Roadside litter ‘a national disgrace’

Highways England and Keep Britain Tidy are running a September campaign encouraging motorists to keep motorways litter-free.

Highways England patrol officer

Roadside litter is a risk to wildlife, the environment and workers who have to pick it up, as well as being unsightly, says Highways England.

It has now joined forces with Keep Britain Tidy in a September campaign encouraging motorists to do their bit.

“Rubbish, dangerously thrown from vehicles and left to rot on our roads, is a national disgrace,” said Keep Britain Tidy’s Richard McIlwain.

“It damages wildlife that has taken refuge along these valuable corridors that are currently punctuated by chucked food and drink packaging, and millions of flicked cigarette butts.”

Roadside litter, he added, is “arguably one of Britain’s worst forms of littering”.

Highways England says 200,000 bags of litter are collected from the motorway network each year.

This, said the organisation’s Freda Rashdi, “puts our workers at risk collecting it and diverts time and money that could be better spent on improving the network”.

Highways England is now organising extra litter picks in September and is urging motorists to take their litter home.  

“We want to use this campaign as a springboard to a longer-term partnership that will increase campaigning to raise awareness that stops people tossing litter from vehicles once and for all.”

The Great British September Clean runs until 27 September.


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Richard Aucock
Richard is director at Motoring Research. He has been with us since 2001, and has been a motoring journalist even longer. He won the IMCO Motoring Writer of the Future Award in 1996 and the acclaimed Sir William Lyons Award in 1998. Both awards are run by the Guild of Motoring Writers and Richard is currently chairman of the world's largest organisation for automotive media professionals. Richard is also a juror for World Car Awards and the UK juror for the AUTOBEST awards.



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