FURTHER to Rowena Harker’s letter (Craven Herald, March 3) on littered verges; psychological and behavioural studies show that the condition of an area is likely to determine behaviour of people within it.

Put simply, the state of the environment will determine how much litter is dropped. People will throw or leave litter if they find themselves in, passing through or passing by a littered area.

This means the area becomes exponentially yet more of an eyesore and thus encourages further careless litter dumping.

These studies are well known to anyone in the business of recycling and rubbish collection, except, obviously, Craven Council whose “spring clean of the verges” as the answer to a year-round problem is offensive to all of us who have to look at the disgusting state of those along Skipton bypass. Once a year – duty done.

Not only is this an offensive visual sight but the mess on the verges affects animals too. Research on roadside litter by the RSPB and Keep Britain Tidy found more than eight per cent of bottles and almost five per cent of the cans contained remains of some of our rarest native mammals, including shrews, bank voles and wood mice.

Astonishingly, some local councils have pleaded that “their” residents aren’t responsible, those passing through are, so it’s not incumbent on said councils to spend their residents’ taxes on litter from elsewhere. Or they say that they can’t spend money cleaning up a constantly recurring problem.

Well, they can and should. If Craven cleared those verges just three times a year, we residents would feel a lot happier and a lot less ashamed. So I challenge the council to explain to us why this cannot be done. I lay odds now we’ll not get a credible answer.

Allan Friswell


Note: Craven District Council has said the spring clean of the verges on the major through routes in the district was due to start on April 6.

The council has said traffic management is required when working alongside A roads to ensure safety and while volunteer litter pickers are appreciated they are encouraged not to litter pick on these roads for their own safety.

The council also says drivers are urged not to leave their litter by the roadside; it’s unsightly, presents a safety risk to wildlife, the environment and those tasked with picking it up, and diverts valuable resources away from providing essential services.