Fires & Fluid Spills Double on our Highways

As demonstrated by the figures below, you are now twice as likley to suffer a fuel spill or fire on our highways.  To put it another way, your are more likley to have your journey delayed due to these incidents.

Litter and debris is the likely cause?


  • from 01/01/2017 to 31/10/2017 Highways England recorded 1477 fires
  • from 01/01/2018 to 31/10/2018 Highways England recorded 2717 fires

fire (figures here)


From 2013 to 2017 the number of fuel spills recorded by Highways England more than doubled (full figures here & here)

  • 2013 1638 spills
  • 2014 1669 spills
  • 2015 1644 spills
  • 2016 2185 spills
  • 2017 3405 spills

More about spills here.

Litter and debris  … is it only removed when it causes an incident?

21/05/2019 Clean Highways circulated this information which may indicate why the issue is not addressed – there is no penalty.

Another misleading claim about Area 5 / M25 contract
Having finally admitted that they have never applied any financial penalties for underperformance to their Area 5 / M25 contractor, Connect Plus, Highways England and the DfT have come up with another claim.
They now say that HE’s Environment Audit inspections enable them to assess whether this contractor has collected litter within the timescales set out in the DEFRA Code of Practice on Litter. Failure to do so, they say, can trigger various sanctions.
I have written to the DfT with a copy to Roads Minister, Jesse Norman MP, explaining that the inspections are one-off checks on a supposedly random 5km stretch of carriageway in which each km is given an average grading for litter.
As there are no follow up inspections of the same stretch they cannot therefore check if litter has, or has not, been collected within in any time scale.
I have pointed out that the claims made to myself, Baroness Randerson, and MP Robert Halfon were therefore misleading.

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