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Privatised railway companies will need to keep train stations and ...
Privatised railway companies will need to keep train stations and

tracks litter-free, environment minister Michael Meacher said,

publishing the revised Code of Practice on litter and refuse.

The revised Code sets out standards of cleanliness for public spaces

throughout Britain and gives practical guidance for local authorities

on keeping their land litter-free in a readily accessible form. It:

announces the intention to bring Railtrack and the train operating

companies back under the litter duty, closing a 'loophole' which

emerged following privatisation;

provides advice and information on good practice methods and steps

which duty bodies might take to strengthen public commitment to

cleanliness. The quality of delivery of these services will be

reviewed as part of the drive for best value in local authorities

later this summer;

brings legislation up to date in a single document, reflecting

changes made to statutory instruments such as the fixed penalty for

littering - raised to£25 in 1997; and

clarifies duties for litter authorities and those affected by them.

Launching the revised Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse, Michael

Meacher said:

'Litter is a problem which concerns me greatly. It spoils our

everyday life both in the town and the country. Local authorities

have an important role to play and the code which we have published

today shows how they and we can all do our bit to reduce litter


'Following privatisation, railway companies were not obliged to keep

stations and tracks litter-free. This loophole has now been closed -

travel by train should now be in a cleaner, more pleasant


The Code of Practice updates and clarifies the guidance given to

local authorities and others on their duties in regard to litter and

has been rewritten to make it easier to understand and use. The

advice and examples of good practice provided on keeping land litter

free will help to ensure that standards of cleanliness in the local

environment will be upheld.

As part of the drive for best value in local authorities services the

government will be undertaking a major consultation exercise in the

summer on its proposals for performance indicators, standards and

targets in England and Wales. Best value will also require local

authorities to review, fundamentally all of their services over a

five year period. These reviews will require authorities to look

critically at the services they deliver and require them to

re-appraise them in order to seek improvements in delivery.


The Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse provides practical guidance

on the discharge of litter duties under Part IV of the Environment

Protection Act 1990.

The text also reflects changes brought about by the Dogs (Fouling of

Land) Act 1996, the fixed penalty for littering, raised to£25 in

1997 and additional types of land which could be subject to a Litter

Control Area Order or Street Litter Control Notice.

A Statutory Instrument will amend theEnvironment Protection Act and

associated Order to confirm that the privatised railways companies

are subject to the 'litter duty'. The order will come into effect on

16 June 1999. As a consequence of the amendment, 'any operator of a

relevant railway asset' will be subject to the litter duty. This

will require railway companies to keep their land clear of litter and

refuse. Failure to do so will enable a person (such as a Local

Authority) to seek a litter abatement order from a magistrates court.

This would require the company to clear the litter within a specified


Copies of the revised Code of Practice will be available on the

internet at,

and from The Stationary Office: price£17.99, ISBN: 0 11 753479 X

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