A council clean-up team collected three tonnes of rubbish along a two-mile stretch of the A27 in just two days.
The 11-strong crew from Cityclean – the council’s rubbish and recycling service – took advantage of the drop in traffic since the coronavirus lockdown started to clear litter from beside the Brighton bypass.
Labour councillor Anne Pissaridou said: “Three tonnes of rubbish is a staggering amount for two miles of road.”
Brighton and Hove City Council said: “The team cleaned up the section of the A27 between Patcham and Hollingbury.
“Items cleared included tyres, pallets, polystyrene, vehicle parts, coffee cups and food packaging.
“We’ve now cleared the full Brighton and Hove section of the A27 since February and are planning another full litter pick in the autumn.
“Lighter traffic on the A27 allowed us to carry out the clean-up in the daytime without the need for closing the road.
“As a national trunk road, the A27 is owned by Highways England. Maintenance of the road and management of the central reservations is their responsibility.
“Councils along the route are responsible for removing litter from verges, while Highways England are responsible for cutting back the vegetation and strimming the grass.
“This means councils usually need to co-ordinate with Highways England’s contractors for litter picks to take place during other maintenance work.
“As well as being expensive, it often proves impractical and can mean many parts of the road going without clean-ups for long periods.
“We’re supporting a community campaign calling on Highways England to take over responsibility for removing litter on the A27.”
Councillor Pissaridou, who chairs the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said: “The lighter traffic on the A27 this month gave us an ideal opportunity to organise a clean up of the verges in the daytime.
“This made it a far easier task to set up and without the usual complications and costs.
“Removing three tonnes of rubbish is a staggering amount for two miles of road previously cleared in spring last year.
“Keeping verges clean and litter-free is everyone’s responsibility. As well as being an eyesore, litter on the roads endangers wildlife and pollutes the water table and, subsequently, the sea.
“Please take all your rubbish home and make sure any loads on your vehicles are secured.”