Uproar after dash cam footage of A1(M) slip gives 'terrible first impression' to Hatfield visitors
PUBLISHED: 11:15 05 February 2018 | UPDATED: 11:15 05 February 2018
Danny Loo Photography 2018
Litter strewn beside an A1(M) slip road near Hatfield has been branded an "environmental disaster", sparking calls for Highways England to resolve the problem.
Dash cam footage emerged on Facebook of rubbish scattered across the grass alongside illegally parked lorries at the northbound slip road for Junction 2.
Hatfield resident Andy Stevens, 47, frequently drives past the mess and is worried that it gives people visiting the town a bad first impression.
He said: “The litter there is an ever-increasing problem that’s been getting me down.
“It’s disgusting and is an environmental disaster as it then goes into the surrounding woods.
“A common opinion is that lorries parking there overnight contribute the most litter and the only obvious prevention measure would be to close the side of the slip road that is no longer used.”
He added: “Being a lorry driver myself I’m aware of the problem of limited overnight parking but South Mimms’ truck stop is only five minutes away.
“Another problem with vehicles parked on the slip road is the dangers of vehicles pulling out into live traffic. I very nearly hit a car on the slip road.”
Welwyn Hatfield’s MP Grant Shapps said short and longer-term solutions are needed, adding that he has alerted County Highways and Highways England.
“I know exactly how bad this slip road has become and took action when a number of constituents mentioned it to me,” he told the WHT. “I will not let this go until the problem has been dealt with.”
Highways England states that it removes about 200,000 sacks of litter from across its motorways, at the cost of around £40 a sack – the equivalent of fixing a pothole.
A spokesman said: “Crews working on behalf of Highways England regularly pick litter from across our entire network.
“In addition, since January 2017 we have also focussed resources on a more rapid clean up at 25 litter hotspots.
“Clearing litter from busy roads such as motorways is a huge challenge costing time and money which could be better spent on other priorities.
“While we clear it, picking litter close to fast-moving traffic puts our workers at risk.
“It is also unsightly as well as a risk to wildlife and the environment.
“So we urge road users to take their litter home and are working with partners such as Keep Britain Tidy to tackle the problem at source and make littering socially unacceptable.”