The high price of cleaning up after litterbug motorists
New figures reveal it costs £4.8m per year to remove rubbish from motorways and A-roads
According to new figures released by Highways England, the costs incurred because of motorists throwing rubbish, such as drink bottles and cans, out of car windows on A-roads and motorways, is a huge £4.8 million per year.
Every day, roadside pickers manage to fill more than 333 sacks full of rubbish, collected from 4,300 miles of A-roads and motorways across the country.
The estimated cost for each sack is £40, meaning that UK taxpayers are forking out nearly £5 million per year to clean up our roads.
Motoring magazine, Auto Express, revealed the new figures, collected by Highways England, on Wednesday.
They revealed that 364,000 sacks of rubbish had been picked up from roadside’s across the country since 2013. The estimated total for each bag is £40, meaning a total of £14.3 million has been spent cleaning up our motorways and A-roads over the last three years.
The £4.8 million annual spend on picking up litter might not be the exact total. Highways England, who are a government owned company, are only responsible for A-roads and motorways, leaving thousands of miles of roads across the UK unaccounted for, according to data revealed by the magazine.
According to the most recent report from ‘Road Lengths in Great Britain’, A-roads and motorways equate to only 12.7% of the whole UK road network.
In 2014, Highways England publicised a ‘Litter Strategy’ report, in the hope of educating motorists to the growing problem. However, numbers revealed by Highways England, show that the collection figures have increased since that report, with 139,952 sacks filled from 2015 to 2016.
Michael Hoult, Highways England project manager, said: “Our contractors collect vast amounts of litter from our roads every year; we’d much rather they spent their time carrying out other essential maintenance work.”
“The litter on our roads can cause a hazard to drivers, workers and wildlife, so I’d urge everyone to keep a bag in their car to use for rubbish and then put it in the bin when they get home.”
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