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Connect Plus Services has joined forces with Essex Police to target HGVs and other commercial vehicles that inadequately protect the loads they carry.

Commercial vehicle drivers have a duty of care to ensure that waste is prevented from falling from their vehicles by having the correct type of sheeting or nets.

The operation, which took place in March, is part of an ongoing campaign to reduce the amount of waste dropped on the A13 and A1089 in Thurrock.

Five police motorcycles patrolled the roads, escorting non-compliant vehicles to a checkpoint at which point drivers were provided with information about the operation. In total, 25 vehicles were stopped, with 13 £100 fixed penalty notices issued and one driver receiving 3 points on his licence.

Ian Kennard, who coordinated the operation for CPS said “Dropped waste not only looks unsightly, it presents a hazard – to the environment and to my colleagues, who have to pick it up. We regularly undertake litter clearance across our network which, like the majority of our activities, is carried out at night when traffic flow is lighter.

“It’s not just commercial vehicle waste that contributes to the litter, it’s everyone’s responsibility to take their litter home with them. We understand that this operation on its own will not stop litter on our roads:, but anything we can do to stop it being dropped in the first place means we are already making a difference.

“We were delighted to work with Essex Police and thank them for their support.”

Speaking on behalf of Essex Police, Roads Policing Sergeant Dave Rudd said “This joint operation between Essex Police and Highways England took place in response to concerns raised in relation to the debris deposited on the road by waste carrying vehicles.

“Vehicles dropping waste cause a hazard to other road users and a detrimental effect on the environment. It also places a financial burden on the roads authority and places personnel at risk when deployed to clear the waste from the roadside.

“This operation was able to target those offenders committing these offences while remaining focused on road crime and road safety.”

Natalie Chapman, Head of Policy for the Freight Transport Association, London said:

“Safe loading and securing of goods are essential tasks for all operators. The Freight Transport Association supports this initiative to enforce against the small minority of drivers who fail to adequately secure their load – for safety and environmental reasons it is important that our roads are kept litter-free.”

Further operations will be carried out during 2016.