National Highways has again joined Keep Britain Tidy’s national litter-picking effort, which runs to 10 April, in a push to clear rubbish from the roads.
The government-owned company says litter takes a devastating toll on the environment and costs around £1 billion every year to clean up. It also poses a serious safety risk as road verges and barriers form corridors where litter and debris build up at an alarming rate, creating a hazardous environment for road users, wildlife and the maintenance crews who clean it up.
Freda Rashdi, Head of Customer and Operational Requirements for National Highways, said:, “We’ve taken up Keep Britain Tidy’s ‘Big Bag Challenge’ and pledged to pick at least 8,000 bags of litter for this year’s Great British Spring Clean. Over the course of the last six campaigns we’ve collected 60,000 bags, and we’re proud to be joining this vital cause for its seventh year.
“Our priority is to keep our roads safe and well maintained, and litter is a huge issue that we’re tackling daily. We value Keep Britain Tidy’s commitment to eliminating litter, as well as their partnership in our efforts to keep litter off our roads.
“The simple fact is that if litter wasn’t dropped in the first place it wouldn’t need to be picked up. So, this is an opportunity to remind people that they too can make a difference simply by saving litter for the bin.”
National Highways itself is responsible for collecting litter from England’s motorways and a small number of A-roads.
A ‘day of action’ near Manchester at the start of April will see National Highways maintenance teams joined by Keep Britain Tidy for a targeted litter collection on the M56.
And around Sheffield, teams are doing a spring clean of culverts and roadside drainage systems, clearing items dumped by fly tippers to reduce flood risks for local communities.
In the South East, GoPro cameras are being used to monitor litter ‘hot spots’. This technology helps maintenance teams highlight problem areas, and analyse how quickly they fill up again with rubbish after cleaning. The M25 is one of the routes currently being monitored.
National Highways says while this annual campaign runs for a matter of weeks, it picks litter throughout the year and carries out regular inspections to make sure England’s motorways and major A-roads are in good condition. The company says it wants to hear from anyone who spots something wrong on the road. This could be anything from a broken sign or barrier, to litter, overgrown vegetation or potholes.
(Picture – Rubbish retrieved from the fly tipping site in Sheffield, courtesy National Highways)