The Department of Transport has announced that utility firms who fail to complete road work project on schedule could face huge fines. The Street Works Summit report has resulted in Transport Minister Sadiq Khan announcing that gas, water and electricity companies could be fined up to £25,000 every day they run past their deadlines. This figure is ten times the present maximum fine of £2,500 per day.
Khan said that the report illustrated a situation whereby many utility companies were showing absolutely no concern for the country’s road users. He went on to say that his decision to hike fines as well as penalize companies for choosing to undertake work on roads at their busiest times was also a result of the fact that the country could not afford to spend an estimated £4.2 billion every year as the result of road works.
Following the report’s findings it has also been recommended that a good practice guide be sent out to councils so that they can ensure that the people who are most disrupted by road works are given plenty of notice so that they can plan alternative routes.
Drivers’ Alliance spokesman, Peter Roberts said that the announcement was good news for the county’s drivers. However he pointed out that the new system of fines may simply persuade utility companies to extend their deadlines for road works as far into the future as possible so as to avoid being penalized. Roberts said that if this happened then the problem of congestion on British roads due to road works was unlikely to change.