The Environmental Protection Act 1990 requires roads to be clear of litter, placing responsibility on local authorities and certain landowners to ensure this. Scottish Ministers are also partially responsible for the cleanliness of public roads.
The term “litter” has a broad interpretation, being anything that it is thrown down, dropped or deposited and left that causes defacement, in a public place by any person but excludes detritus, recent leaf and blossom.
Transport Scotland is responsible, via its operating companies, for litter management on motorways and in the following places:
- A1 Old Craighall (A720) to Thistly Cross (B6370) (South East Unit operating company)
- A720 Edinburgh City Bypass (South East Unit operating company)
- A80 Castlecary to Old Inns (M80 DBFO)
- A898 Erskine Bridge (South West Unit operating company)
- A90 AWPR/B-T (Aberdeen Roads Limited)
- Skye Bridge (NorthWest Unit operating company)
- Forth Road Bridge and the South East Unit Operating Company
The rest of our trunk road network is cared for by local authorities.
The Operating Companies remove well over 100 tonnes of litter annually from Scotland’s motorways and special roads. Carrying out this work requires traffic management to ensure the safety of the workforce. This often unpleasant task has to happen weekly in some locations on the network.
This process costs money, causes delays and stymies tourism. In response to this, Transport Scotland and its operating companies support Keep Scotland Beautiful and its Roadside Litter Campaign.
Lighting provision covers the design, installation, operation and maintenance of functions including street lighting, illuminated signs and illuminated bollards. Effective lighting provides benefits including:
- reducing personal injury accidents
- facilitating a smooth flow of traffic on high speed routes
- reducing crime and fear of crime in rural towns and villages
- creating safe access for use of sustainable modes of transport, including public transport, cycling and walking
- providing safe access to leisure and educational facilities
- assisting emergency services in effective identification of location and detail of events and incidents
- enhancing CCTV coverage during night time to assist road network management.
Transport Scotland considers the use of lighting on trunk roads on a case-by-case basis. The decision is often based on whether or not an identifiable link exists between accidents during the hours of darkness and the absence of street lighting.
We also take into account the potential impacts on the environment, including the need to minimise light pollution, improve environmental sustainability and reducing energy consumption.
Reducing energy consumption
Lighting accounts for around 86% of the energy consumption assocation with roadside electrics, using 31GWh per annum.
Transport Scotland is considering a range of options to manage the energy consumption from its roadside electrical assets - including lighting on trunk roads.
We are adopting new technologies to reduce consumption and trials are in place to facilitate innovation. Transport Scotland is developing a road map to implement efficient, effective and intelligent operation of lighting assets on the trunk road network.
The Scottish Government has published guidance on controlling light pollution and reducing lighting energy consumption.