July 02, 2018
The government has called for every council in the UK to introduce roadwork permit schemes following research showing the schemes reducing congestion.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has discovered that big benefits are to be had for drivers as a result of roadwork permit schemes. First announced in 2010, roadwork permit schemes give councils a greater control over the roadworks completed on their streets, companies have to apply for a permit from the local authority to carry out work before starting, which has helped councils plan to reduce disruption on the roads.
The report from the DfT found that in areas that used permit schemes, the length of disruption to drivers was reduced by an average of more than three days. The report also found that the number of roadworks that overran also reduced in areas where permits were used.
One key factor to the success of the scheme is that the permits stipulate what times of day that the companies can complete the works, they can also limit the number of days allowed for the works to be completed and even specify where equipment can be stored. These factors stop companies from taking longer than necessary on and contracted work.
Currently 65 percent of local councils have roadwork permit schemes in place, with the government asking the remaining 35 percent to introduce the schemes as soon as they possibly can.
In conjunction with the roadwork permit schemes, there will also be a rollout nationwide of lane rental schemes later this year which will work in conjunction with the permit schemes. Lane rental systems charge utility companies £2500 per day to carry out work on the busiest roads, adding a further incentive for firms to complete work as soon as possible. Lane rental has only been trialled in London and Kent so far, with initial signs pointing to a positive impact on reduction of congestion, there will be further guidance later in 2018 to see lane rental schemes across the country.
According to the Roads Minister Jesse Norman, roadworks cost the UK economy in excess of £4 billion on a yearly basis. The Department for Transport is also said to have plans to encourage utility companies to go beneath pavements with their services, rather than roads, again with the attempts of minimising disruption on the roads.
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