Roadside rubbish in Somerset at its worst, says the charity

Litter on major roads can be reported to the National Highways, while litter on minor roads should be reported to the local council

Street litter in Somerset is worse than ever, says environmental group Keep Britain Tidy.

More drive-through facilities were said to be partly to blame, as were cutbacks and confusion over which agency was responsible for garbage disposal.

A lorry driver from the county said the litter along the side of the A303 was the worst he had seen in years.

Somerset West and Taunton Council said waste collection for main roads was organized by National Highways.

The council said major roads would be cleaned less frequently due to the need for traffic management for safety reasons.

Last month, BBC Radio Bristol reported that around 60 rubbish bags and a lorry full of bulky waste had been cleared from the A4174 Bristol bypass.


Small animals could be trapped in empty containers, charity Keep Britain Tidy said

Keep Britain Tidy chief executive Allison Odgen Newton said cleaning up litter is costly and has a devastating impact on wildlife.

“We estimate that 3.4 million voles die every year,” Ms Newton said.

“The biggest threat to small animals that live on these roadsides is trash.”

Lorry driver Steve told BBC Radio Bristol that roadside littering is an “embarrassment” in the UK.

“I saw a lot of butts, mattresses thrown on the street, I saw an abandoned trailer on the embankment,” he said.


Confusion over which agency is responsible for garbage disposal exacerbated the problem, the charity said

Ms Newton said the responsibility for dealing with rubbish goes beyond individuals and better infrastructure is needed.

“There’s a lot of confusion about who’s responsible for what and we really need to sort that out because there’s very little roadside garbage disposal at the moment,” she said.

The charity is calling for larger bins to encourage people to dispose of rubbish properly before going back onto the streets.

In a statement, South Somerset County Council said it had installed wheeled bins along the A303, which would be emptied twice a week.

“Where identifiable, letters will be sent to those who committed the offence,” it said.

“A recent risk assessment review concluded that litter collection along the A303 is a high risk activity and is carried out when the A303 is at its quietest.”

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