Fleet News

An end to ‘ghost town’ road works

COMPANIES that leave road works unfinished will now face a £2,500 fine each day they run over an agreed deadline.

Gas, water, electricity and telecoms firms will have to apply for permits and work together to minimise disruption. They will have to give three months’ notice of a proposed job and meet deadlines for completion.

Local authorities will be able to set work hours and ban other companies from digging the same road within a specified period.

The Department for Transport said that existing legislation was failing to cope with the sharp increase in street works. More than a million holes were dug last year. The traffic delays they caused cost the economy an estimated £2 billion.

The DfT has published draft regulations, Keeping Traffic Moving, which list a rising scale of fines for late completion of works, starting from £250 a day for a minor road up to £2,500 for a major route.

Companies can be fined up to £2,000 at present, but this rarely happens because they are able to set themselves long periods in which to complete work and exploit loopholes to overrun these deadlines.

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