Motorways to be fitted with bins and sweeping to stop littering
Highways England is trialling new methods to cut down on rubbish after it’s revealed it costs £8m a year to clean up roads
Brits chucking rubbish out the car window costs taxpayers £8million a year to clean up, according to new figures.
And Highways England is trialling new ways to get lazy drivers to put their litter in bins rather than dumping it at the roadside.
If they’re successful these projects will be rolled out across the network with the agency responsible for cleaning up motorways and a small number of A-roads.
New giant funnel bins could be installed at motorway service stations in England so drivers can throw litter directly from their cars into the bins.
And to protect roadside workers, huge new sweepers with lightweight, long-reach hoses are being used to get rubbish off grass verges.
The agency revealed it fills 550 sacks a day costing £40 each – the same price as fixing a pothole.
It’s so bad in some areas that Highways England has dubbed them “litter hotspots” with 7,000 bags of rubbish cleared up from these 25 areas since January.
And some of the weirdest items cleared up include money, push bikes, fridges, settees, bed frames, mattresses, oil drums and tyres.
A Highways England spokesman said: “Clearing litter from busy roads such as motorways is a huge challenge costing time and money which could be better spent on other priorities.
“Every year we remove about 200,000 sacks of litter from across our motorways, at the cost of around £40 a sack – the equivalent of fixing a pothole.
“Crews pick litter from our network every day and in addition since January 2017 we have focussed resources on a more rapid clean up at 25 litter hotspots.
“Picking litter close to fast-moving traffic puts our workers at risk.
“It is also unsightly as well as a risk to wildlife and the environment, so we urge road users to take their litter home and are working with partners such as Keep Britain Tidy to tackle the problem at source and make littering socially unacceptable.”