A COMMUTER is waging a one man war on litter after a council suspended roadside verge cleaning due to health and safety fears.

Robin Fegan, who lives in Hove, travels to his work at International Animal Rescue in Uckfield along the A27 and said he is appalled by the “awful state” of the verges.

The 51-year-old said he plans to walk along the route between Uckfield and Lewes picking up as much litter as he can in protest this Saturday.

Bosses at Lewes District Council admitted they have suspended litter picking on high speed stretches due to a number of accidents and near misses while staff were cleaning roadsides.

Roadside cleaners will now no longer collect litter without a minimum safety zone of one metre or a footpath.

Mr Fegan said he was shocked by the state of the verges, described them as a “blight on such a beautiful part of the country”, and said there must be some way around it.

"It's not rocket science,” he said.

He added: “I just thought ‘come on, you must be able to work out a way to work around this issue, there must be an innovative approach to deal with it’.

He wrote a letter to the council and they responded by saying “we are not using health and safety guidelines as an excuse to reduce cleansing of the highways. As a council we also are very disappointed at the level of waste thrown or lost from vehicles on a daily basis”.

Mr Fegan said: “I have just noticed the roadsides, especially on duel carriageways and the Lewes bypass, are just full of rubbish.

“I find it so depressing and I think it would not take much to clean it up. A lot of it is in a national park but there is just loads of old plastic.”

A spokeswoman for the council said: “We strongly advise against individuals attempting to litter pick themselves without proper safety precautions being in place.

“Lewes District Council has taken the decision to temporarily suspend litter picking in certain small sections of main roads while we find a practical, safe and cost effective solution to resolve the issue.

“We are already speaking with colleagues in East Sussex County Council and Highways England to co-ordinate and plan future litter picks so that they coincide with other planned road works in that area to ensure they can be carried out safely.

“It is clearly disappointing that there is still a minority of people who do throw litter from their vehicle rather than taking it home with them”