Teams swoop to spruce up A38 during road closure
A discarded mattress, 1,000-litre oil drum and more than 70 bags of litter were collected in a clean-up of the verges alongside the A38 in Staffordshire.
Highways England, Kier and East Staffordshire Borough Council seized the opportunity to carry out routine maintenance when the A38 southbound was closed for gas works.
The southbound carriageway had to be closed between Branston and Alrewas for a weekend for utility works. Carrying out litter-picking and maintenance work at the same time avoided the need for further road closures on this stretch.
While the litter picking took place, Highways England contractor Kier also replaced 100 pieces of ironwork, such as manhole and drain covers, over the weekend. They were also able to safely retrieve traffic management equipment such as signs and sandbags that were no longer needed.
Highways England Route Manager for Staffordshire, David East, said:
“We take the opportunity whenever possible to coordinate works with other organisations to reduce the number of road closures needed. It is important to us that we protect road workers but also that we cause the minimum disruption to road users and neighbouring communities.
“It was shocking to see how much litter had been discarded by people along our road. Littering can put workers at risk when they have to collect it. It’s unsightly and creates a danger for road users seeking a safe refuge when they have broken down as well as being a risk to wildlife and the environment.”
Councillor Ray Faulkner, Deputy Leader for Environment and Housing at East Staffordshire Borough Council, said:
“The Council is committed to ensuring cleanliness levels on the A38 are maintained and the road closure provided the ideal opportunity to carry out litter-picking.
“Whilst we visit the laybys regularly, access to the carriageway is limited so there is a responsibility on drivers to dispose of their litter correctly by placing their rubbish in a bin or taking it home with them.”
Ian Allen, Area 9 operations director at Kier Highways, said:
“We always work collaboratively with Highways England and other local authorities on targeted road closure opportunities. As well as achieving significant efficiencies it also gives our road maintenance teams a safe working environment to ensure all of our employees go home safe and well.”
Highways England is calling on drivers to ‘be part of the pick’ and join them in doing their bit to reduce litter levels on the nation’s roads as part of the Great British Spring Clean.
The Great British Spring Clean campaign takes place between 28 May and 13 June, however Highways England picks litter throughout the year. Highways England is responsible for collecting litter on motorways and a very small number of A roads. Responsibility lies with local authorities on all other roads.
For more information on the Great British Spring Clean visit: https://www.