A23 Litter FAQ

  • Whose responsibility is it to clear litter along the A23?

    This stretch of the road is our (MSDC) responsibility to clear of litter and along much of the length this happens regularly, where it is reasonably practicable for us to do so. This work is done on a regular basis, sometimes a number of times a week. However there are some stretches, where it is simply too dangerous for our contractor’s staff to clear litter without there being a road closure in place including the newly completed Northern section (Handcross to Cuckfield Road, Warninglid). The section from Hurstpierpoint to Hickstead, the side of the verge is extremely narrow and with traffic travelling at high speeds it would be irresponsible of us to put our workers in jeopardy without lane closures.

    The Highways Agency (HA) has responsibility for the maintenance of the verges and the carriageway of the A23. Road closures on the A23 are very expensive; therefore we have been pushing for better coordination and communication between us and the Highways Agency to enable our teams to undertake this important litter clearance work at the same time that the HA carries out their maintenance on this trunk road.

  • Why has the litter along the A23 got so bad recently?

    The current litter problems are a result of recent work undertaken by the HA. They have cut back the verges and in the process uncovered litter that has until now been covered by vegetation. This is a good example where, with better coordination and planning we could have worked together and undertaken litter clearance at the same time.

    We also think that some of the debris along that stretch of the road falls from open backed lorries and skips travelling along the carriageway.

    Unfortunately, motorists using that stretch of the road have added to the already considerable quantities of litter, as often happens when an area is not cleared.

  • What is MSDC doing to make the situation better?

    We continue to lobby for changes to be made. We would like to see the A23 designated as a 'special road' with responsibility for all work along that stretch passed back to the Highways Agency.

    We have also asked the HA for signage along that stretch to remind motorists to take their litter home to help to reduce the problem.

  • What else can be done?

    Our MP continues to lobby for this stretch of road to be designated a ‘special road’ which means that it would become the responsibility of the Highways Agency to clear. They are better equipped to put in place road closures.

    The Council is working with the HA’s primary contractor Balfour Beattie Mott McDonald (BBMM) to explore joint solutions to the current problems such as training for the council’s contractors, better coordination of works to the A23 and exploring costs for the work to be undertaken by specialist contractors.

    MSDC is to take a more proactive and coordinated approach to reports of debris from lorries to track down offenders and take legal action if necessary.

  • What more can the public do?

    Not litter and encourage others not to litter.

    Write to their local MP to get the A23 re-designated as a special road.