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Roads: Litter

Question for Department for Transport

UIN 13909, tabled on 10 June 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of a transfer of responsibility for litter clearance for all All-Purpose Trunk Roads in all local authority areas to Highways England on (a) the environmental impact of roadside litter and (b) access arrangements for maintenance.

Answered on

16 June 2021

The Department is working closely with Highways England and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to determine the potential effects of any transfer of responsibility for roadside litter clearance on All-Purpose Trunk Roads from Local Authorities to Highways England, in relation to cost, effectiveness of litter clearance and safe access for regular road maintenance. This work is ongoing.

It is important to take a proportionate, evidence-based approach which recognises the pressures on Local Authority resources and costs associated with roadside litter clearance, especially considering the pressures which they have faced in the last year. At present, the Department has no plans to transfer responsibility of litter clearance of All-Purpose Trunk Roads on the Strategic Road Network (SRN) to Highways England.

DEFRA is due to publish a roadside litter report on All-Purpose Trunk Roads shortly and this may inform future work in reallocating responsibility for managing relevant cleaning activities from any Local Authority that is not fulfilling its statutory duties on the road network.