Gareth Davies, MP for Grantham and Stamford is today calling on Highways England to urgently address the volume of litter along the A1.
Last week, Gareth saw the issue first-hand as he joined volunteers from Colsterworth and Councillor Bob Adams to discuss the clean up of the road verges near the village. Amassing over fifteen bags of rubbish in just a couple of hours, they were told that plastic bottles pose a particular issue as they are used as portable toilets and thrown out of lorry cabs by drivers.
Afterwards, Gareth commented that more must be done to tackle to deluge of roadside litter on our stretch of the A1. He said:
“There is nothing more damaging to our enjoyment of the countryside and experience within our towns and villages that is as easily prevented as the accumulation of litter.
“I applaud the actions of the Colsterworth volunteers, but more needs to be done by the authorities responsible for managing our road network. I have therefore written to Highways England to raise my concerns with them about the amount of litter on the A1 and remind them of their statutory duty to ensure that its land and highways are kept clear of refuse. It is clear that, even with the reduced traffic levels during lockdown, the accumulation of litter on the roadsides is too quick to combat with the current set up. The frequency and effort of cleaning operations along the A1 must be increased.
“This matter sits alongside my ongoing discussions with Highways England to expedite improvements to road safety measures along the A1 comprising the replacement of the central reservation barriers and reviews of slip roads and cross-over sections.
“As domestic travel restrictions lift and more people take their holidays within the UK, I do not want anybody’s visit to our beautiful area to be blighted by the sight of litter along the roadsides as they drive in.”
The Government’s Resources and Waste Strategy includes a number of commitments to improve sentencing of fly-tippers, including working with the Sentencing Council to increase magistrates’ awareness of the prevalence and importance of waste crime.
Councillor Bob Adams recognised the efforts of local litter pickers in tackling the issue:
“I am always ready to support and help local residents who take the initiative to make their environment a better place. My thanks to Clova Townhill at SKDC for her rapid response to supplying safety equipment and to the local residents for coming out in numbers to clear the areas of foul waste.
Any community groups or parishes who wish to organise a litter pick etc can contact South Kesteven District Council on 01476 406080 and can book the necessary equipment for loan, after your litter pick, we will then arrange collection of the rubbish you have picked up.”