Charge-per-hour plan to cut road­work de­lay

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DE­LAYS caused by road­works could be halved un­der new plans to charge util­ity com­pa­nies by the hour to carry out work in the street.

The pro­pos­als out­lined by the De­part­ment for Trans­port sug­gest al­low­ing lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to charge util­ity com­pa­nies by the hour to un­der­take works on se­lected routes, en­cour­ag­ing the firms to avoid busy roads at peak times and work to­gether when they need to dig up con­gested routes.

It is es­ti­mated that the cur­rent 2.5 mil­lion road­works car­ried out on UK roads cost the econ­omy an ad­di­tional £4bil­lion a year from lost pro­duc­tiv­ity, de­lays and ris­ing busi­ness costs.

Suc­cess­ful tri­als in Lon­don and Kent have al­ready seen de­lays caused by road­works fall by half as util­ity firms have in­creased the amount they work to­gether six­fold.

Coun­cils cur­rently use per­mit schemes to mon­i­tor util­ity works, but lane rental would give them ad­di­tional pow­ers to man­age road­works dur­ing busy pe­ri­ods.

Trans­port Sec­re­tary Chris Grayling said: “Th­ese pro­pos­als would give coun­cils greater pow­ers to en­sure util­ity com­pa­nies avoid car­ry­ing out works at the busiest times and on the most pop­u­lar routes. This would im­prove jour­neys, cut con­ges­tion and save busi­nesses from in­creased costs they in­cur as a re­sult of traf­fic.”

Scheme aimed at util­ity com­pa­nies is a suc­cess in two tri­als

ROAD­WORKS Gov­ern­ment plan aims to tackle con­ges­tion and lost pro­duc­tiv­ity

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