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Litter pollution on the A27 – please help!

27th February 2020

CPRE Sussex and the A27 Clean Up Campaign are urging local residents to ask their MPs to ensure that litter on the A27 is tackled.


The amount of litter along the A27 is appalling, an embarrassment and an environmental hazard. Litter degrades into the water course and drainage channels and blows into adjacent farmers’ fields (leading to this being threshed into the animal feed). It is also digested by the wild animals found along the road including the badgers, rabbits and foxes. The amount of litter very seriously interferes with people’s enjoyment of this beautiful part of the country, including the South Downs National Park.

We are lobbying for the system of collection to be changed in order that Highways England (HE) assumes responsibility for litter clearance along the A27, together with all other aspects of road maintenance which it already has. At present the 7 local authorities along the route have responsibility for cleaning but not for road closures and vegetation cutting which are the responsibility of HE. This leads to difficulties in co-ordination and vegetation being strimmed before litter can be collected. This is a national trunk road and local authorities receive no funding for cleaning it.

We are particularly keen to ensure that the Environment Bill currently making its way through Parliament specifically includes reference to litter along our roadsides as a hazard to the natural environment. We are also keen to ensure that the Office for Environment Protection will be charged with receiving complaints relating to roadside litter if a public authority (whether local authority or Highways England) is failing to comply with the requirements relating to litter set out in S89(2) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

The current Environment Bill might help in the longer term if it gives powers to the proposed Office for Environmental Protection to take action against those found not to be complying with environmental law with regards to roadside litter. For this to happen we need to ensure that roadside litter is accepted in the bill as a hazard to the natural environment and interferes with people’s enjoyment of this. We also need to ensure that the OEP has powers to take action relating to roadside litter complaints whether these are against a local authority or Highways England.

Please write to your local MP and make the points above and ask them to raise this in parliament. You can find contact details at