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Suffolk: Lord Marlesford’s bid to penalise litter-louts gets Government backing

16:02 21 January 2014

Litter is strewn on the A12 near the Copdock roundabout.

Litter is strewn on the A12 near the Copdock roundabout.


A Suffolk peer’s bid to give powers to penalise people who litter from vehicles has received Government backing.


Lord Marlesford has been putting forward a Private Member’s Bill in the House of Lords which would mean councils could force drivers to pay fines if litter is thrown from their cars.

Currently if there are passengers in a vehicle it is virtually impossible to prosecute as it is difficult to prove who committed the offence. The clean-up cost to Suffolk councils for litter on the A12 and A14 was more than £700,000 over a four-year period.

The Conservative peer said: “My amendment was accepted, the Government said that it would be introducing it in the third reading of the bill. It really would make a difference and I am delighted that the Government has accepted the principle of what I’m trying to do.”

Lord Taylor of Holbeach, who is a Home Office junior minister, spoke in the House of Lords, he said: “I shall conclude by saying that I and my ministerial colleagues share my noble friend’s abhorrence of roadside litter, and his deep distaste at the behaviour of those who carelessly discard things from their vehicle.

“We have already discussed at length the kind of problems that can arise if the law on this subject is difficult to interpret or enforce.”

The law is set to be included in the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill which is set to have its third reading in a matter of weeks and could come into effect by May next year.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England has backed Lord Marlesford’s work and has campaigned for six years to get a change to the law. Lord Deben, the former Suffolk MP, John Gummer, spoke in support of Lord Marlesford’s bill in the House of Lords.



  • A small but welcome step in the right direction, albeit one that'll have a very limited impact, due to the difficulty in enforcing it. Our hedgerows and verges are a disgrace due to litter thrown from passing cars. I hope as many of the litter louts as possible will be prosecuted.

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    Andrew Watson

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • How can someone else be may liable for someone elses actions ? Ridiculous ! So the minibus driver hired by a group of ten on a stag night is responsible for their behaviour ? A taxi driver , a private hire driver ? A school bus driver - STUPID IDEA

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    Poppys Dad

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Lord Marlesford is someone I have a great deal of respect for, and his amendment is eminently sensible. In my book, drivers should be held responsible for the behaviour of their passengers, especially when it comes to the disgusting offence of littering.

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    PC Plod

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • If you drive a car, you are already responsible for ensuring that your passengers wear their seat belts, and you can be fined if they don't. Drivers must always be responsible for their passengers. This move is not only sensible, but is long overdue. Poppys Dad, think it through.

    Report this comment


    Thursday, January 23, 2014

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