City council fails to carry out vital A2 roadside clean up

Anti-litter campaigner Mike Sole

An anti-litter activist is demanding urgent action to tackle litter on the A2 after Canterbury City Council failed to carry out a scheduled clean up.

Mike Sole, from Kingston, says people despair of seeing mess on side of the main road into the United Kingdom from the continent.

But this week it emerged that the council had not done work planned for April 17, blaming an “11th hour” change to a roadwork schedule which prevented it going ahead.

“Everyone agrees that the A2 is in a terrible state, in particular around Barham and Bridge with the slip roads especially dirty,” said Mr Sole, a former Lib Dem city councillor.

“The last clean took place in April 2017 and before that in March 2016. No clean has yet been completed this year.”

Mike Sole with litter by the A2

Much of the litter left along routes is thrown from passing vehicles or lorry drivers using lay-bys.

Canterbury City Council is stepping up its war on litter and has announced plans to fine drivers if rubbish is thrown from anyone in their vehicles.

Using Freedom of Information laws, Mr Sole has established that the cost of cleaning the A2 roadside is just £5,285.

It rises to £19,735 if a traffic management system has to be implemented in order to carry it out.

Mr Sole added: “Litter is a blight on our district. The first thing that visitors to our city see are rubbish strewn verges.

“It need not be like that. In the scheme of things £5,285 is a drop in the ocean of the total council budget. It should be able to find the money for two clean ups a year.”

Canterbury City Council admitted that the amount of litter on the roadside is “unacceptable” and said the blame for it lay with those who had dropped.

Spokesman Rob Davies said: “Getting the verges and slip roads cleaned during the spring is an annual priority for us. We look to take advantage of planned overnight inside lane closures in order to keep the cost to the taxpayer down.

“We have to do this work with a lane closure to ensure the safety of the cleaners.

“We were due to clean a long section of the A2 last week and our crews had had their safety briefing and were ready to go. However, at the 11th hour, the scheduled roadworks were moved to a location out of our patch and we were unable to go ahead.

“We will be arranging an urgent meeting with Highways England and their contractor to discuss the issue of A2 cleaning so we can get this work carried out as quickly as possible.”


  1. Any chance at all this Journal can not be permanently political point scoring. It is Lib Dem, Tory, labour backstabbing and bad newsprint!


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