As an update to our recent summary of Freedom of Information request findings, we have also been asking councils for details on how often they litter-pick the A-roads in their area.
Sevenoaks District Council deny responsibility for litter-picking the A21, saying that it was last done by National Highways/Kent County Council in July 2021 and they are not aware of any current plans to do it again. Previous responses from them confirmed that they have never litter-picked their central reservation area and believe this to be the responsibility of National Highways (even though it is quite clear in NH’s one published, publicly-available map that they are not responsible for any part of the A21, and neighbouring councils and Kent County Council have confirmed that the district and borough councils are responsible for the road).
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council took months to provide the information about their litter-picking schedule, and when provided, it revealed that their section was last litter-picked in October 2021 and is just about to be litter-picked again. Their original response to our query also stated that they believed Kent County Council were responsible for litter-picking, although both they and KCC have subsequently confirmed that this is not true.
While this is just two councils, it is indicative of the chaos out there which produces the visible results along the UK’s A-roads.
If you have done any Freedom of Information requests to find out whether your local authority regularly litter-picks any A-roads which run through them, please do send them in to us on firstname.lastname@example.org
I have written over the years to Essex County Council, Ipswich Borough Council, Colchester Borough Council,
Babergh District Council. Frankly I would have more success talking to a rock. I have written again to Colchester Borough Council CEO about the atrocious condition of the A12 ( …applies equally to the A14) the regular littering and now fly tipping in broad daylight.
Keeping it very simple, the litter is not being picked up. There is no effort to catch and prosecute. It is all too difficult and complicated.
I would happily share some detail of of past letters but I wonder why these two major arterial roads A12 and A14 connecting Felixstowe the biggest port in the UK and also the port of Harwich to the rest of the UK is not centrally managed. Each council these roads pass through is responsible for litter picking and each point the finger at the other as being responsible. Can we campaign for central management of these roads – then with just one authority to hold to account/
I had precisely the same problem. I contacted National Highways about the A14 and they said they had ‘leased’ the litter picking to the council. I then phoned Suffolk County Council who said, after being passed from pillar to post, that the A14 was not the responsibility of one body. I requested that the road be cleaned of litter and they assured me it would. Two months later and the waste is still there. I once even saw the ridiculous sight of one stretch of the road litter picked but the next litter-strewn section was left because it was not their responsibility as that section was managed by someone else. To be honest, I think the council doesn’t give a damn about the issue and regards people like us who raise the problem as an irritant. It’s a joke as the council is always banging on about their commitment to green issues but then allows their roads to become rubbish dumps.
This is all so familiar; the A12& A14 are shockingly filthy , especially noticeable at this time of year. The most successful strategy we’ve had in getting the DC’s ( in this case East Cambs DC & A14) is to tell them the local MP is visiting the area together with a journalist & photographer-magic clearing of lay-bys , though the verges still smothered. Another threat is to raise a Litter Abatement Notice.
I wish the Times would follow up their Clean It Up water campaign with a litter one…