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Clear litter before cutting roadside vegetation

4th August 2020

CPRE Sussex is urging people to write to their local MP to ask for Highways England to become responsible for litter clearance along major roads.

The environmentally damaging act of strimming the vegetation before the litter is picked happens repeatedly along wide stretches of the A27, including recently in the Chichester and Lewes districts.

Local authorities are responsible for litter clearance along national trunk roads, while Highways England is responsible for vegetation cutting. If litter isn’t cleared before strimming, it is shredded and can’t be picked up, so it pollutes the countryside. Dates for planned works can change and stretched local authority resources may need to be diverted at short notice, so reliance on co-ordination of timing between local authorities and Highways England rarely works.

The A27 Clean Up Campaign has written to the Department for Transport asking for litter removal duties on our national trunk roads to be transferred to Highways England to ensure a fully co-ordinated approach. This has been recommended by many reports over the years.

The Department for Transport has agreed to investigate the implications of a transfer of responsibility to Highways England. It has advised that the transfer must meet a several criteria and be requested by Highways England. See letter of 17 July.

The A27 Clean Up Campaign has responded to the Department for Transport reminding it of the Prime Minister’s pledge to ‘make this country the cleanest, greenest on earth with the most far-reaching environmental programme’.  The Campaign has also questioned the Department’s stance on the legal process for transferring litter clearance to Highways England and reported that the seven local authorities along the A27 favour a transfer.

Help the A27 Clean Up Campaign and CPRE Sussex to improve the state of our roadsides by writing to your MP.


Department for Transport letter 17 July 2020

A27 Clean Up Campaign response 28 July 2020