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Newsletter- May 2014

On May 28, 2014, in Newsletter, by PeterSilverman
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Manchester Evening News report

The Manchester Evening News have just published an article based on my research into the decline in litter-picking in Highways Agency Area 10.

Highways Agency to become a company

The government have announced that the Highways Agency is to become a government owned private company. This will  free staff from civil service pay restrictions.

I have written to Louise Ellman MP, the Chair of the Commons Transport Committee questioning the unit cost savings claimed by Highways Agency CEO, Graham Dalton. I pointed out that getting a worse service for less money does not qualify. I went on to say:

“I hope  that all of the claims made by the Mr Dalton in his evidence, including those for the improved  efficiency that he believes will apply if the Agency becomes an independent company, will not be just taken at face value”.

You have also been busy

Michael Pease had discovered that Stockport Council only clean the high speed sections of the A34 once a year!

Ian Dare has found out that the Highways Agency contractor for the East Midlands is only obliged to clear litter from the M1 once a year.

Aylesbury Vale Council have admitted to Mike Coker that they only clean the A41 every 3 months.

Chris Dawson has discovered that Gateshead Council litter pick the A1, a Highways Agency road, just once a year.

Dave Brooker has established that the Highways Agency contractor clears the M23 every other month.

James Miller has exposed a whole raft of shortcomings in Highways Agency Area 2. It would take 12 years to litter pick all the verges at the rate they operate.

This will all provide useful ammunition in my efforts to get roads minister, Robert Goodwill, to accept that the DfT are operating in breach of their duty under EPA S89(1) .  Please keep the feedback coming.

The review that never was

I am trying to find out how motorway cleansing standards may have been compromised by the 2010 Spending Review.

The previous roads minister, Stephen Hammond MP, had said in a letter to his predecessor, Mike Penning MP, that:

“During your time at the DfT you oversaw a major review of the Agency’s maintenance contracts. This review was designed to deliver a similar level of service for road users including litter picking but at a much reduced cost”

I therefore put in a freedom of information request to the DfT for a copy of this major review. They only responded after I had complained to the Information Commissioner that my request was being ignored.

I was then  told that they do not hold any such review documents and that no such report had been commissioned.

Who do you believe, the minister or the civil servants?

Read all about it here

Government TO-DO-LIST

You will see this at the bottom of the Clean Highways Mission and Progress page.

I will be writing again shortly to Robert Goodwill MP to progress all of the items on the list.

Kind regards

Peter Silverman
28th May 2014
see post of this newsletter

 

 

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