Highways England is to install bins and ‘Keep it tidy’ signs in 14 lay-bys in the South West of England. This follows the work of local councils in identifying the worst affected lay-bys for roadside rubbish.
Signage has been installed along the A30 and A38 in Devon and Cornwall, but Highways England is also teaming up with councils in Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Tewkesbury, Gloucester and the Forest of Dean.
Work on the £80,000 scheme will start this weekend, initially in three lay-bys near Bath. Lay-bys to receive attention over the coming weeks are on the A303, A36, A40, A46 and A4.
Highways England says the work will improve the lives of local communities and motorists, but will also save time and money spent clearing rubbish from the roadsides.
Around 200,000 bags of rubbish are collected from England’s motorways every year. Although removing litter from the side of A-roads is the responsibility of local authorities, Highways England assists with any necessary road closures.
‘Littering is a social problem’
Chris Regan, South West head of service delivery for Highways England, said: “Littering is a social problem across the country and our priority, working closely with our partners, is to keep our roads safe and well maintained for drivers and neighbouring communities.
“Roadside litter is not just unsightly but it’s a threat to wildlife and the environment and it can also be a safety hazard for drivers, can block drains and picking it up puts roadworkers at risk.
“Litter collections are the responsibility of local authorities, but we’re delighted to be working in partnership with our councils and hopefully the layby work will not only help to get the message across but also reduce the work and risk for the councils’ workers.”
Councillor Bridget Wayman, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Highways, added: “We welcome this initiative on our major roads in Wiltshire, and we are pleased to be working in partnership with Highways England to reduce litter throughout the county.
“Wiltshire is a beautiful county and we are committed to keeping it that way, so please, use these bins and help to keep our lay-bys litter free.”