Department for Transport Announces Proposal for Charges for Lane Rental on Road Works

There has been a recent proposal from the Department for Transport to introduce and launch a rental charge for lanes on an hourly basis for various road projects and road works. Many councils as well as motor groups have expressed enthusiasm for the proposal, although they have also stated that the proposal should not affect the quality of road repairs. 

Incentives to reduce the time utility roadworks take

Incentives to reduce the time utility roadworks take

Along with the proposal for lane rental by the hour, the Department for Transport has also made a recommendation for a new scheme on ‘super permits’ for road works which are carried out on some of the busier road networks. 

According to officials from the Department for Transport, the delays to motorists and drivers which are caused by various utility firms which dig up local roads can be cut in half. This is based on information gathered from similar trials which were carried out in Kent and London, where utility firms are likely to be charged as much as £2500 per day for doing their road works. 

Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, added that the proposals can provide councils with more authority to make sure that utility firms will avoid doing road works at the busiest routes and during the busiest and most congested periods. Mr. Grayling has also stated that the proposals would not only reduce congestion as well as improve travel times – they can also help businesses save money by allowing workers not to spend too much time on the road due to traffic. 

The current situation

The Department for Transport said that about 60% of authorities on the local front make use of permits for the monitoring of road works, but the proposal for lane rental will give the authorities more power to manage road works more efficiently. 

A permit scheme will provide another option to the notification scheme, where a promoter for highways activity will apply for their permit from the highways authority instead of letting the authority know about its plans to do road works. 

Permit requirements and solutions 

Because of the Deregulation Act of 2015, the requirement for permits that should be approved by the secretary for transport was removed. The Department for Transport has stated that it wants to see all the authorities operating permit schemes, although sources from Transport Network have suggested that councils which have not yet adopted the scheme for permits are not likely to adopt it now. 

The Department for Transport is holding consultations for options so work by highways authorities and utility firms can be more efficient. Some officials have recommended the avoidance of charges on lane rental by doing road works in the evenings or during the weekends, or establishing better coordination between parties.

Posted on 25 Sep 2017 in News

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