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Remarkedly Highways England’s Litter Strategy  makes no mention of their EPA S89 Duty to keep land and highways clear of litter in its 6 pages.

In an email to Sarah Crawford Nick Harris, Highways England’s Operation Director has misrepresented HE’s statutory duty under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. He wrote:

Under the terms of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, we are responsible for the management and removal of litter on the motorway network and some trunk roads.


Our overall approach to litter on our network is guided by our litter strategy. This strategy was developed to outline strategic goals and initiatives to support the effective management of litter on motorways in England. It sets out a vision for keeping motorways free of litter as far as is reasonably possible.

The duty under EPA S89 (1) is:

To ensure, so far as is practicable, that their highways (this includes the verges)  are kept clear of litter and refuse.

A duty to remove litter would be satisfied by an annual litter pick. This would not however be ensure the the land was kept clear of litter.

So far as is practicable” has morphed to “as far as is reasonably possible“.

With the former cost is a relevant consideration. With the latter it is not. (See the 2 minute video “Duty to keep highways clear of litter”).


Highways England do not fully recognise duty under EPA



Peter Silverman
21st February 2017


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