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Government to crack down on disruptive street works to cut congestion and improve roads 


A crackdown on disruptive roadworks could cut congestion for millions of drivers and generate £100 million in funds to resurface roads said the government, as it delivered its first key measures from the Plan for Drivers this Monday (15 Jan).

Roads Minister, Guy Opperman, has launched a street works consultation on a series of measures to prevent utility companies from letting roadworks overrun and clogging up traffic as a result.  

“Being stuck in traffic is infuriating for drivers,” said Opperman. “Too often traffic jams are caused by overrunning street works. 

“This government is backing drivers, with a robust approach to utility companies and others, who dig up our streets.  

“We will seek to massively increase fines for companies that breach conditions and fine works that overrun into weekends and bank holidays, while making the rental for such works help generate up to an extra £100 million to improve local roads.” 

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.  

Currently, companies are only fined for disruption on working days. The measures could double fines from £500 up to a maximum of £1,000 for companies who 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. 

“Congestion is a major cause of delays for the logistics industry, which ultimately leads to disruption and costs for businesses and consumers,” said Jonathan Walker, Head of Cities and Infrastructure at Logistics UK.  

“Any measures that result in more efficient roadworks and fewer road closures are therefore positive and must be part of wider measures that improve the condition and reliability of the road network as a whole.” 

Launching on National Pothole Day, the consultation is part of a series of measures from the government’s Plan for Drivers, a 30-point plan to support people’s freedoms to use their cars, curb over-zealous enforcement measures and back drivers.  

Published On: 18/01/2024 14:00:00

 

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In brief

Peel Ports becomes first port operator to join British Retail Consortium 

Peel Ports Group has become the first port operator to join the British Retail Consortium (BRC) with a view to strengthening its relationships with retailers. 

The UK’s second largest port operator has joined the BRC as an associate member and will utilise its membership to communicate directly and engage with beneficial cargo owners (BCOs). 

Peel Ports will also host a series of webinars for BRC members to provide greater insight into the pivotal role ports play in improving supply chain efficiencies and supporting decarbonisation efforts. 

“Currently, 90% of deep-sea containerised cargo comes into the southern UK ports of Felixstowe, London and Southampton, yet 60% of these goods are destined for the north,” said David Huck, Chief Operating Officer at Peel Ports Group. “This makes no sense to UK plc from either an efficiency or a sustainability perspective.  

“We’re serious about our commitment to deliver more effective sea transport and shipping routes, which we believe offer vast improvements for the retail sector. We’re confident our northern ports hold the key to reducing costs, carbon and congestion - a triple win for the entire supply chain.”  

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