New littering rules put the onus on vehicle owners

Litter louts could be hit with £150 fines as part of new plans to tackle rubbish in England, almost double the current £80 penalty.

The new motoring rules, which are already in force in London, are open for consultation until 18 June. And they will make owners liable even if they didn’t throw the litter themselves. According to the new Litter Strategy For England, vehicle owners could receive a penalty notice when it can be proved litter was thrown from their vehicle.

“Litter on our roads is a major and costly problem to deal with,” says Transport Minister John Hayes. “It makes our roads look messy, can threaten wildlife and even increase the risk of flooding by blocking drains. To combat this needless blight on our landscape, I am working with Highways England to target the worst 25 litter hotspots on our road network, on which hundreds of thousands of sacks are collected every year with the clean-up bill running into millions of pounds.”

Funding will also be made available to support innovative community-led projects to tackle litter that could turn local success stories into national initiatives.

Following the consultation period, guidance will be issued to councils to accompany any new enforcement powers, to make sure they are targeted at cutting litter, while preventing over-zealous enforcement or fines being used to raise revenue.