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This island is on A405 near Brickets Wood in Hertfordshire is a Highways England trunk road linking the M1 and M25. HE, not the local authority, have the statutory duty to keep it clear of litter.

The photograph was taken by a local resident on 29th of January 2020. I sent a copy to HE’s Operations Directors, Nick Harris on 4th February. someone replied on his behalf on 17th February saying:

“We are also responsible for the triangular traffic island at the A405 junction with Mount Pleasant Lane. We plan to clear the location by the end of this month, subject to road space availability. The area was due to be cleaned on the 3 February 2020. However, this road has been used as a diversion route for the Gade Valley works and major street lighting works on the M25 at junction 21, consequently the clearance could not take place.”

I took another photograph on 17th February and compiled this montage using screen shots from Google Street view.

Only the October 2018 Street View has been omitted. What this shows is that HE have failed to comply with their statutory duty to keep the area free of litter and detritus throughout this period.

Feb 2020

Careful scrutiny of the first two shots shows that a number of items present in April 2019 were still in situ on 17th February 2020. The most obvious being what looks like an 18 inch metal strip shown to the right and above. No meaningful cleaning therefore took place for at least 9 months – probably much longer considering the condition of the island in April 2019.

Similarly, the bricks in the gutter present in April 2018 were still in situ in November. These potentially dangerous item were left in place for at least 6 months.

Click here to see a larger version of the montage

This road is part of HE’s Area 5. maintenance and cleansing is contracted out to Connect Plus M25 Ltd. The Dft have stated that:

“ .. Connect Plus is monitored on their performance with respect to removing litter from the strategic road network. This covers failure to collect litter within the timescales of set out in the DEFRA Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse. Failure to meet their contractual obligations can trigger sanctions….” (e)

Clean Highways to DfT 15th May 2019

The “last resort” timescale for “Motorway and trunk road roundabouts and lay-bys, approach and slip roads connecting to these roads” under DEFRA Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse is 14 days. Not 14 months!


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