South Gloucestershire Council has successfully prosecuted a waste carrier for allowing waste from one of its vehicles to spill onto the A4174 Ring Road.
North Avon magistrates fined Bristol Waste Management £1,500, ordered the firm to pay £1,000 towards the Council’s clean-up costs, and also pay the Council’s full legal costs of £1,020.
The prosecution resulted from a joint operation last April by the Council and Avon and Somerset Police to tackle vehicles that were letting waste or debris escape onto the Ring Road.
Council officers spotted one of Bristol Waste Management’s vehicles allowing this to happen on the Ring Road because the load it was carrying had not been properly secured.
The Council had previously warned Bristol Waste Management about an earlier, similar incident and decided to take action after witnessing it happening again.
It costs the Council around £50,000 each year to clean up debris, waste and fly tipping from the Ring Road.
It can be a potentially dangerous hazard for motorists driving along it, and sections of it have to be closed at certain times throughout the year to allow it to be safely cleaned, which can lead to inconvenience and delays for motorists.
Councillor Heather Goddard, executive for communities, said: “The Council will take action against those who continue to let waste or debris escape from their vehicles onto the Ring Road because they haven’t taken the proper care and precautions. This can be potentially dangerous for motorists and it costs a considerable amount of council tax payers’ money each year to clear this from the Ring Road, which could be better spent on other services.”
Councillor Goddard added: “Whilst the Council’s street care team put in a lot of effort to clean the Ring Road regularly, it only takes one inconsiderate driver with an unsecure load to make the area look as if street care had never cleaned it in the first place. Not only is this frustrating for our street care officers, but it is also frustrating for residents and other commuters who rightly expect a clean and tidy Ring Road.
“I hope this successful prosecution will send a strong message about the effectiveness of the Council’s new enviro-crime team.”
Mark King, head of street care, said: “People may not realise that street care staff spend a great deal of time and money cleaning up the Ring Road and keeping it safe for motorists. For safety reasons sometimes this involves lanes having to be closed which can lead to disruption for motorists.”
The operation was part of a series of events the Council organised during March and April – ‘The Big Spring Clean’ – to help keep the district free from rubbish and litter to help improve the quality of the environment for residents.
The Council is planning further crackdowns in the future to help keep the Ring Road clean.
Source: South Gloucestershire Council