M8 road cleaning and litter collection: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

FOI reference: FOI/18/00604
Date received: 22 February 2018
Date responded: 22 March 2018

Information requested

The amount of littering along the M8 in Glasgow, essentially along its whole length in the city boundaries is shocking. How often is litter cleared from verges and land adjoining the motorway? Do you stipulate a minimum frequency of litter clearing by the companies you employ to maintain the trunk roads? How often are they surveyed for litter? I would appreciate a response so you can treat this as an FOI


As the information you have requested is 'environmental information' for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.

This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.

Transport Scotland's approach to the maintenance of the trunk road network is set out in the 4th Generation Term Contract for Management and Maintenance of the Scottish Trunk Road Network.

The 4th Generation Term Contract can be found at:


  • Schedule 7, Part 1, Section 4.34 sets out the requirements of our operating company, Scotland Transerv in relation to Litter and Refuse clearance.

Section 4.34 also mentions the Code of Practice for Litter and Refuse. Links to this document can be found at:


Please be re-assured that the concerns you have raised are recognised. Unfortunately, often not long after litter is uplifted, a minority of irresponsible drivers deposit more. In addition to on-going litter picking and efforts to improve its effectiveness (including monitoring of litter hot spots), Transport Scotland and our Operating Company Scotland TranServ will continue to work closely with both Zero Waste Scotland (an agency of The Scottish Government) and Keep Scotland Beautiful to support their litter campaigns. Scotland TranServ will also continue to make use of road side signage to advise drivers of the risk to road workers safety associated with uplifting litter from motorways and encourage road users to dispose of their litter in a more appropriate way.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses


Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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