The Government is proposing a major crackdown on disruption caused by roadworks on local roads, with seven-day working among the recommendations.
Councils and utility companies could face paying up to £5,000 a day if road works needlessly inconvenience motorists, by being left in place over a weekend, when no one is actually working.
Similar charges could also be levied on those who leave temporary traffic lights in place after work has been completed, again on local A roads.
Workers on ‘A’ roads, which are managed by councils, will either have to work over the weekend – so the project is finished sooner - or lift the works until they resume.
Transport minister Patrick McLoughlin said: “I want to deliver better journeys for drivers. Roadworks can be essential, but that doesn’t mean they should be in place any longer than is absolutely necessary. That is why I am looking at proposals to reduce queues and make drivers’ lives easier.
“These commonsense measures will be a welcome relief to those trying to get from A to B on our local roads.”
Motorists could benefit from reduced congestion, resulting in faster and more reliable journeys - less time on the roads and more time at work or enjoying their own free time.
Councils will still need to carry out essential road works, from fixing potholes to re-surfacing, and utility companies will still need to dig up roads to fix broadband connections, water, electricity or gas supplies.
However, the Government is looking at ways of changing how works are done on local ‘A’ roads to avoid unnecessary delays.
There is an existing penalty of £5,000 per day for roadworks that overrun.