The Department for Transport (DfT) has today launched a consultation seeking views on proposals for reforms to street works legislation covering surplus lane rental funds, fixed penalty notices and weekend overruns.
The consultation presents a series of reforms to street works regulations, which include:
You can find the full consultation document here and the deadline to respond is 11.59pm on 11th March.
This consultation comes as the first step in the Government’s ‘Plan for Drivers’, which aims to crack down on disruptive road works and generate up to £100 million extra to resurface roads over the next 10 years.
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. 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. The plans would also direct at least 50% of money from lane rental schemes to be used to improve roads and repair potholes. Lane rental schemes allow local highway authorities to charge companies for the time that street and road works occupy the road.
A quote from Clive Bairsto, Chief Executive of Street Works UK, has been included on the DfT’s press release:
“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.”
What you can expect from SWUK
We understand that the proposals outlined in the consultation will likely negatively impact utilities operatives. SWUK is committed to taking a hard line in our response – to best represent our members and the hard work undertaken to deliver critical infrastructure works. We are already engaging with wider industry, the government and other political stakeholders to put forward the interests of the sector.
SWUK will be submitting a coordinated response representing the views of industry but we encourage members to submit individual responses on behalf of their organisation.
Over the next few weeks, members will receive a consultation toolkit, including the key lines to take and opportunities to provide supporting data from your organisation.
We will also be organising a webinar to discuss the consultation in more detail and answer any questions members may have, and will share the details in due course.
In the meantime, please do get in touch with any queries you may have – firstname.lastname@example.org