Government to increase fines for late-running roadworks

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The government has published plans to ramp up fines for late-running roadworks, in a bid to channel more money towards pothole repair.

The Department for Transport launched a consultation on proposals that would also see more of the fees paid by firms to close lanes for the installation of utilities spent on surface repairs instead.

Transport secretary Mark Harper told delegates at the annual Conservative Party Conference in October that he was “proud” to announce a “comprehensive plan to back drivers”.

Now, the first key measures from this strategy have emerged, with the consultation mooting a doubling of fines to up to £1,000 for companies that breach the conditions under which they carry out their work.

Meanwhile, current penalties for overrunning works that disrupt travel on working days could be extended to also cover weekends and bank holidays.

And the law could be changed to ensure that at least half of the money received by highways authorities from renting road lanes to utilities for projects is spent on pothole repair.

Harper said: “This government continues to back drivers with these new measures. Our new proposals seek to free up our roads from overrunning street works, cut down traffic jams, and generate up to £100m extra to resurface roads up and down the country.”

Roads minister Guy Opperman added: “Too often traffic jams are caused by overrunning street works.

“This government is backing drivers with a robust approach to utility companies and others who dig up our streets.

“We will seek to massively increase fines for companies that breach conditions and fine works that overrun into weekends and bank holidays, while making the rental for such works help generate up to an extra £100m to improve local roads.”

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