Cumbria Crack

Extra litter-picking teams on road verges

[E]xtra teams of council staff are clearing debris from road verges in response to an increase in litter on some main roads in South Lakeland.

Drivers are being asked to be aware of the litter-picking teams that are working on the roadsides and to consider their safety and slow down as they pass.

A South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) spokesperson explained: “There has definitely been an increase in the amount of litter and debris seen on road verges around South Lakeland in recent months.

“There may be many reasons why litter ends up at the side of our roads, but the single biggest cause is that some people are simply being inconsiderate when disposing of their litter. Unfortunately, it is a reality that some people think it’s perfectly okay to throw an empty fast food carton or disposable coffee cup out of their car window.’’

The impact on the environment, including wildlife, is significant and it is an offence to throw litter from a vehicle or allow it to fall from one. New legislation also came into effect on 1 April that gives council officers greater powers to issue fixed penalty notices if they see litter being dropped from a vehicle.

The council has already deployed extra litter-picking teams to hotspots on verges that are the responsibility of SLDC, particularly along the A590 and other main roads in the district.

The spokesperson continued: “Responsibility for litter-picking road side verges is one shared with a number of agencies including the district council and the Highways Agency, county council and some parish councils.  Our chief executive will be contacting these other organisations to encourage them to assess the situation on verges they manage.

“On our verges we have been sending out extra teams to try to tidy-up stretches where it is safe for them to work. Some of the verges are too narrow for safe working without requiring a road closure, and we are asking all drivers to be aware that our staff are out and about on the roadsides and to consider their safety.

“We obviously need everyone’s help to keep our environment looking its best and would urge all road users to avoid littering and to ensure any loads are secured to avoid debris blowing into the carriageway.’’

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