Proposed measures in the Street works: fines and lane rental surplus funds consultation paper include raising the level of fixed penalty notices (FPNs) that can be issued for five street works offences and allowing overrun charges to apply at weekends and bank holidays.
It also proposes a requirement for at least 50% of any surplus lane rental funds to be spent on repairing potholes.
The Department for Transport claims that its proposals could not only reduce congestion for but also generate “up to” £10m a year extra for resurfacing roads.
The consultation seeks to extend the current £10,000 per day fine for overrunning street works into weekends and bank holidays as a deterrent for working on the busiest days for road travel. Currently, utility companies are only fined for disruption on working days. The measures could double fines from £500 up to a maximum of £1,000 for companies that breach conditions of the job, such as working without a permit.
Clive Bairsto, chief executive of Street Works UK, the trade association that represents utility companies and their streetwork contractors, said: “Utilities perform a vital role in connecting households, working to the highest standards, while complying with rigorous inspections to ensure works are high quality and lasting.
“We look forward to engaging constructively with government throughout this consultation, representing our members and the wider industry, to ensure both utilities and local authorities can deliver infrastructure works while giving customers and road users the speed of delivery, lack of congestion and transparency they expect.”