A toxic mix of oil, chemicals and bits of tyre from roads is polluting English waterways and no-one is regularly monitoring it, the BBC has found.

Heavy rain forces run-off into streams and rivers. Campaigners say it causes “absolutely horrific” damage in places, including just downstream of where The Great British Bake Off is filmed.

England’s major road network has more than 18,000 outflows or drains.

National Highways runs the network and says it’s working to improve them.

Responsibility for monitoring water pollution in England rests with the Environment Agency.

In response to a BBC News freedom of information request, it said that the agency did not regularly monitor run-off, though it did test for pollutants from roads as part of its general water monitoring.

The EA said it recognised that run-off from highways and urban areas was a “serious issue” accounting for 18% of water quality failures in England, and the third most damaging source of water pollution after agriculture and sewage.

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