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Drivers caught fly tipping on M6 forced to turn round and pick it up by police

"We watched the whole incident unfold on our CCTV system in our control room."

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 3rd June 2021

The moment that two drivers decided to pull their car over and fly-tip unwanted rubbish at the side of the M6 was caught on revealing CCTV footage.

And it was this exact CCTV footage that landed them in trouble with the police.

The culprits were travelling northbound through Staffordshire when they decided to pull into an emergency layby area to empty food packets and other rubbish from several bin bags – but unfortunately, they failed to make the clean getaway they’d likely hoped for as eagle-eyed control room staff at Highways England were watching them on CCTV.

The team quickly notified Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG), who then managed to track down the offenders and escort them back to the layby to tidy up their mess.

“This was a blatant and reckless abuse of one of our designated emergency areas which are there to help people in the event of just that, an emergency.” said Frank Bird, Senior Network Planner at Highways England.


“We watched the whole incident unfold on our CCTV system in our control room.

“[We] then quickly passed it to the police who were able to stop the vehicle and escort them safely back to the emergency area to tidy up their mess”.


The police have confirmed that the rubbish being dumped was mainly things like takeaway wrappings and plastic bottles, and along with “a stern word” by officers, the culprits details have also been forwarded to Environmental Health officers for recorded history in the event that of any future incidents occurring.

The incident – which took place on 28 March – is also being used by Highways England as a timely warning about the dangers of littering, which the authority says “puts our workforce at risk” when they have to go out and collect it.

Highways England is calling on drivers to “be part of the pick” and join them in doing their bit to reduce litter levels on the nation’s motorways as part of the Great British Spring Clean 2021.


12,000 bags of litter were collected from England’s motorway network during last year’s campaign.

“We’re urging road users to save litter for the bin.” said Freda Rashdi, Head of Customer and Operational Requirements at Highways England.

“Litter picking costs time and money and doing this diverts resources that could be used to improve the network [so] if people didn’t drop litter in the first place, it wouldn’t need to be picked up.”

Featured Image – / Highways England