Over 1,000 bags of litter collected from A38 in Staffordshire during essential maintenance scheme


10 May 2023

More than 1,000 bags of rubbish – plus four bed mattresses - have been collected along the A38 in Staffordshire during closures for our essential maintenance scheme between Fradley and Barton-under-Needwood.

Various vehicle parts, wood, metal, a bird cage and a barbecue were also among the huge haul of litter collected by workers from Lichfield District and East Staffordshire Borough councils.

During overnight closures that are currently in place for maintenance work – including resurfacing, safety barrier replacement and road marking renewal - teams from the local authorities took the opportunity to clear the route of litter and debris, avoiding the need for further future closures.

A shocking amount of litter has been collected with East Staffordshire Borough Council picking up 100 bags of litter in just one night. On average 71 bags were collected every shift with a total to date of 706 bags, weighing some 2,800kg, over a two-week period.

Lichfield has collected 300 bags of litter as well as the four mattresses, 16 HGV tyres and some car bumpers in one week.

Litter picking along the A38 in Staffordshire

As well as picking up litter the councils have been sweeping the roads and tidying up grass verges, laybys and pathways. Lichfield’s sweepers have cleared up 20 tonnes of soil and debris while East Staffordshire swept up 59 tonnes.

Litter picking along the A38 in Staffordshire

National Highways Programme Development Manager, Ian Doust, said:

“Littering is a social problem across the country and we’re working hard to tackle it on our roads. Roadside litter is a threat to other drivers and vehicles using our roads, the environment and wildlife, it can block drains and forces us to close roads to ensure roadworkers can safely clear up the mess.

“Any road closures can be inconvenient for road users and communities which is why we work closely with local authorities on schemes like this to get as much work done as possible while the route is shut.

“It is disappointing to see how much litter has been thrown onto the roadside along the A38. We would urge road users to take their rubbish home - if people didn’t drop litter in the first place it wouldn’t need to be picked up. Every pound that we and the local authorities spend on litter picking could be much better spent elsewhere.”   

Litter picking along the A38 in Staffordshire

A spokesperson for East Staffordshire Borough Council said:

“The Council welcomes the opportunity to work in partnership with National Highways, with their road closures providing a safe working area for our staff to undertake both litter picking and road sweeping.

“The A38 is a strategic route through East Staffordshire and this work makes a real difference to the local environment. However, some of this work should not be required and we would urge people to take their litter home with them rather than dropping it on the roadside.”

Glen Ogden, Street Scene Supervisor at Lichfield District Council, said:

 “The overnight closures of the A38 between Fradley and Barton under Needwood offered a great opportunity to collect litter along the highway safely.

“Our team worked hard to clear the roadside verges collecting hundreds of bags of rubbish over 5 nights while our sweeper removed many tonnes of soil and debris.

“Removal of litter improves the environment and makes the area more attractive.  

“This was the first phase of the clean-up operation. Further work is planned later this year when the contractors move down the A38 towards Wall.”

For more information about the project, visit the A38 Fradley to Barton scheme webpage: https://nationalhighways.co.uk/a38-fradley-to-barton