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Who is responsible for cleaning our roads

On June 14, 2010, in Highways Agency, Legislation, by PeterSilverman

The Environmental Protection Act (EPA)  S89 (1) and (2) ) makes the  relevant duty body  responsible for, as far as practicable, keeping their roads both clear of litter and refuse and clean. The duty bodies are:

The Secretary of State for Transport  for motorways (referred to as special roads in the EPA) and for certain trunk roads that, under EPA 86(11), he has retained responsibility for.  Click here to see a map of this network  and here to see a list of the roads with retained litter cleaning duties.

For all other roads the duty body is the local authority.

In London the GLA / Transport for London  is responsible for managing a network of trunk roads. However responsibility for cleaning lies with the London Boroughs.

EPA 89 (6) requires Local Authorities to comply with the directions of the Highways Agency (GLA) with regard to the placing of traffics signs and barriers and as to when cleaning should take place. They also have to ask the Highways Agency (or GLA) to apply temporary restrictions e.g. lane closures when appropriate.

Under EPA89 (7) DEFRA issues a code of practice to give practical guidance on the discharge of the duties imposed under S89 (1) and (2) and under (10) duty bodies shall have regard to it.

In England the Highways Agency employs Service Providers i.e. maintenance contractors to maintain and clean the motorways and trunk roads under their control.

Some local authorities, such as Suffolk, delegate the responsibilities to clean their trunk roads to the Highways Agency’s Service Provider.

The Highways Agency sets out the operating standards it expects from its Service Providers in its Network Management Manual.  This requires the Service Provider to maintain the network clear of litter and refuse in accordance with the Code Of Practice on Litter and Refuse with the “emphasis being on consistent and appropriate management to keep it clean rather than how often it is cleaned”


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