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Cleansing of high speed dual carriageways

On February 2, 2015, in Local Authorities, by PeterSilverman
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The verges of Thanet Way are now only to be litter-picked once a year!

It is patently absurd that one public body has to pick up the litter  before another comes in to cut the grass.

The Secretary of State should exercise his power under EPA S86 (11) to transfer  the responsibility for cleansing this road from the local authority, Thanet District Council,  to the Highways Authority, Kent County Council

This post looks at the cleansing responsibilities for high speed main roads. They are typically dual carriageways with no pavements or hard shoulders. Responsibility for cleansing lies with the local authority while the County Council, in its capacity as the Highways Authority,  is responsible for all other aspects of their maintenance.

Case Study – Thanet Way (A229) in Kent

Thanet Way3Thanet Way2Nigel Phethean  took these photographs and wrote to Kent County Council in 2013 about this road  saying

I am sure you like me have seen the enormous amount of litter which now despoils the approach to Thanet and has a most negative impact in terms of the image of the place”.

They replied saying:

“Street cleansing is the responsibility of the local District and Borough Councils. All high speed dual carriageways in Kent are looked after by Kent County Council (KCC), and these are subject to twice yearly maintenance works involving lane closures. During these lane closures we try an incorporate all maintenance activities including making the space available for District Council cleaning teams (who are responsible for the street sweeping on the highway). As part of our high speed road programme we are working with District Council partners to coordinate their cleansing and litter picking activity with our routine grass cutting and other essential maintenance”.

He later wrote to Thanet District Council (TDC) about the same road saying:

Could you please let me know about litter collection as the verges are now covered in plastic sheets,bags, etc and are a disgrace“.

 Thanet District Council replied saying:

“The response from local authorities has been to only clean the Thanet Way and other high speed roads when there is appropriate traffic management in place to cone off the inside lane and reduce the speed of traffic to 50 mph.

In light of this we have the verges litter picked twice a year when KCC contractors carry out verge cutting, we employ these contractors to do the litter picking on our behalf this essentially means that we piggy back on the traffic management put in place by KCC which is very expensive. This results in a cleaning frequency of two times a year although we would like to increase this the associated traffic management would be expensive”.

 In April 2014  Thanet District Council  wrote to Nigel saying:

“Thank you for your latest correspondence ….  from KCC ….., I am aware that they have only scheduled one lane closure for verge maintenance this year which is disappointing.  At present there is no budget allocated for additional lane closures….,”

The verges of this busy road are now only to be litter-picked once a year!

It is patently absurd that one public body has to pick up the litter from the verges before another comes in to cut the grass.

The Secretary of State should exercise his power under EPA S86 (11) to transfer  the responsibility for cleansing this road from the local authority, Thanet District Council,  to the Highways Authority, Kent County Council. 

 

Nigel Phethean’s correspondence with Thanet District Council and Kent County Council

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Cleansing of trunk roads which are part of the strategic network

Peter Silverman
2nd February 2015

 

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