M32 – 2011

Example of how Highways Agency flout duties under S 89 of the Environmental Protection Act

Andrew Edgington took theses photos in July 2011.

He says:  “I used to work in Bristol and used the M32 to commute to my office  from 1978-2006 when I retired.  During that time  I cannot recall ever seeing anyone litter picking the motorway

On 21st of July 2011 he complained to the Highways Agency about the littered state of this motorway .  His complaint and the resulting correspondence can be seen here.

The Highways Agency simply passed the complaint onto their contractor, Balfour Beatty.

When asked for a  “copy of your inspection / cleaning strategy / code of practice” the contractor was not able to supply one.

They say that the section from J2 to the Bristol end of the motorway is cleaned bi-monthly i.e. every 8 weeks.  See e-mail.

They claim that if any section becomes littered to Litter Code of Practice grade C, widespread distribution of litter and/or refuse with minor accumulations, they have 28 days to clean it up.

Contrast this with the Section 89 (1) of the Environmental Protection Act which requires the Secretary of State,  in effect the Highways Agency, as respects any a motorway (legally, a special road)  to ensure that the land is, so far as is practicable, kept clear of litter and refuse.

“Practicable”, as opposed to “reasonably practical” means” physically possible” with no consideration of cost.

This in essence is the nub of the problem with our motorway system.  Parliament has laid down one standard and the Highways Agency, in concert with their contractors, operate another.

Peter Silverman
22nd August 2011


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