Today (13 March 2012) I am announcing the coalition government’s plans to increase the penalties that local authorities can impose where street works by utility companies and others overrun their agreed duration. This follows a consultation launched by the previous government.
The maximum charge for the busiest streets will rise from £2,500 a day to £5,000 a day for the first 3 days of overrun and £10,000 a day thereafter, rather than the £25,000 per day planned by the previous administration. I consider that the new charge level will result in a decrease in the number of works which overrun their agreed period, and better reflect the congestion costs overrunning works impose on society.
I also intend to change the regulations such that works planned to be only of a short duration attract the same overrun charge as those of longer planned durations, in recognition of the fact that all these works cause equivalent disruption to the road user.
These changes are in line with the government’s commitment to ensure regulatory proposals are proportionate, our desire to see congestion caused by roadworks reduce, and for utilities and others who work in our streets to be held accountable for that congestion.
The full consultation response can be found on the department’s website.
To take forward these proposals, I will lay regulations before this House in the summer. It is my intention that the changes come into force in October of this year.