Roads and Local Transport Minister, and Hexham MP, Guy Opperman, has announced plans to crack down on utility companies that over-run and raise £100mn extra for potholes.
The initiative is part of a 30-point Plan for Drivers launched by Transport Secretary Mark Harper in October.
Guy Opperman told North East Bylines:
“When utility company roadworks overrun, it’s motorists who pay the price with congestion, detours and longer journeys. This is why I’ve announced a plan to crack down on works by utility companies over-running.
“We are consulting on plans to toughen fines for utility companies if they over-run and increase the penalties for operating without a licence. Proposals include using money the utility companies pay councils to block off the streets and putting it into resurfacing and improving local roads.
“We could generate £100mn extra each year to resurface roads and tackle potholes left behind by utility companies, while helping tackle congestion, cutting down journey times and make driving a bit easier. This is part of the first series of measures delivered from the government’s Plan for Drivers, a 30-point plan to support freedom to use your cars, curb unnecessary enforcement and back drivers.”
Opperman said that altogether those who rely on the roads would see the biggest ever funding increase of £8.3bn to resurface local roads in England – improving the everyday journeys that so many people rely on.
The Plan for Drivers launched in October included new technology to simplify parking payment and updating 20mph zone guidance to prevent inappropriate blanket use. The government also committed to exploring measures to speed up the installation of charge points for electric vehicles and extending grants to schools to install charge points.
To help ease congestion, £70mn was to be provided to councils this financial year to invest in improving traffic lights and signals, including AI technology to optimise traffic flow in city centres.
*This report is based on a Department for Transport press release.