Unmanned roadworks and needless temporary traffic lights could be punished by bigger fines

Published on 28 January 2016 by Tom Wadlow

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Filed under Category: Campaigning

Those temporary traffic lights holding your journey up when no-one is working on the blocked portion of road could be phased out by a 7-day road-working week and bigger fines.

Proposals to launch a major crackdown on disruption caused by roadworks on local roads and the start of 7-day working are being considered by the Department for Transport (DfT).

Councils and utility companies could face paying up to £5,000 a day if road works needlessly inconvenience motorists, by being left in place over a weekend, when no one is actually working.

Similar charges could also be levied on those who leave temporary traffic lights in place after work has been completed, again on local A roads.

Workers on ‘A’ roads, which are managed by councils, will either have to work over the weekend – so the project is finished sooner - or lift the works until they resume.

Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin said: “I want to deliver better journeys for drivers. Roadworks can be essential, but that doesn’t mean they should be in place any longer than is absolutely necessary. That is why I am looking at proposals to reduce queues and make drivers’ lives easier. These commonsense measures will be a welcome relief to those trying to get from A to B on our local roads.

“Over Christmas we were able to lift a massive number of roadworks on trunk roads, but this package of measures will benefit drivers all the year round.”

Motorists could benefit from reduced congestion, resulting in faster and more reliable journeys - less time on the roads and more time at work or enjoying their own free time.

Councils will still need to carry out essential road works, from fixing potholes to re-surfacing, and utility companies will still need to dig up roads to fix broadband connections, water, electricity or gas supplies. However, the government is looking at ways of changing how works are done on local ‘A’ roads to avoid unnecessary delays.

There is an existing penalty of £5,000 per day for roadworks that overrun.