SOUTHAMPTON port bosses have vowed to take action following complaints about a "truly shocking" litter problem blighting a road used by HGVs.

Cllr Richard Young has raised the issue after helping Team Totton remove a large amount of rubbish from a lay-by that is being used as a toilet.

Campaigners suspect that some of the litter is being left by lorry drivers visiting the Waterside area, including industrial sites at Marchwood and Hounsdown.

Cllr Young has contacted Associated British Ports (ABP) and a meeting has been provisionally arranged for the end of this week.

"I'll be meeting managers with a view to exploring how we can ensure that drivers either based at or visiting their sites can be better provided for, and simultaneously encouraged not to contribute to a very serious local littering issue," he said.

The lay-by, on the A326 between the Rushington Roundabout and Jacobs Gutter Lane, had previously been litter-picked by Team Totton just three weeks earlier.

"Since that time a truly shocking amount of litter has been left. There were of course drinks cans and food wrappers but most concerning was the multitude of bottles of bodily fluids and numerous bags of human faeces," said Cllr Young.

"There is simply no excuse for such abhorrent behaviour.

"Working across parish boundaries is invaluable from my perspective to fully understand the issues at hand and then seek to tackle them together in a constructive and effective way.

"Roadside littering demonstrably does not stop at Marchwood's boundary with Totton and Eling. It will require a collaborative approach from councils and community groups alike to identify potential solutions.

"One option I am already seriously exploring alongside other community representatives is smart technology that has the potential to make a real difference in terms of enforcement.

"What's already clear is that we simply cannot carry on allowing these precious communities of ours, this gateway to the New Forest National Park, to be treated as a toilet."

Several people took to social media after Cllr Young raised the issue online.

One person posted: "We need more facilities for truckers, especially around ports and distribution centres. As the region will become a Freeport, I hope such facilities are planned, but I'm not holding my breath."

Another added: "Leaving waste is disgusting, but so is the way the drivers are treated."

An ABP spokesperson added: “We unequivocally condemn leaving waste in this manner and appreciate how distressing it must be for the residents and communities affected.

"Though it is happening beyond the port estate, we are discussing with other stakeholders how we can help prevent it.”