East Anglia: Lord Marlesford’s litter legislation to clear up A12 and A14 moves a step closer in House of Lords

Litter is strewn on the A12 near the Copdock roundabout.

Litter is strewn on the A12 near the Copdock roundabout. - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk peer has put forward legislation which aims to tackle the blight of people throwing rubbish out of vehicles along major roads like the A12 and A14.

Conservative peer Lord Marlesford has proposed the new law which would enable police to fine the driver of a vehicle £70 if they were caught littering.

Last year the EADT revealed that litter-louts had left Suffolk councils with a clean-up bill for the A12 and A14 of more than £700,000 over the past four years.

Currently police have powers to fine but it is rarely used in cases where there are passengers in the vehicle as it is difficult to prove who committed the offence.

Lord Marlesford said: “Nothing degrades a road more than litter. The roads in England are some of the dirtiest in Europe. And it can so easily be dealt with.

“I want action not words, so I am asking Parliament to do two things. First to deter people from littering from vehicles by making the vehicle owner pay a fixed penalty of £70, whoever has thrown the litter out of it.

“Second to require local authorities, which spend over £800million clearing up litter, to report each year to the public, whose money it is, how much they have spent on litter clearing contracts, with the names of the contractors and the roads for which they are responsible and to certify that they are satisfied that the job has been done.”

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In the House of Lords he said a poll carried by the AA showed that 75% of members believed that roadside litter was a serious problem.

The bill has been backed by the Campaign to Protect Rural England and former chancellor Lord Lawson.

Bosses from the group have called on the Government to act on the proposals.

The peer had the second reading of his Private Member’s Bill last week. It is now due to go to a committee stage for further debate.

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