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£230,000: cost of cleaning main roads

PUBLISHED: 09:54 17 March 2010 | UPDATED: 09:27 01 August 2010

COUNCILS across Suffolk have spent more than £230,000 picking up litter from the county's main trunk roads in the past year.

The figure represents the cost of cleaning-up the A12 and A14 as well as the A11 and key stretches of some other main roads.

COUNCILS across Suffolk have spent more than £230,000 picking up litter from the county's main trunk roads in the past year.

The figure represents the cost of cleaning-up the A12 and A14 as well as the A11 and key stretches of some other main roads.

Despite the best efforts of district and borough councils in Suffolk to encourage people to stop dumping waste as they travel along the routes, the message is still not getting through.

Andrew Stringer, a Green Party representative on Suffolk County Council, called for a harder line to be taken on tracking down and prosecuting those responsible.

He said: “We do appear to have a society where a minority of people value the cleanliness of their cars above the cleanliness of the countryside.

“What I don't think these people realise is that they are stealing the environment away from those of us that wish to enjoy it, they are stealing resources that could be recycled and they are also stealing from the tourism industry - if people see that the countryside is littered then they won't want to come back.”

He suggested the introduction of DNA testing on bottles and cans found at the roadside and bigger fines for those successfully prosecuted.

Mid Suffolk District Council has so far spent more than £58,000 in 2009/10 collecting waste from the A12 and A14. Under a contractual agreement, Ipswich Borough Council and Babergh District Council pay Mid Suffolk to also cover their sections of the two dual carriageways.

Roy Barker, Mid Suffolk's portfolio holder for the environment, said: “We have a small team, that cover over 70 miles of road in Suffolk, throughout the year. However, there are still some motorists who still think it is acceptable to throw rubbish out of their vehicle, which litters our beautiful countryside.”

In west Suffolk the cleaning of the A14 and the A11 has already cost £72,000 for the financial year. The litter picking operation is run by St Edmundsbury District Council, while Forest Heath District Council has contributed £23,819 for its share of the cleaning.

Peter Stevens, St Edmundsbury's head of environment and street services, said there was “no excuse” for littering at the roadside.

A spokesman for Suffolk Coastal District Council said that between £70,000 and £80,000 was spent each year tidying up the A12 and A14 from its street cleaning budget.

Waveney District Council has so far spent £30,545 on cleaning the A12 and A146 in 2009/10 although this figure is down from £39,837 from the previous 12 months.

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