Highways contractors who allow road works to overrun will face penalties of up to £25,000 a day - a tenfold increase on the current £2,500 maximum daily charge - transport minister Sadiq Khan has announced today.
The Government also set out proposals for a tougher inspection regime giving local councils more powers to charge utility companies for inspecting road works in their streets.
Sadiq Khan said: "These new measures show just how serious the Government is about tackling problem road works which cost our economy £4.2bn each year.
"There is no excuse for those companies who allow their works to drag on for longer than they should, causing inconvenience and frustration for the travelling public. The new charges and tougher inspection regime will provide a strong incentive for utilities to finish works on time or pay for the disruption they cause.”
The proposals are intended to provide utility companies with a strong incentive to finish works on time. Utility firms will not be permitted to pass the cost of these charges on to their customers.
The new inspection regime will mean that utility firms that consistently fail to keep their sites safe, or fail to replace the road surface properly, could be required to pay for additional inspections by local councils.
Today's announcement forms part of the Department for Transport's street works action plan published in December 2009. The action plan aims to reduce the disruption caused by street works and today's consultations will be followed shortly by announcements on improving safety at road works sites by updating an existing Safety Code of Practice.