Litter on the road networks is an issue for us all
One of Wales’s busiest ‘A’ roads have been given a full spring clean by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Streetcare team in a bid to tackle roadside litter.
Almost 400 bags of litter were collected along the A470, between Taffs Well and Abercynon during one of its periodic clean-ups of the widely used route. These clean-up operations take the Council’s Streetcare team hundreds of hours (around 400-man hours) and are often very dangerous and can sometimes mean disruption for motorists as the team work alongside this busy highway.
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This main route to and from Cardiff is travelled by millions of commuters, visitors and residents alike and is often the first impression that people will see – the Council is urging road users to “make it a lasting one, for the right reasons”.
This year the Council spent in excess of £25,000 on this one clean-up operation as a number of road closures had to be secured. In previous years the work has been carried out at the same time as the South Wales Trunk Road Agency (SWTRA) carried out highway maintenance, but this wasn’t possible on this occasion – causing more disruption to motorists. This could all have been avoided if the roadside litter louts had taken their waste home with them or disposed of the items responsibly.
During the latest operation, 8 staff in 1 large road sweeper, 2 collection vehicles, and 1 4×4 vehicle, swept over 80 tonnes of debris from this stretch of road – this is in addition to the 380 bags of litter cleared from the grass verges.
Councillor Ann Crimmings, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Leisure said:
“Litter is an unsightly and unnecessary burden that we can easily avoid – that’s why we are asking people to take one simple step towards making the roads a safer and more pleasant environment for everyone. The money and staff resources spent removing the hundreds of sacks of litter from the A470 could be far better spent elsewhere. “All drivers need to do, is keep a bag in their vehicle to store rubbish and dispose of it responsibly.”
Roadside litter is not only unsightly but is also a threat to the environment and wildlife, and can block drains and cause flooding. For the Council, clearing litter diverts much-needed resources away from services, while items thrown from moving vehicles can be hazardous to other road users.
The main problem within Rhondda Cynon Taf appears to be vehicles that pull into lay-by’s and fly tip their waste or those who dangerously throw their unwanted wrapper or cigarette butts from their moving vehicles – this is illegal and those caught will receive a minimum £100 fine or could end up facing criminal proceedings, which could result in thousands of pounds in fines and a criminal record.
For further information on the services provided by the dedicated Streetcare teams call 01443 425001 or visit www.rctcbc.gov.uk/streetcare.
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Image by https://traffic.wales/