Penalties are to quadruple for utilities companies that fail to complete roadworks on time, the Department for Transport has revealed.
The current fine for failing to meet deadlines for works on Britains busiest roads is a penalty of up to 2500 for every day that they overrun.
However, from October 1, this will increase to 5000 per day for the first three days, rising to 10,000 per day thereafter.
Councils must spend any income generated from such penalties on implementing transport policies.
Transport Minister Norman Baker, said: 'The increases will provide an incentive for utilities to finish works on time and prevent people sitting in unnecessary traffic jams.'