March 5, 2018 11.50 am This story is over 44 months old

Council fines utility firms £70k for overrunning roadworks

New permits rule meant to make utility works less disruptive.

Lincolnshire County Council has fined utility companies £69,700 for not completing roadworks on time.

In its first year, a new scheme to encourage utility companies to complete works on schedule resulted in 81 fines and saw an estimated 2,500 fewer days of disruption for motorists, according to the council.

Under rules introduced in October 2016, the majority of firms wanting to carry out work on highways need to apply for a permit.

This permit allows Lincolnshire County Council to impose conditions on companies over the duration of the works and types of traffic management.

The largest single fine imposed by the council was £12,000 for Openreach after roadworks in Lineside, Swineshead Bridge were delayed by 4 days.

National Grid Gas also racked up £23,850 in fines for delays in roadworks.

Between October 2016 and September 2017, utility firms were responsible for 75% of works on the roads.

Lincolnshire County Council estimates the scheme reduced the number of days firms have spent working on the roads by 2,436 days, saving some £4.4 million pounds for the county’s economy.

Councillor Richard Davies, Executive Member for Highways and Transport, said: “We have a good working relationship with the utility companies, and I think we both do our best to avoid any unnecessary disruption.

“However, this new approach is giving us more control over the timing and duration of all works, helping improve things even further.

“Over the past year, we’ve started to see more collaboration between the utility firms, which has led to better co-ordination and jobs being completed on time and to a good standard.

“And that is helping to keep the roads open and the traffic flowing as much as possible.

“That doesn’t just make life easier for motorists – it’s also good news for the local economy.”

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