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UK Government plan to fines for utility companies which over-run road works to reinvested into pothole repairs and resurfacing

Plans have been announced which will raise additional funds for improving roads.

This week, the minister for roads and local transport, Guy Opperman MP, said that government would increase pressure on utility companies to complete works on time to reduce disruption.

The plan includes fining companies for works that overrun and investing any money raised into improving roads such as through pothole repairs and resurfacing works.

Road resurfacing. Credit: Department for Transport.
Road resurfacing. Credit: Department for Transport.

Currently, utility companies are only fined for disruption on working days and the consultation seeks to extend this into weekends and bank holidays as a deterrent for carrying out roadworks on the busiest travel days.

There is a £10,000 per day fine for overrunning street works and 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% of money from lane rental schemes — which allow highway authorities to charge companies for the time that street and road works take place — back into improvement works.

It is predicted that through these fines, as much as £100m over the next ten years could be generated for improvements works.

In an open letter, Mr Opperman said: “When utility company roadworks overrun, it’s motorists who pay the price with congestion, detours and longer journeys.

“This is why I’ve announced a plan to crack down on works by utility companies overrunning.

“We are consulting on plans to toughen fines for utility companies if they overrun and increase the penalties for operating without a licence.

“Proposals include using money the utility companies pay councils to ‘block off’ the streets, and putting it into resurfacing and improving local roads.

“The result? We could generate £100 million extra each year to resurface roads and tackle potholes left behind by utility companies, while helping tackle congestion, cutting down journey times and make driving a bit easier.”

It forms part of the government’s larger ‘Plan for Drivers’ initiative which they say aims to make improvements for the benefit of road users.

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