Wednesday 8 April 2015

Extra MSA & Keep Britain Tidy

Extra MSA & Keep Britain Tidy

Litter has been identified as a problem in motorway service stations or MSAs across the Strategic Road Network in England. This article outlines our plan to undertake a fully monitored experiment to reduce littering at the Beaconsfield Service Area.


Who are we working with?

  • National environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy in partnership with Extra Motorway Services.


What are we doing?

  • Keep Britain Tidy and Extra Motorway Services will be testing our ‘watching eyes’ metal signs designed specifically to prevent vehicle littering in the Motorway Service Area car parks.
  • 40 metal signs will be displayed across the service area car park for three weeks
  • The metal signs will be produced in a reflective material, allowing them to illuminate under the car park lampposts and vehicle headlights.
  • These signs will be supported by a number of smaller, non-reflective versions of the sign placed inside the services building, for example in restrooms, and an electronic version on the centre’s television advertising screen.
  • Extra Motorway Services will monitor litter by counting the number of full bin bags of waste collected at the site, both from the 32 car park rubbish bins and from the ground (litter).
  • Keep Britain Tidy will monitor litter and littering behaviours at the site through waste analysis, behavioural observations and intercept interviews.


Where are we doing this?

  • Beaconsfield Service Area, Buckinghamshire


Why are we doing this?

  • Existing Keep Britain Tidy research suggests that many litterers from vehicles tend to belong to the ‘guilty’ litter segment. This demographic feels guilty about littering and therefore only tend to litter when alone or out of sight from others, for example in a MSA car park under the cover of darkness or between parked cars.
  • The intervention draws on an experiment called ‘Keeping an eye on it’ which was successfully delivered by Keep Britain Tidy in 2014 to reduce dog fouling using posters that displayed a pair of ‘watching eyes’.
  • Research has found that people tend to behave better when they think they are being watched and that this can be achieved using images of ‘watching eyes’.
  • The experiment found that the ‘watching eyes’ posters approach was highly effective in reducing dog fouling, achieving an average 46% decrease in dog fouling incidents across 120 sites.


  • The posters will be displayed for three weeks from Monday 30 March 2015.
  • If successful, the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy will be aiming to roll out the campaign across the country.
  • The results of the experiment will be available from approximately June 2015.
  • Keep Britain Tidy and partners will be promoting the experiment, partner involvement and the outcomes of the experiment after it has happened when we have the results.


Keep Britain Tidy is a leading environmental charity. We inspire people to be litter-free, to waste less and to live more. We run programmes including Eco-Schools, the Green Flag Award for parks and green spaces and the Blue Flag/Seaside Awards for beaches. To find out more about Keep Britain Tidy, our programmes and campaigns visit