Local authorities have been given additional powers by Parliament to minimise the impact of roadworks.
The regulations, which will come into force next year, will allow councils to impose conditions on when roadworks can be undertaken and to co-ordinate work throughout the area of their jurisdiction.
As a result, more roadworks should be undertaken at times more convenient to road users, and utilities that need to work on the same bit of road will be encouraged to co-ordinate their efforts, rather than dig up the same area on separate occasions.
Transport minister Rosie Winterton said: 'It should be possible for companies like gas or water suppliers to co-ordinate their work better, and do it when the road isn't busy.
'These regulations will help authorities plan ahead, ensure the works don't take longer than necessary and give new powers to allow them to issue fines when necessary.'
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