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Extract from HE’s Protocol for joint working on Highway Cleansing issues between Sub Regional Local Authority Districts, Highways England and their Contractors

Section 89(2) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 places a duty on the Secretary of State in respect of motorways, and on local authorities in respect of all other publicly maintainable highways in their area, to ensure that the highway or road is, so far as is practicable, kept clean. This is in addition to the section 89(1) requirement which relates to litter and refuse and therefore means removal of detritus.

In such cases the EPA requires the duty bodies to ensure their roads are kept clear of litter and refuse as far as is “practicable”.

“Practicable” however simply means “physically possible” without the need to take account of cost, time and trouble. This is in contrast to “reasonably practicable” where these considerations would come into play. Local authorities cannot therefore use traffic management as an excuse for not carrying out cleansing work on trunk roads …

The protocol was obtained via a freedom of information enquiry. I had asked for a copy of December 2015 Midlands Region partnership agreement. 

Peter Silverman
2nd January 2019


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