Highways England has released video footage of the moment it caught vehicle occupants dumping rubbish at the side of the M6.
The ‘litter louts’ were spotted on CCTV by a keen-eyed control room operator.
Police were dispatched to the Staffordshire location and the offenders were intercepted further along the motorway. They were escorted back to the emergency area where they’d dumped the rubbish and forced to clean it up.
Highways England’s senior network planner, Frank Bird, said: “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.
“We watched the whole incident unfold on our CCTV system in our control room and 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.
“We continue to work closely with our police colleagues who enforce issues like this and we’d remind people to take their litter home and dispose of it safely.”
Along with a stern word in the ear of the culprits, their details will also be forwarded to Environmental Health officers for their information so should any future incidents occur there will be a recorded history.
The incident – which took place on March 28 – is being used as a timely reminder about the dangers of littering which puts Highways England’s 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 (May 28-June 13).
During last year’s campaign, Highways England collected 12,000 bags of litter from the network.