A former waste boss who accused Aberdeenshire Council of failing to keep streets clean has lost his court battle.
George Niblock, convener of Aberdeenshire Environment Forum, took the local authority to court with a litter abatement order.
The order allows a member of the public to force landowners to clean up litter hot spots.
Mr Niblock, who is a retired council waste boss, previously threatened to take the authority and the Scottish Government to court over the state of the streets, alleging years of neglect.
Solicitors acting on his behalf subsequently filed an order with the court, which focused on the condition of the A96 Aberdeen to Inverness road.
The order is specific to a near seven mile stretch of the road north of Inverurie, including the landscaped areas and verges adjacent to the carriageway.
Had the court order been granted, the council would have been required to clear any litter and refuse away within four weeks.
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Mr Niblock alleged the authority continually failed to clear rubbish from the route, and believed that mirrored failings elsewhere in the region.
A number of people gave evidence during the hearing, at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, including Mr Niblock and Philip McKay, the council’s head of roads.
The court heard that Mr Niblock had been campaigning for the council to address the perceived problem for eight years.
He presented 24 different photographs during the hearing, which he claimed showed litter and rubbish piled up along the route, along with overgrown foliage covering adjacent footpaths.
There was also pictures of animal carcasses, a fox and a badger, left on the road included in the photographs.
Mr McKay gave evidence that the authority complied with its statutory duties to clean streets but also said budgetary pressures prevented him from devoting any further resources to it.
It was also confirmed during the hearing that the responsibility of cutting back verges was with Bear Scotland, which manages Scotland’s trunk roads network.
Sheriff Andrew Miller, presiding, heard evidence from both sides and ultimately ruled in favour of the authority.
He ruled that the evidence did not show the problem was a “consistent one” along the route.
In his written decision, Sheriff Miller said: “For example, a number of the photographs relied upon by him which show the presence of litter at particular locations along the road also appear to show, where the angle permits, that such litter is localised rather than being, in any true sense, a consistent feature of this entire stretch of road.
“The same issue applies in relation to the evidence of the presence of dirt or detritus on the carriageway.”
A spokesman for Aberdeenshire Council said: “We welcome the fact that the sheriff refused to make a litter abatement order and was of the view that Mr Niblock had failed to prove his case.
“We were confident in our system of inspections and the way we allocate limited resources in this area, and it is therefore unfortunate that public money had to be used to defend this case
“We would like to use this opportunity to remind those travelling around the area to dispose of any litter responsibly, either using litter bins, or by taking rubbish home with them – our crews are subject to high levels of risk while litter picking in such locations, something which ideally would not have to happen at all.”
Mr Niblock could not be reached for comment.