New scheme to limit roadworks disruption
Transport Minister Sadiq Kahn has announced a package of measures as he approved the country's first-ever road works permit scheme, which will start in Kent.
Pioneering permit scheme
The new permit scheme is aimed at giving local councils more power to ensure that roadworks are carried out as efficiently as possible.
Under the scheme, any company that is carrying out roadworks must apply for a permit from the council in advance and conditions will be set on the timing, co-ordination and the amount of road space left available during the works. Action will then be taken if the conditions are not met.
A maximum £5000 fine will be imposed for those that work without a permit and there'll be a maximum £2500 fine if permit conditions are not met. Fixed penalty notices can also be given for working without a permit or not meeting a condition.
Councils in England have been able to apply to the Department for Transport to run their own street works schemes since April 2008.
Local authorities must up their game
Sadiq Khan said: 'Everyone understands that road works are necessary to keep essential infrastructure in good order, but this should not mean constant inconvenience to the travelling public. Local authorities and utility companies must up their game.
'I am therefore particularly pleased to give the go-ahead for the country's first permit scheme. I want Kent to blaze a trail for other councils to follow.'
Extra measures to cut down roadwork disruptions include compulsory tests every five years to ensure those working on the highway keep their knowledge and skills up to date.
The Department for Transport will also host a summit later this year with road group users, representatives of utility companies, bus operators and local highway authorities to examine how street works could be better executed to reduce inconvenience to road users.