A clean sweep for the county’s major roads

Litter on verges beside the A1
Litter on verges beside the A1

Tonnes of rubbish are being removed from Northumberland major roads during an in-depth clean-up ahead of the main tourist season.

The tidy-up of the A189 Spine Road involves Local Services staff working through the night at weekends throughout April to clear the roadsides of debris.

During the last clean-up in February around seven tonnes of litter was collected along the length of the road between Annitsford and Woodhorn.

Northumberland County Council’s traffic management team are supplying floodlights to enable neighbourhood services staff to remove the litter, trim trees and clean the gulleys.

The Spine Road clean-up is being complemented by roadside litter picking on the A1 in the north of the county which has already resulted in a further 80 bags of rubbish being filled.

The rubbish ranged from fast food wrappers and plastic bottles to car tyres, wood and debris from commercial vehicles.

Greg Gavin, the council’s head of neighbourhood services, said: “We’ve already taken a substantial amount of rubbish off the verges along our major routes over recent weeks and this work is continuing in the run up to and beyond Easter.

“This clean has already made a big improvement to the look of some of our main roads but we rely on the public to play their part by not dropping litter in the first place.

“We are rightly proud of the beauty of our county but the actions of a small minority can create the wrong impression.

“Whether it’s fast food wrappers thrown out of car windows or plastic that’s blown off the back of a wagon, it all ultimately ends up at the side of the road or caught in trees, creating an unpleasant eyesore for motorists – whether they are daily commuters or holidaymakers.

“This concentrated clean-up should make a major improvement to the look of our highway network and highlight our commitment to keeping the County clean and green.”

The council already works in partnership with national charity, Keep Britain Tidy to look at new ways of tackling the litter problem and challenging the behaviour of people who litter in the county.

Anyone that sees a motorist dropping litter from their vehicle can report them to the council on-line via the ‘report flytipping’ section on our web page, or by telephoning the council on 0345 600 6400 and noting as much information as possible about the incident, including time, location, vehicle registration and what was thrown from the vehicle.

The council’s environmental enforcement team will investigate all reports and has successfully issued Fixed Penalty Notices against offenders.