Utility Companies & Councils to Pay £2500 Penalties for Roadworks During Peak Times
Whenever you see the signs that announce roadworks, especially those during peak periods, your heart sinks. Whether it’s a busy area or not, roadworks that take place during the day will invariably lead to traffic problems and congestion; more so on major routes.
Plans announced by The Department for Transport to introduce a £2500 penalty for roadworks at peak times are aimed at reducing this congestion, with utility companies and council contractors being the ones to foot the costs. It is estimated that the total cost per year to the economy in lost productivity through driver delays is over £4bn!
Trials have already been undertaken in London and Kent to analyse the impact of such charges. In the majority of cases, it was found that planned roadworks were then set to take place out of peak times as a result, and as such caused much less disruption and congestion. Utility companies have changed when and where they carry out work to avoid these penalties, with planned works in the capital reduced by 42%!
With these charges due to be in place UK-wide by the end of 2020, there have been criticisms of the scheme. Bob Gallienne, the chief executive of Street Works UK, spoke with The Times, stating that “We believe this approach is a blunt instrument that will make it harder for utilities companies to deliver vital infrastructure.”
Will we see time spent waiting in queues and at traffic lights reduced as charges become commonplace? Will utility companies and council take the potential additional cost of night working over the £2500 penalties? Only time will tell…..