Highways Agency
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Drivers reminded to ‘BAG IT, BIN IT!’ and keep roads tidy as the Olympic Torch comes to the UK

Drivers reminded to ‘BAG IT, BIN IT!’ and keep roads tidy as the Olympic Torch comes to the UK

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 16 May 2012

As the Olympic Torch relay gets underway this weekend, the Highways Agency is calling on road users to help tackle roadside litter and ensure that England’s motorways and major roads provide safe and pleasant journeys during the summer of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Highways Agency will continue to clear up roadside litter in the run up to the Olympics and start of the torch relay and is asking road users and local residents to take pride in where they live and to dispose of their litter responsibly. Clearing litter from busy roads such as motorways puts workers at risk and costs money and time that could be far better spent.

Roads Minister Mike Penning said:

“As the torch relay travels across our road network, it will showcase the best of our towns and countryside. Nobody wants that to be spoilt by litter.

“That’s why in the build up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games I’m reminding everyone to follow the simple ‘Bag it, Bin it!’ message. If all drivers keep a bag in their vehicle to store rubbish and then dispose of it safely, it will be a real step forward in reducing roadside litter.

“It’s a disgrace that we spend nearly £10 million a year clearing litter from the side of England’s motorways, just because a lazy and thoughtless minority can’t be bothered to dispose of it properly. It’s time for us all to step up to the mark and start taking responsibility for our litter.”

The Agency estimates it removes nearly a quarter of a million sacks of litter from England’s motorways every year, and is running a roadside message campaign during the Olympic Torch Relay, reminding drivers to dispose of their litter responsibly.

Roadside litter is not only unsightly, but is also a threat to the environment and wildlife and can block drains and cause flooding. For highway authorities, clearing litter diverts much-needed resources away from road maintenance and repairs, while items thrown from moving vehicles can be a hazard to other road users.

Notes to Editors

1. The Highways Agency is an executive agency of the Department for Transport. We manage, maintain and improve England’s motorways and other strategic roads on behalf of the Secretary of State.

2. We plan maintenance and improvement projects carefully to allow road works to be completed safely, in a cost effective way while keeping disruption to road users to a minimum. We do as much work as possible overnight and when roads are less busy in order to keep more lanes open for road users at peak travel times. Drivers are advised to check their route for road works and allow extra time for their journeys where needed. We have a variety of journey planning tools that road users can use to check travel conditions on the roads we manage, and we will do all we can to keep road users informed.

3. Safety at roadworks: The Highways Agency is working with the industry and road users to reduce the risks of working on the roads. For the safety of road workers and all road users, when you are approaching roadworks:

- Keep within the speed limit – it is there for your safety.
- Get into the correct lane in good time – don’t keep switching.
- Concentrate on the road ahead, not the roadworks.
- Be alert for works’ traffic leaving or entering roadworks.
- Keep a safe distance – there could be queues in front.
- Observe all signs – they are there to help you.

4. Real-time traffic information for England’s motorways and other strategic roads is available:

- From the web at www.highways.gov.uk/traffic or www.highways.gov.uk/mobile if using a phone or mobile device.
- By phone from the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000 at any time. (Calls to 0300 numbers will cost no more than 5p per minute from a standard BT residential landline. Call charges from other landlines and mobile networks may vary, but will be no more than a standard geographic call and will be included in all inclusive minutes and discount schemes). Make sure it’s safe and legal before you call. Before using any mobile, find a safe place to park. Never stop on the hard shoulder of a motorway except in an emergency.
- On an iPhone app which will automatically select the region you are in. Free to download from the iTunes store or search for Highways Agency on your device.
- From Twitter – there are eight feeds with live traffic information provided by region. For information on roads in the south east region follow us @HAtraffic_seast or for the full index visit www.highways.gov.uk/twitter.

5. Receive our national and regional press releases by RSS and get the latest headlines straight to your desktop the moment we publish them to our website. Choose to receive a national press feed or one of our regionalised feeds - go to www.highways.gov.uk/rssnews for more information.

Issued by the Highways Agency.

For further information please contact Mark Powell on 07776 466896.

Media enquiries outside of office hours should be made to the Highways Agency National Press Office (24hrs) on 020 7081 7443.

Contacts:

Highways Out of Hours
Phone: 020 7081 7443
pressoffice@highways.gsi.gov.uk

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