§ Lord Marlesford
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they are satisfied with the state of cleanliness in those roads which are the direct responsibility of central government and what consideration has been given to using Community Service Orders to require offenders to keep such roads clear of litter.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport (Viscount Goschen)
I have asked the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Mr. Lawrie Haynes, to write to my noble Friend.
Letter to Lord Marlesford from the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Mr. Lawrie Haynes, dated 24/1/96.
Viscount Goschen has asked me to write to you in reply to your recent parliamentary Question about the cleanliness of those roads which are the direct responsibility of central government and what consideration has been given to using Community Service Orders to require offenders to keep such roads clear of litter.
The Highways Agency takes a positive approach and is satisfied that it is fulfilling its obligation under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 in keeping the motorways and certain trunk roads in England clear, so far as is practicable, of litter and refuse. Our maintenance agents carry out regular safety inspections and patrols during which they report litter accumulations and, if debris is observed which could present a hazard to traffic, it is removed as soon as possible. Other offending material is removed in accordance with the Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse, issued under the Act.
Community service is unpaid work by offenders for the benefit of the community, which would not otherwise be undertaken by paid employees and which can involve demanding physical outdoor work. As the maintenance agents of the Highways Agency are contracted to undertake cleaning debris from motorways and trunk roads, the use of offenders under Community Service Orders for such work is therefore not feasible. In addition, we would not wish to have untrained personnel carrying out work in a potentially hazardous environment, where we have statutory responsibilities for health and safety.