THE leader of Worcester City Council has hit out over litter louts who blight the A449 - saying they need "major education".

Councillor Adrian Gregson says too many drivers heading down the busy dual carriageway are using the route as a dumping ground.

As the Worcester News first revealed last week, all three political parties on the council have agreed to start an investigation into what can be done to improve the A449's appearance.

It followed a plea by Conservative Councillor Andy Stafford, who represents Claines, and took some images himself of the mess.

Cllr Gregson, who also backed the motion, says thoughts need to turn to what can be done to educate people on how damaging the litter is.

"This is a major, quick road and within the cleaner and greener team we talk about education and enforcement," he said.

"But it's very difficult to enforce these things when a car goes past and throws a crisp packet out the window.

"There is a major education programme which is required, and not just in Worcestershire by any means, but across the country."

He also said closing lanes off to pick up litter ends up costing taxpayers around £5,000.

Meanwhile another councillor has urged city leaders to look at the example of Wychavon for inspiration over keeping the route litter-free.

Because of its sprawling landscape, Wychavon District Council has been known to send out litter pickers in high-vis jackets to march up and down major routes for miles at a time.

It comes amid some fears that safety concerns could hamper a bid to improve Worcester's A449.

Councillor Lucy Hodgson said: "I know in Wychavon they walk all the way from Spetchley roundabout to Inkberrow.

"Yes, I know when we talk about the A449 there's some concern over safety, but there's also things we can do to make it effective."

Since we ran our first story last week several residents living near the Claines section of the A449 have contacted this newspaper to voice their concern over the route.

Phillip Blake, 59, who lives in Claines Lane, said: "It hardly gives you a nice impression of Worcester, that's my concern.

"It's good that they are talking about this - maybe someone should put a camera up to catch the drivers out, there's a thought."