Suffolk: Lord Marlesford’s litter proposal

A SUFFOLK peer will put forward a proposal today which would close the loophole that allows people to dodge fines when caught throwing litter from their cars.

Conservative peer Lord Marlesford is set to introduce a Private Member’s Bill in the House of Lords which would mean councils could issue civil penalties for littering to the registered owner of the vehicle.

In March, the EADT revealed that the huge cost of clearing litter from the A12 and A14 in Suffolk was more than �700,000 over the last four years.

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 �80, 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.

Most Read

“That will enable people to complain about dirty roads direct to local authorities or to contractors.”

Currently, councils are able to fine people up to �80 if they can be shown to have thrown litter from a vehicle. But councils have sometimes found it difficult to prove who in the car threw the rubbish.

Lord Marlesford’s proposal would mean the registered owner of the vehicle would be responsible for paying the fine and if they were not the litterer they will be able to nominate the individual to pay the fine.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) said that in 2011 nine million drivers threw litter from their cars on to minor roads, which left councils a bill of more than �860m to clear up the mess.

Samantha Harding, CPRE Stop the Drop Campaign manager, said: “When people get away with littering we all end up footing the bill.

“In a perfect world people would take responsibility for their own litter, and we encourage everyone to do this.

“But if people think they can toss litter from their cars, councils should have an effective way to fine them and that’s what this bill delivers.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter