Companies running late with road works will now face penalties of up to £25,000 for each day of overrun, Transport Minister Sadiq Khan has announced. This represents a tenfold increase on the current £2,500 maximum daily charge.
The Government has also introduced a new inspection regime giving local authorities more power to charge utility companies for inspecting road works in their streets.
The tougher 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.
Sadiq Khan said:
"These new measures show how serious the Government is about tackling problem road works which cost our economy £4.2 billion each year.
"There is no excuse for those companies who allow road 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."
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 will be followed shortly by announcements on improving safety at road works sites by updating an existing Safety Code of Practice.
The consultations on increasing overrun charges and the new inspections regime can be found on the Department for Transport website.