Clamping down on litter louts

The M6 in Wigan
The M6 in Wigan

MOTORWAY litter louts in Wigan are being warned that they WILL face fines for dropping rubbish.

Highway chiefs have warned that motorists will face a fine of £50 for litter-dropping, which could lead to a fine of £2,500 for a second offence or failure to pay the penalty notice.

Highways England has reported a high volume of plastic bags, crisp packets and drinks cans along the M6, particularly at junction 26 at Orrell.

As engineers clear the debris up, it can cause a huge risk to personal safety, as well as traffic delays due to lane closures.

A spokesman said: “This is an unfortunately frequent issue for Highways England.

“Our contractors work hard to clear litter and maintain the network to the expected standards only to see litter appear quickly again at some locations due to the anti-social behaviour of a minority of road users.

“We have to allocate millions of pounds of public funds each year for litter and fly-tipping clearance work and we would rather spend that money on repairs and improvements to the motorway network.

“Also – as well as being unpleasant – litter clearance also needlessly exposes our contractors to traffic and drivers to lane closures while they carry out the work.”

The rules don’t just apply to motorways, as drivers on any roads can also be penalised for dropping waste.

Wigan Council’s environmental officers issue Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) on the spot or by the post.

Anyone who refuses to pay the fine is tried at the Magistrates Court and it may result in a conviction where the fine may be much higher.

A spokesman from Wigan-based environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy said: “Dropping litter from a car is illegal, in the same way as any other form of littering. Fining is one of the tools that can be used to help change behaviour.

“It is very difficult and very expensive to keep the motorway network clean but it is very easy to keep your rubbish in your vehicle until you stop and can dispose of it correctly.”