General, HP, Improving our roads, Surrey County Council, Transport

Stronger council powers to cut roadworks misery

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Road users plagued by roadworks will benefit from a new congestion crackdown launched by Surrey County Council.

For years, the law has allowed different companies to dig up the same roads at different times, costing the local economy millions a year and causing misery to road users.

Now Surrey County Council is taking control of who digs where, when and with whom by introducing a permit scheme. If companies fail to plan enough to limit their impact on traffic, they will be refused permission to do the work.

It is estimated this permit scheme means there will be up to 2,400 fewer roadworks in the county every year, reduce congestion and save Surrey’s economy around £6.5 million a year.

Surrey’s roads teams will have the power to force firms to:

  • Time their works to fit with other companies’ plans for the same road
  • Pay for a roadworks permit
  • Follow clear rules, including times and days of work

If workmen break a permit or dig without one, Surrey County Council’s roads team can now give a  fine and prosecute the most serious offences more easily.

John Furey, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “Roadworks can be a real pain, so it’s great we can now tell companies when, how and with whom to dig. This means we can limit the number of roadworks at any one time in one area so there are fewer traffic issues.”

Launched jointly with East Sussex County Council, the permit scheme will also mean utility companies can be ordered to display information signs with their contact details and a project reference number, as well as writing to residents.

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