CUSTOMERS using Tot Hill Services are being blamed for increased litter on the highway approaching Highclere.
Local resident and owner of Total Pressure Ltd, Kevin Pearson, said: “We suffer greatly from the fact that we are within chucking distance of the services, with its 24-hour McDonald’s and the Shell petrol station selling sandwiches and Costa coffee.
“People, coming off the bypass on their way south, manage to complete their meal just as they enter our village and – not caring for anyone other than themselves – discard their rubbish in Highclere.”
The chairwoman of Highclere Parish Council, Sally Izett, said: “Regarding the problem of litter along the highway, particularly the A343, much of it we think comes from users of the services at Tot Hill, given the nature of the rubbish, which comprises coffee cups, plastic drinks bottles and fast-food packaging.”
Cabinet member for the environment and regulatory services at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Hayley Eachus, said: “We have installed signage at Tot Hill service station reminding people to bin their litter and teams go out on litter picks in the area on a regular basis.”
Highclere Parish Council employs a weekly litter picker, but he is now only insured to pick up litter from the 30mph zone – and the problem is reportedly worse outside this area.
Mrs Izett said: “I confirm that the parish council employs a litter-picker to collect and dispose of rubbish from some of the litter ‘hot spots’ in the parish.
“This is done on a weekly basis in areas where it is deemed safe for our litter- picker to operate.
“For safety reasons, our litter picker is unable to operate along areas of highway where there is no footpath or where the national speed limit applies.
“The local authority clears these stretches of highway, but on a far less regular basis.
“Consequently it is these areas where we see a build-up of rubbish which is of concern to the parish council and our local residents.”
Mrs Eachus said: “Dropping rubbish is unacceptable behaviour and anyone caught littering will be issued an on-the-spot fixed penalty notice of £75.
“Those who don’t pay could face prosecution and a fine of up to £2,500.
If you see someone littering, report it to www.basingstoke.gov.uk/ or telephone (01256) 844844.