Fleet News

Commitment to improve road works

The Government has promised to ensure road works are carried out efficiently, safely and to high standards - ensuring more work is done correctly the first time round.

Currently, sub-standard road works cost £14 million a year in repairs and associated costs such as congestion.

The proposals, announced by transport minister, Rosie Winterton, would see qualified workers being reassessed every five years to ensure their knowledge of the latest requirements and best practice is up-to-date.

The Government has also introduced new measures to help councils limit delays and congestion caused by road works.

"Better trained road workers will mean more road works completed correctly the first time round,” said Ms Winterton.

“We are already giving councils new powers to better co-ordinate road works and help cut disruption.

"Now we are taking action to help make sure that these works are carried out safely and to the highest possible standards.”

From April 1, councils will be able to insist that utility companies give longer notice periods before starting road works.

It is hoped this will improve co-ordination and prevent multiple works in the same area at the same time.

Councils will also be able to impose conditions, such as a banning rush hour working.

They will also be able to introduce a permit scheme - meaning companies wanting to dig up a road will have to apply for a permit first.

Councils will be able to penalise utility companies that break the conditions.

The new proposals on training would mean that from 2010 those carrying out road works will have to pass a test every five years.

At the moment workers simply have to complete a re-registration form and pay a fee to remain on the Street Work Qualifications Register (SWQR).

The new proposals are subject to a 12-week public consultation, which can be found at: www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/open/streetworksqualifications/

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