Brighter Uckfield joins debate on by-pass litter

Brighter Uckfield, is a group of volunteers dedicated to improving our town by keeping it clean and litter free, painting neglected buildings, planting bulbs and flower displays.brighter_uckfield_logo

The group published its views about Uckfield by-pass litter on Facebook this week. We reproduce them below.

The comments were made following Owen Hoy’s column on Uckfield News last week where he said there was a disgusting amount of litter on the by-pass.

Since then Uckfield Town Council has taken up the cry for action. See: By-pass litter: ‘Disgusting, appalling, awful’

Here are Brighter Uckfield’s comments:

“Much concern has been expressed about the state of the by-pass, and it is in a horrible state right now. We have been asked by a couple of our followers whether our volunteers ever tackle it, so here are some details:


“Firstly, and this is really important – as far as we are aware, Wealden contractors DO NOT litter pick any of the roads on a timetable, e.g. once per month (it would be great if they did, but even then monthly isn’t really often enough).

“As far as we can tell, they have a hit list of areas to tackle based upon public complaints. So, everyone who is frustrated about it, please CONTACT WEALDEN and raise your concerns – this may push this up their “to do list”.

“If Wealden are reading this, and disagree with this statement, and do litter pick the roads on a timetable, PLEASE CONFIRM EXACTLY WHAT THIS TIMETABLE/FREQUENCY IS, rather than providing the stock answer of “it is on our list to do in the next three weeks”.

Our tasks

“As for Brighter Uckfield, here is summary of what we do:

1) We have one volunteer who litter picks the Eastbourne and Lewes Roads and every few weeks litter picks the roundabouts/junctions with the bypass.

2) Another (husband and wife) team litter pick Bell  Farm Road out to the by-pass occasionally, and may do the roundabout if they get that far.

3) We do have two volunteers Neil and Rebecca who do most of their litter picking on the roads and lanes outside Uckfield, and occasionally the Uckfield and Maresfield by-passes, although not as often as we’d like to be able to. Each tends to work alone due to their own personal timings.

Help needed

“If anybody would like to help us by adopting small areas of the bypass, that would be really helpful.

“Please feel free to share with any appropriate social media in Uckfield, Maresfield and further afield. If the roundabouts could be adopted by individuals living nearby, ten minutes with a litter picker and a bag once every week or two is all it would take to keep them clean – we’re talking here the Budletts, Blackdown, Copwood and Lewes Road roundabouts, plus those around Maresfield.

“The Uckfield by-pass itself is three miles long between Budletts and the Lewes Road, and is a high speed road. It isn’t as unsafe to litter pick as people think, as the verges are quite wide, but it does take some nerve and you need to be sure footed.


“Plenty of people walk along it already, all we are doing is litter picking whilst we go, but we are very aware of our own safety and that of the traffic when out there.

“It would take one person between four and six hours to do the whole stretch, so two or three weekends work, and once it’s done it needs doing all over again, so you can see why it’s something we don’t get round to as often as we’d like, as there are plenty of other roads out there that need our attention too. Again, if anybody has an adventurous streak and would like to help, please get in touch.

“Finally, a note about causes. There is growing problem with the amount of plastic sheeting and sacks ending up on the bypass – caused we think by the growing popularity of open-backed pickups and the high speeds on this road.


“Also, the problem currently is partly caused by the verges being cut back, revealing accumulated litter from a long time back – councils don’t seem able to coordinate this with an immediate (or concurrent) litter pick – another problem with using different contractors for different jobs no doubt.

Ultimately, the bypass needs to litter picked frequently by Wealden, and we do not want to completely replace them in this role. But, we will keep an eye on the situation and will take a look ourselves if matters haven’t been tackled over the few weeks – remember, contact Wealden and express your concerns to make this happen. And if you see any bright green bags on the road side, that will mean that we have given up waiting and taken matters into our own hands!

See also:

CRIME: ‘Uckfield needs police officers patrolling streets’

£100+ rise in Uckfield Band D council tax bill on the cards

W E Clark and Son gets a warm welcome in Uckfield

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