16/02/2012

Call For Messy Drivers To 'Bag It'

The Highways Agency is calling on road users to help tackle roadside litter on England’s motorways and major A roads, asking them to "bag it, bin it" instead of hurling rubbish out their window.

The Agency estimated it removes nearly a quarter of a million sacks of litter from England’s motorways every year. It reported that a similar campaign last year resulted in a decrease in the amount of litter collected, and that they hoped this year's campaign would lead to further reductions.

Roads Minister Mike Penning said: "Litter is an unsightly and unnecessary burden and one that we can easily avoid – that's why I am asking people to take one simple step towards make the roads a safer and more pleasant environment for everyone.

“Following the ‘Bag it, Bin it!’ message is an easy way to reduce litter. If all drivers kept a bag in their vehicle to store rubbish and then disposed of it safely, it would be a really positive move in tackling roadside litter.”

The agency said that roadside litter was not only unsightly but also a threat to the environment and wildlife and could block drains and cause flooding. For highway authorities, clearing litter diverts much-needed resources away from road maintenance and repairs, while items thrown from moving vehicles can be a hazard to other road users.

The Highways Agency plans to repeat and extend its roadside message campaign during the build-up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Agency said it will also look to work with Defra and Keep Britain Tidy to raise public awareness of the dangers and costs of litter, and ensure that England’s motorways and major roads are set to provide safe and pleasant journeys during the Games.

(DW/GK)

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