During the latter part of last week, Highways England – through their contractor, Connect Plus – has been undertaking some grounds maintenance along the A1089 in Tilbury.
As a result of cutting back the hedgerows three metres away from the highway, litter and trimmings have been shredded with 'tonnes' of rubbish left to blow across Thurrock and its roads.
Cllr Aaron Watkins, Portfolio Holder for Environment said: "In response to local business and resident complaints, we have been raising concerns with Connect Plus – the Highways England contractor – in relation to the cleanliness and maintenance of the A1089, and the section of the A13, slip roads and roundabouts for which they are responsible. Being frank, I have been and continue to be disappointed by the frequency and standard of their work in these areas, being honest they are a mess.
"The work they have done and continue to do is not good enough nor to a standard we would expect here in Thurrock.
"Talking to our own grounds maintenance and cleansing staff I appreciate the difficulties presented at this time of year, when cutting back hedgerow and freeing litter that has been lodged, however, the level of mess being left is not acceptable. Unfortunately, the litter accumulated has not been cleared by them for a long period of time which has exacerbated the problem.
"We have clearly demonstrated through our investments and improvements of cleanliness, as verified by the Independent assessment from Keep Britain Tidy, this borough is getting cleaner, however, we are being let down by partners on these particular roads for which we have no control or rights.
"I will be writing to Highways England and the Secretary of State calling for urgent action, and lasting change. Enough is enough we want to see these areas looking clean, tidy and welcoming for all those that pass through them – currently these roads are letting our borough down massively."