NATIONAL Highways are pleading with tourists descending on Somerset and the South West to keep the region's roadsides clear of litter.

Litter on most A roads in the region is the responsibility of local authorities to clear, but in order that it can be collected safely National Highways often teams up with councils to co-ordinate any necessary closures.

Reducing the amount of roadside litter not only improves the lives of both communities and motorists, it has positive safety and environmental benefits and also provides a significant saving to local authorities in terms of time and money spent on clearing rubbish from the roadsides.

Now, with the Easter school holidays under way and the summer holidays looming, National Highways is calling on drivers to do their bit to reduce litter levels following the completion of a big regional effort during the Great British Spring Clean between March 25 and April 10.

Julian Strong, South West Service Manager for National Highways, said: “Littering is a social problem across the country and our priority, working closely with our partners, is to keep our roads safe and well maintained for drivers and neighbouring communities.

“Litter is a huge issue that we’re tackling daily. We value Keep Britain Tidy’s commitment to eliminating litter, as well as their partnership in our efforts to keep litter off our roads.

“The simple fact is that if litter wasn’t dropped in the first place it wouldn’t need to be picked up. So, this is an opportunity to remind people that they too can make a difference simply by saving litter for the bin.

“Roadside litter is not just unsightly but it’s a threat to wildlife and the environment and it can also be a safety hazard for drivers, can block drains and picking it up puts road workers at risk.

“Litter collections on our A roads are the responsibility of local authorities and hopefully we can get the message across that litter not only impacts people’s lives but also has a significant economic impact for our councils across the region.”