

The Environmental Protection Act S86(9) says which local authority bodies are responsible for complying with the EPA S89 duty to ensure their relevant highways are kept clear of litter. The list includes “District Councils”. It does not include “County Councils”.

It appears therefore that in two-tier areas it is the District not the County Council who is responsible for litter picking the the highways except of course any motorways and certain Highways England Trunk roads.

This means that while the County is responsible for cutting the verges on main roads the District has to pick up the litter.

Environmental Protection Act

Unitary and other local authorities in England

Peter Silverman
14th August 2015




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