Government response

Litter on strategic road network

Response to Accrington Observer about litter on the strategic road network including along the M65 and M61.

A spokesman for the Highways Agency said:

“The Highways Agency recognises that litter is an on-going problem, and takes its removal from the motorway network seriously. We have an obligation under the Environmental Protection Act in respect of controlling litter, and have regular inspections and a continual programme in place to keep the network clean.

“The area of the M65 around Altham was cleared of litter during the week of 9 April, but subsequently litter from the tip blew back onto the roads, and we are working with the county council to resolve this issue. The M61 junction 4 is due to be litter picked between 20 and 22 May following recent inspections.

“Road workers collect more than 180,000 sacks of rubbish every year, and the Highways Agency recently ran a campaign asking road users to help reduce the amount of litter on motorways and major A-roads, urging motorists to carry a rubbish bag in their car and use it to collect rubbish before disposing of it responsibly. Litter is not just unsightly, but can cause accidents, block drains and endanger wildlife. In addition, clearing litter from along the carriageway can put workers at risk. While the Highways Agency will continue to regularly inspect and clear the roads and verges, we would also encourage drivers to play their part in keeping the networks free from litter.”