Utilities face heavier fines for overrunning street works

The fines could provide a significant deterrent for companies breaching job conditions, with potential penalties rising from £500 to a maximum of £1,000

Utility companies may face steeper fines for extended street works, according to new government measures aimed at reducing congestion and improving roads.

The current £10,000 per day fine for overrunning street works may be extended to weekends and bank holidays, acting as a deterrent for busy road travel days.

Though crucial for maintaining essential services, the two million street works conducted in England between 2022 and 2023 resulted in approximately £4 billion in economic costs, the government said.

Severe road congestion and disrupted journeys were among the consequences.

The consultation also considers doubling fines from £500 to a maximum of £1,000 for companies violating job conditions.

The proposed plans would direct at least 50% of funds from lane rental schemes to road improvement and pothole repair, potentially generating an extra £100 million over ten years for road resurfacing.

Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, said: “Our new proposals seek to free up our roads from overrunning street works, cut down traffic jams and generate up to £100 million extra to resurface roads up and down the country.”

Edmund King, AA President, said: “Overrunning roadworks and poorly reinstated roads from utility companies frustrate drivers and cause unnecessary congestion and trench defects can damage vehicles and injure those on two wheels.”

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