THURROCK Council started it’s week-long clean-up of the A13 – from the Five Bells to the Dock Approach – on Monday (9 February) night.
The council carries out these clean-ups three or four times a year, at night because a lane of the busy dual carriageway, but anger is growing over the failure of the Highways Agency and their contractors to deal with the problem on the rest of the road.
Council Leader, Cllr John Kent, said on Tuesday: “I am really fed up with the Highways Agency’s lack of action.
“Our chief executive wrote to their chief executive a couple of weeks ago and the agency’s boss agreed it was unacceptable.
“A week later we appeared to have some action. Lanes were coned off and agency staff were starting clearing the verges. They put the rubbish in backs and put the bags in a lay-be.
“A week later the bags were still there and no more clearing had been done. It is no longer simply unacceptable, it’s an offence to the good people of Thurrock.
“The A13 from Wennington and from the motorway is the major gateway into out borough. Thousands of people drive into Thurrock and what do they see?
“There is nothing but mess, a mess which leaves an obnoxious taste in the mouth of anybody who cares about our borough.”
Speaking on Tuesday (10 February), Cllr Kent said: “Our chief executive contacted their chief executive, with disappointing results to say the least, so I’ve now written to his boss – Colin Matthews, the non-executive chairman of the agency – demanding that something is done; and quickly.”
He added: “However whatever the rights and wrongs of the Highways Agency’s lack of action, it is the idiots who make the mess who are really to blame. Yes much of it is from poorly covered lorries, but by no means all of it.
“We have all driven along and seen rubbish thrown out of the vehicle in front; it is us, the public, who should accept responsibility and stop being so crass and thoughtless. If it’s not you it’s your neighbour. If it’s not dropped on the road it’s in the garden or the park.
“Now is the time to change society’s attitude and to increase pride in our landscape.”