Proposals have been made to fine councils who leave roadworks unattended that create unnecessary congestion.
The roadworks may have to be carried out 7 days a week or remove road restrictions altogether if no work is taking place. It will then be deemed an inconvenience to drivers and mean a large fine for utility companies and councils.
At the moment, the proposals have been made to lower the congestion on major A-roads only.
Penalties may be imposed for traffic lights that are left on site after works are finished.
Patrick McLoughlin for the Department of Transport has said: “Roadworks can be essential but that doesn’t mean they should be in place any longer than is absolutely necessary”.
Between September 2014 and September 2015, in the provisional road traffic estimates released by the government, there were significant increases in traffic and congestion.
Motor vehicle traffic increased by a shocking 2.2%- a new high of 316.1 billion vehicle miles. It also states that motorway and rural road traffic figures were the highest they’ve ever been.
These proposals are a welcome addition in an effort to lower the amount of time spent on roads and reducing the overall traffic statistics from the dismal high where they currently remain.
Philip Gomm from the RAC Foundation had this to say:
He added that: ‘given that roadworks cause so many jams in the first place anything that can be done to speed them up and to put pressure on those who were digging up the roads to work faster is probably a good thing’.
Eamonn Deane, chairman of cycling club Bournemouth Jubilee Wheelers, also said: ‘All road users will benefit from the prompt completion of roadworks. Of course this is always better achieved without penalty.’
‘However cyclists are least affected by roadworks, as we can more easily find an alternative. More imaginative use of bollards can allow cyclists to pass through them, allowing them safe passage and clearing the way for following traffic’.
He finished by adding: ‘I think traffic volume is one of the biggest causes of congestion so I am not sure this move will have a big impact on stopping congestion’.
View a map of the roadworks HERE.