Posted tagged ‘traffic’

The end of roadwork hell?

August 23, 2011

is charging more the answer?It was after sitting in unmoving traffic last Sunday on my way to a family event, seeing vans pushing their way from lane to lane and gradually becoming more and more irate that I thought something needs to be done. When I emerged from the snails crawl only to see lane after lane of space coned off for invisible workmen to be sitting on invisible chairs watching the world go by I started ranting to the powers that be that when I ruled the world, something would definitely be done.

Well, turns out the powers that be were listening to me, as a new idea was thrown out to the masses today by Transport Secretary Philip Hammond. Essentially it enables Councils to levy additional daily costs on those who are digging up certain roads, such as utility companies. Fees of up to £2500 a day are being suggested as part of the 12 week consultation for those works which take place on main routes during peak times, which could add up to a fairly significant sum when spread over a borough, city or region of the country over the course of a year.

My initial reaction when hearing the news was positive; surely anything that can be done to limit the impact on road users would be great, and might just encourage companies to complete work far more quickly. It will also bring a little more money in for Councils to then reinvest in road improvement works themselves. On the surface it makes a lot of sense, but before too long a few questions started springing up.

To start with, what roads will this apply to and how will this decision be made? Main roads certainly would be included, but it’s often roadwork to secondary roads which can cause the most disruption as the ability to close off a single lane doesn’t exist on a single lane highway. And would the same fee apply to a 200m road as well as to a 20km section? (more…)