Government steps up battle against congestion

10.03 | 22 June | | 1 comment

Image: Highways England

Councils across England are being urged to take up a ‘congestion-busting’ scheme that aims to reduce the disruption caused by roadworks.

Permit schemes, which were introduced by the Government in 2010 and are currently used by 65% of local authorities, give councils more control over roadworks.

Under the scheme, local authorities can use add conditions to roadworks, such as the time when works can start and end, a limit on the number of days they can be in place and where equipment should be stored, to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum.

Research published by the Government earlier this week shows permit schemes help reduce the length of time roadworks take by an average of more than three days – as well as cutting the number of overrunning roadworks.

The announcement forms part of wider Government plans to reduce congestion caused by roadworks.

In February, it announced that it would be extending the ‘Lane Rental’ scheme, under which companies are charged up to £2,500 a day for digging up the busiest roads at peak times. At the time, the DfT claimed roadwork-related traffic jams could become ‘a thing of the past’.

Last month, the DfT unveiled plans to make pavements the ‘default location’ for new utilities’ infrastructure – a move designed to cut congestion and reduce the number of potholes on UK roads.

At the time, Chris Grayling, transport secretary, explained that potholes are far more likely to appear on sections of roads that have been recently dug up.

Jesse Norman, roads minister, said: “Roadworks are the bane of drivers’ lives, causing delays and costing the UK economy £4.3 billion a year.

“Permit schemes are proven to reduce the length of roadworks, allowing motorists to have fewer disrupted journeys and reducing the burden on businesses.

“More councils should look at adopting permit schemes, as well as lane rental schemes in due course, to help drivers get to work and visit friends and family quickly and safely.”


 

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    Conditions of working hours etc can be a good thing. It was used recently on a main A road that was closed for about 10 days between the hours of 8 pm and 6 am. when it would be at its quietest. The only trouble was they also put a legally enforceable 30 mph limit on a once 50 mph road. This was during the day? when no work was being carried out and no obstruction throughout the road replacement were made and so driver seeing that there was no obstructions and that the road was perfectly clear many decided to continue using the road at 50 mph contrary to the placement of legal 30 mph signs.

    So much for these new schemes. It seems that maybe at times some enforcement would be appropriate, a warning of average speed cameras or actual speed cameras to catch the offending drivers who believe that as there is no visible problem there is no reason to slow down and that they can do just whatever they like with impunity.


    M.Worthington
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