The government has announced proposals to charge utility companies by the hour for roadworks, ensuring repairs are carried out a quickly as possible.
Phone companies and energy firms would be charged by the hour for digging up the road rather than for the job itself. The incentive is that costs are kept down the faster the work is carried out, decreasing the lengthy waiting times drivers often encounter during roadworks.
The plan has been outlined by the Department for Transport and would see the estimated 2.5 million roadworks carried out every year become much more productive.
According to research, a staggering £4 billion is spent on unnecessary labour every year because efficiency isn’t being achieved.
Several trials of the scheme have taken place across London and Kent with positive results. The time roadworks have taken to complete has fallen by half and could dramatically increase traffic flow and commuting times if rolled out across the rest of the UK.
The Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “These proposals would give councils greater powers to ensure utility companies avoid carrying out works at the busiest times and on the most popular routes.
“This would not only improve journeys and cut congestion but also save businesses from the increased costs they incur as a result of traffic on our roads.”
However, the extra costs could be avoided if works were carried out during evenings and at weekends or if the plans are coordinated properly.