Consultation proposes extended fines for overrunning roadworks

A new consultation has been launched on a series of measures to prevent utility companies from letting roadworks overrun and clogging up traffic as a result.

The consultation seeks to extend the current £10,000 per day fine for overrunning street works into weekends and bank holidays as a deterrent for working on the busiest days for road travel. Currently, utility companies are only fined for disruption on working days. The measures could double fines from £500 up to a maximum of £1,000 for companies that breach conditions of the job, such as working without a permit.

The plans would also direct at least 50 per cent of money from lane rental schemes to be used to improve roads and repair potholes. Lane rental schemes allow local highway authorities to charge companies for the time that street and road works occupy the road.

As a result, the measures could generate up to £100 million extra over 10 years to resurface roads while helping tackle congestion.

The consultation is part of a series of measures from the government’s Plan for Drivers, a 30-point plan to support people’s freedoms to use their cars, curb over-zealous enforcement measures and back drivers.

The consultation comes after the government introduced a performance-based street works regime to ensure utility companies resurface roads to the best possible standard, and new lane rental schemes where utility companies can be charged up to £2,500 per day for street works.

Transport secretary, Mark Harper, said: "After investing an extra £8.3 billion to resurface roads across England, the largest ever increase in funding for local road improvements, this government continues to back drivers with these new measures from our Plan for Drivers.

"Our new proposals seek to free up our roads from overrunning street works, cut down traffic jams and generate up to £100 million extra to resurface roads up and down the country."

Roads minister, Guy Opperman, said: "Being stuck in traffic is infuriating for drivers. Too often traffic jams are caused by overrunning street works.

"This government is backing drivers, with a robust approach to utility companies and others, who dig up our streets. We will seek to massively increase fines for companies that breach conditions and fine works that overrun into weekends and bank holidays while making the rental for such works help generate up to an extra £100 million to improve local roads."

 

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