Plans have been outlined to cut congestion by giving local authorities the power to charge utility companies by the hour for carrying out works on roadworks along congested routes.
According to the Department for Transport (DfT) which outlined the plans on Saturday (2 September), trials in London and Kent have already seen severe congestion caused by utility works fall by more than half.
Firms could avoid the charges by carrying out works during evenings and weekends or coordinating their plans, the government has said.
The schemes could also act as an incentive for companies to avoid congested routes and peak times where possible.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “Delays caused by roadworks can be the bane of drivers’ lives – especially when they take place at rush hour on busy routes.
“These proposals would give councils greater powers to ensure utility companies avoid carrying out works at the busiest times and on the most popular routes. This would not only improve journeys and cut congestion but also save businesses from the increased costs they incur as a result of traffic on our roads.â€?
Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport for Transport for London, said: “We’re delighted about these plans to extend the lane rental scheme nationally. It has been a resounding success in the capital, with the amount of severe disruption caused by badly-managed or poorly-timed roadworks more than halved. This has helped improve journey times for bus passengers, drivers and cyclists, while also helping to tackle emissions.â€?