West Midlands motorways ‘used as rubbish dump’

17 August 2010
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Working on behalf of the Highways Agency, local firm Amey is collecting enough litter to fill five Olympic sized swimming pools from motorways in the West Midlands every year – from crisp packets to teddy bears and even a canoe.

Now the company, which has offices in Colmore Plaza, is supporting The Highways Agency’s ‘Bag it Bin it’ campaign was launched this week and aims to drive home the message to motorists that they must take their litter home with them.
Statistics from Amey shows that between 3,000-5,000 sacks of litter are collected every month across the West Midlands on stretches of the of the M40, M42, M5, M6, M50 and the M54.

As well as looking unsightly, litter can pose a risk to motorists if it blows onto the carriageway. In addition, litter collecting teams are put in potentially dangerous situations when they clean rubbish near busy motorways. 

Jonathan White, General Manager from Amey explains: “A number of road users appear to be using the motorways in and around the West Midlands as a rubbish dump and it’s an ongoing battle to keep the motorways clear. Hundreds of man-days are spent removing the vast amount of litter each year. This not only gives road-workers exposure to unnecessary risk beside high-speed roads, it also diverts public money that would be better spent on roads maintenance and repair.

“Our priority is to keep road users and our own people as safe as possible. We are urging motorists to help us do this – simply by taking their litter home.” 

Derek Turner, Highways Agency Network Director, said:  “The Highways Agency and local authorities will continue to clear litter from our roads, but we could put our resources to better use if rubbish was not carelessly discarded in the first place. 

“Our ‘Bag it! Bin it!’ message is that one easy way for drivers to tackle roadside litter is by keeping a bag in their vehicle, and using it to store rubbish until it can be disposed of safely in a bin. If everyone took this simple step, it would be a really positive move towards tackling roadside litter.”

Notes to editors:
Amey is a leading UK public services provider with more than 11,000 staff. The company works across three main markets - Inter Urban, Local Government and Built Environment, which are supported by our award-winning consultancy division. Amey delivers services in the highways, roads, schools, waste, rail, fleet solutions, workspace, street lighting, housing and aviation sectors. By offering a complete life-cycle solution for services, we maximise efficiencies for our customers.


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