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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

1,000 bags of litter collected in clean-up along A38

More than 1,000 bags of rubbish – plus four bed mattresses - have been collected along the A38 in Staffordshire during closures for a National Highways scheme.

Various vehicle parts, wood, metal, a bird cage and a barbecue were also among the huge haul of litter collected by workers from Lichfield District and East Staffordshire Borough councils.

National Highways is carrying out essential maintenance work between Fradley and Barton under Needwood which includes carriageway resurfacing, replacing sections of central reservation, road markings and upgrading street lighting.

While the road is closed overnight for the work to be carried out safely, teams from the local authorities took the opportunity to clear the route of litter and debris. Carrying out the work at this time avoids the need for another road closure in the future.

A shocking amount of litter has been collected with East Staffordshire Borough Council picking up 100 bags of litter in just one night. On average 71 bags were collected every shift with a total to date of 706 bags, weighing some 2,800kg, over a two-week period.

Lichfield has collected 300 bags of litter as well as the four mattresses, 16 HGV tyres and some car bumpers in one week.As well as picking up litter the councils have been sweeping the roads and tidying up grass verges, laybys and pathways.

Lichfield’s sweepers have cleared up 20 tonnes of soil and debris while East Staffordshire swept up 59 tonnes.

The National Highways scheme, which is being delivered by contractor Carnell, is being completed in four phases. The first phase on the southbound carriageway between Branston Junction and Hilliard’s Cross junction is now complete.

Traffic management is due to switch to the northbound carriageway today (9 May) and the teams will once again use the overnight closures to safely clear away litter.

National Highways Programme Development Manager, Ian Doust, said:

“Littering is a social problem across the country and we’re working hard to tackle it on our roads. Roadside litter is a threat to other drivers and vehicles using our roads, the environment and wildlife, it can block drains and forces us to close roads to ensure roadworkers can safely clear up the mess.

“Any road closures can be inconvenient for road users and communities which is why we work closely with local authorities on schemes like this to get as much work done as possible while the route is shut.

“It is disappointing to see how much litter has been thrown onto the roadside along the A38. We would urge road users to take their rubbish home - if people didn’t drop litter in the first place it wouldn’t need to be picked up. Every pound that we and the local authorities spend on litter picking could be much better spent elsewhere.”  

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