Litter on England’s major roads

How Highways England tackles the litter problem

Call Highways England on 0300 123 5000 to report litter spilling from vehicles or skips, on motorways and major A-roads.

Litter is a big national problem and affects every corner of the country. According to Keep Britain Tidy, it’s estimated to cost the taxpayer over £850 million a year to clear away.

Highways England is only responsible for cleaning litter on motorways and a small number of A roads, but every year we remove 200,000 sacks of litter from the roads we manage.

That’s why we work in partnership with a range of other organisations, including local authorities, to tackle the problem.


  • collect more than 7,500 tonnes of litter from our roads each year
  • increasingly focus on litter hotspots with better monitoring, litter clearance and enforcement
  • work with local authorities to coordinate litter picking activity
  • work with motorway services to discourage littering
  • deliver national and local campaigns to discourage littering

Bag it, bin it

Litter is a threat to wildlife and a dangerous hazard for road users. It also creates danger for road workers who are at risk from traffic while they collect litter.

The money Highways England spends clearing litter could be better spent on other priorities such as repairing potholes.

Always remember to keep a bag in your vehicle to put your rubbish in, then dispose of it later safely.

Bag it, bin it


  1. Highways England's Litter Strategy

    • Corporate report
  2. Responsibility for clearing litter from motorways and roads

    • Corporate report
  3. Litter on strategic road network

    • Government response

News releases

Published 4 August 2015