Huntingdonshire District Council has new powers to tackle litter louts who throw rubbish out of vehicles.

Officers from the council will be able to issue £150 fixed penalty notices on the registered owner of a vehicle - irrespective of whether they dumped the rubbish themselves or if it was thrown by a passenger.

The move comes after the council's street cleaning teams shifted more than 55 tonnes of litter from the roads and highways it is responsible for across the district.

Councillor Marge Beuttell, executive councillor for operations and regulation said: "The road networks operating throughout Huntingdonshire are well used as link roads as well as for local commuting.

"There is extensive use by national haulage companies and this is an opportunity to work with them as well as car drivers to ensure that they understand that littering within our District will not be tolerated."

The council's introduction of fixed penalty notices is part of a bigger campaign to raise awareness of litter issues and to encourage people using the district's road networks to act responsibly and take their litter home.

Earlier this year the council's licensing and protection committee agreed unanimously to take up powers under littering from vehicles regulations.

Delegated council officers will now be able to issue fixed penalty notices to the registered keeper from which litter has been thrown.

Non-payment of the £150 ticket will see the automatic doubling of the cost to £300.

A council spokesman said: "Litter blights the landscape and has a negative impact on our communities.

"Sadly it has become commonplace to see the verges of our local roads, as well as the dual carriageways running through the district strewn with litter which has been discarded without a thought for the environment or those that will be responsible for picking it up."

It said the council's time and money could be better spent on services other than removing tonnes of waste from the streets if littering was not such a big problem.