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Highways England’s e-mail to Philip Swift of 11th January 2021 is a beautiful example of the Government’s policy of dumbing down HE’s statutory duty on litter. No mention is made of the EPA statutory duty.

This is what they say with my comments:

…under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Highways England are responsible for litter collection on England’s motorways and some A roads….

WRONG – Under EPA S89 HE have a statutory duty to ENSURE, so far as is practical (n.b. not “reasonably practical”) that the motorways etc are KEPT CLEAR OF LITTER. Someone just “responsible for litter collectioncould collect it as and when they felt like doing so

We aim to keep our roads clean and tidy in accordance with The Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse”.

Complying with the Code’s last resort response times is not consistent with the S89 duty. A busy trunk road lay-by might need a daily clean but cleaning it every 2 weeks would suffice for the Code. See DEFRA in breach of EPA over Litter Code’s response times.

“Our overall approach to reducing litter on network is set out in our Highways England Litter Strategy”.

Which also does not spell out the EPA S89 Duty.

In addition picking litter is not a good use of time or taxpayers money and better used to fund other road maintenance. 

We are a rich country and should be able to keep our roads clean and in good repair. HE do neither.

We … work closely with anti-litter organisations like Keep Britain Tidy to make littering socially unacceptable.

No wonder KBT never criticise you. Whatever you do with them is not working. Try prosecuting waste transporters who spill their loads onto our motorways. Try to obtain the powers to fine the registers keeper of vehicles from which litter is thrown. Try complying with your EPA S89 duty by instituting regular cleansing. Stop making excuses.


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