Roadwork times to be halved under new government proposal

Updated: 

Embargoed to 2230 Friday September 1 File photo dated 14/02/09 of roadworks a road in central London, as utility companies would be charged by the hour for digging up busy roads in England under Government proposals.

A proposal to charge utility companies by the hour for roadworks has been announced by the government.

The proposal aims to encourage companies to carry out the work quickly so as not to incur greater costs, therefore decreasing the amount of delays caused to motorists.


The plan, which has been outlined by the Department for Transport, would see productivity increase on the estimated 2.5 million roadworks carried out every year.

Around £4 billion is wasted on unnecessary labour times every year due to inefficiency in delayed delivery times, according to government statistics.

The scheme has been trialed across London and Kent with positive results. The time roadworks have taken to complete fell by half and will dramatically increase traffic flow and improve commuting times if rolled out across the rest of the UK.

The Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: "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."

Extra costs could be avoided, however, if works were carried out during evenings and at weekends, or if the plans are coordinated.