"Mindless" individuals who throw litter from their vehicles into roadside verges have been criticised by Copeland's mayor.

Mike Starkie has spoken out after the council's waste team collected over 100 bags of rubbish from a two-mile stretch between Hensingham in Whitehaven and Frizington.

Other items found dumped at the sides of the rural roads in the council clean-up included three tyres, a child's desk and pieces of wood.

Mr Starkie said: "I think that it is absolutely disgusting that our roads and verges are being swamped with litter that has been thrown from vehicles with scant regard for the beautiful area we all live in.

"It's mindless and reflects badly on those individuals. I would like to see perpetrators named and shamed, and severely punished with punitive fines.

"The vast majority want to see litter-free streets, verges and paths. We are working hard to enhance our area – and our waste teams do exceptional work often in the most trying of conditions – however the poor behaviour of some detracts significantly from our objectives of making Copeland a better place to live, work and visit."

The council's waste and enforcement manager Janice Carrol says enforcement procedures are currently under review and the council will use "all available regulatory powers to fine individuals who are littering".

She added: "It took two days and four men to clean these verges at a considerable cost to the taxpayer.

"We are receiving more and more complaints in respect of littering, the majority of which refers to roads and verges caused mainly by people throwing rubbish out of the vehicles they are travelling in.

"Empty cans, coffee cup cartons, plastic knives and forks, napkins, sauce packets and bottles are all common items that are being thoughtlessly discarded."

The News & Star reported on Monday that the Eskett Quarry area, near Frizington, has again been targeted by fly-tippers, with furniture, toys and crockery the latest items dumped. It follows an oven, sofa and fridge being dumped there late last year.