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A11 clean-up launches new litter purge

PUBLISHED: 17:40 15 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:02 07 July 2010

The big A11 clean-up begins near Thetford today.

The big A11 clean-up begins near Thetford today.

A wooded area off the A11 at Thetford was given a long-awaited spruce up today to highlight the launch of a new purge on litter and flytipping.

The national Stop the Drop campaign will be officially unveiled by Norfolk-based author and president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Bill Bryson today to help clean up the countryside and road network.

A wooded area off the A11 at Thetford was given a long-awaited spruce up today to highlight the launch of a new purge on litter and flytipping.

The national Stop the Drop campaign will be officially unveiled by Norfolk-based author and president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Bill Bryson today to help clean up the countryside and road network.

And in his home region, where figures show the litter problem has grown by 23pc in the last year, work was already under way today as volunteers and council staff cleaned an area of the A11 at Thetford, which Mr Bryson cited as one of the reasons behind the campaign.

“Litter is becoming the default condition of the countryside,' said the American-born best-selling author who has made the UK his home.

“It is time that we - all of us - did something about this. The landscape is too lovely to trash. That is why CPRE is launching Stop the Drop, to make the countryside what it was almost everywhere until very recently, and what most of us still want it to be - a place of cherished beauty and sometimes utter perfection.

“The bodies responsible for cleaning up litter and fly-tipping admit it is getting worse and many local authorities remain magnificently relaxed when it comes to doing anything about it.”

Eleven volunteers collected more than 30 bin bags of rubbish, including plastic bags, bottles, cans and old car parts from a wooded area off the A11 near Thetford in the space of 20 minutes to highlight the problem.

The CPRE has called on litter clearance on the A11 and A47 to be made the responsibility of the Highways Agency and not local authorities.

James Frost, director of CPRE Norfolk, said he was “shocked” by the amount of litter and fly tipping left at the gateway of the county.

“The A11 is the main road into our beautiful county and what sort of message does it send when people see all this litter on the roadsides?

“When I was growing up there was a Keep Britain Tidy campaign, but in the last ten years that campaign has dried up. I think it is time for the government to take a fresh look at the litter problem. Local authorities are overwhelmed by the scale of the job and need more resources, staff and funding,” he said.

Lady Kay Fisher, portfolio holder for environmental services at Breckland Council, backed the CPRE campaign and added that more education was needed to stop the problem.

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