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Chester becoming a dumping ground for litter says resident

Persistent complaints from Jo Cooke seem to have prompted action from local authorities

Christleton resident Jo Cooke contacted the Chronicle with these pictures about the problem of litter and fly tipping in and around the city(Image: Jo Cooke)

Chester is becoming a dumping ground of litter and fly-tipping according to a resident who has made complaints to the local authority.

Concerns were raised by Christleton resident Jo Cooke who contacted The Chronicle about the problem of litter and fly tipping in and around the city.

She said: “I’ve complained twice to Cheshire West and Chester Council regarding the extensive rubbish on Pearl Lane, Littleton as well as down the steep embankments of Pearl Lane overpass over the A55.

“My ‘cases’ have remained open for a few weeks then suddenly they are ‘closed’ with no explanation as to what they’ve done about the rubbish.

“I run past this mess a few times a week and nothing has been done about it.

(Image: Jo Cooke)

“I feel I’m left with no choice but to show the people of Chester what the council thinks our roads should look like. In my opinion many resemble a third world country.”

She continued: “This is not the only road that I take issue with. I regularly travel from junction 40 at Littleton either to Broughton in North Wales (A55) or to Cheshire Oaks (A55/M53) and the litter on all slip roads, verges and central reservations all the way to these destinations is disgusting.

“Again I’ve contacted the council via the Littergram app regarding this mess only to be told that it’s Highways England that are responsible for cleaning major A roads and highways.

“The complaint was then sent on to Highways England and I was told by them that although these roads are covered in their network, litter picking was the responsibility of the local authority.

“Since this contradiction appeared on Twitter the council have said they will liaise with Highways England and sort it out but goodness knows how long that will take.”

(Image: Jo Cooke)

Jo added: “My husband and I regularly litter pick down our lane and the council always come and collect our bags.

“I appreciate they have probably had cutbacks but the cleanliness of our roads and parks should be a priority as it shows a sense of pride. We regularly have family from abroad and it’s embarrassing driving them around the local area.”

At the borough council, director of place operations Maria Byrne said: “The recent decision to impose the maximum penalty of £400 sends out a clear message that fly-tipping will not be tolerated in Cheshire West and we hope will result in people taking a more responsible approach to how they dispose of their rubbish.

“As a trunk road the A55 comes under Highways England, however, the council does carry out litter picking duties along it with their specific permission.

“We are currently in discussion with them regarding the next opportunity to do this.

“Highways England needs to strike a careful balance between allocating road space for litter picking and the risk of causing lengthy queues and congestion for motorists.”

(Image: Jo Cooke)

A spokesman for Highways England said: “Highways England takes its responsibility to keep the strategic road network free of litter very seriously, complying with the Environmental Protection Act.

“While our own contractors collect litter from the motorway network, that job is done by local authorities on our behalf along our A roads such as the A55.

“We inspect the road network regularly and plan litter collections accordingly although litter can sometimes reappear very quickly after a routine ‘sweep’ or targeted ‘blitz’.”

He added: “We’d urge anyone with concerns to contact our information line on 0300 123 5000 or info@highwaysengland.co.uk.”

Highways England says that on the country’s motorways alone an average 83 bags of litter are collected on each mile of motorway every year.

This costs around £40 per bag to clean up on top of the hours of congestion when litter causes incidents.

Jo contacted the Chronicle again to comment: “It seems my message is getting through after months of complaining. I ran over Pearl Lane, Littleton and there was a sole council worker clearing the rubbish which is a great start but I think he’ll need a team of workers to make a dent in it.”

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