A Richmondshire county councillor has called on his authority – which has already been criticised for installing too many road signs – to introduce signs to deter littering and fly-tipping.
North Richmondshire councillor Angus Thompson, who has pressed authorities to take action over cleaning stretches of the A66 which had not been cleared for years due to access issues, said while North Yorkshire had its share of dumped rubbish, it had few available resources to tackle the problem.
He said yellow signs, which are used for diversions, instructions and information, could be put up beside known fly-tipping hotspots, such as lay-bys, while signs warning about £500 fines for littering could be installed at the roadside.
The call comes days after Craven District Council leader Councillor Richard Foster highlighted how the North Yorkshire authority would soon introduce stricter rules at its tips to effectively ban people with vans from entering, even if they had permission previously, because the system was being exploited.
Other community leaders have claimed the rules for vans would exacerbate fly-tipping problems.
Meanwhile, the North Yorkshire Moors Moorland Organisation says gamekeepers are being faced with clearing away hundreds of bags of litter every year and they are increasingly having to contend with large household items, vehicle tyres and even commercial waste.
North Yorkshire County Council drew headlines around the world in 2007 for installing 45 road signs within half a mile in Low Street, South Milford, with RAC bosses condemning the signs as confusing and distracting.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England urged the authority to remove some of the signs, which the council said had been installed for safety reasons.
However, recent years have seen authority raise concerns about a proliferation of signs reducing the effectiveness of other signs, when considering whether to introduced vehicle activated signs.
Coun Thompson said local authorities, including neighbouring Durham, had used yellow signs very successfully in the battle against littering and fly-tipping, particularly as they could be moved around the area as deemed necessary.
He said installing the signs would not prove costly and could be funded by councillors through their £10,000 annual local budget, which is given to all 90 elected members to directly respond to local needs.
Coun Thompson said: “Prevention is normally better than cure. I would suggest our beautiful county will be much tidier and the cost of employing staff to litter pick would in the long-term decrease.”
The authority’s executive member for highways, Councillor Keane Duncan, said while the unitary authority would continue with the street cleaning duties of district and borough councils after they are abolished in April 1, under “a strong and coordinated plan” which had yet to be developed.
He said Coun Thompson’s proposals would be examined by the authority as part of a fresh strategy and that he agreed with the principle of taking preventative action.