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Government to make it easier to levy penalties on companies responsible for leaving potholes

Local authorities will be able to scrutinise poorly performing road work companies more often as part of a new performance-based inspections regime aimed at preventing poor quality road works.

The new Government policy will see the worst performing utility companies face financial penalties if they fail to meet "strict" standards.

Flagged companies will then be inspected more regularly by local authorities to ensure their work meets criteria and they leave roads in good condition, the Government announced.

Companies conducting work on roads will also be required to provide local authorities and the Department for Transport's Street Manager service with more up to date and accurate data on live road works.

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The service, introduced in 2019, is for local highway authorities, utility companies or contractors within England to plan, manage and record street and road works.

Businesses will need to provide information about when works start and stop at weekends, and all local authorities must send start or stop information about their works. This will update sat navs and other apps, so motorists are aware of where road works are happening.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "The plague of potholes is the menace of our roads. That’s why I’m ensuring companies who create them and leave roads in a poor state can be held to account more easily – protecting drivers from unfair repair costs."

Mr Shapps added: "We’ve already invested billions of pounds into roads maintenance, helping local authorities keep their highways well maintained and I’ll continue working to make sure all road-users around the country can enjoy the safe, world-class infrastructure they deserve."

RAC Head of Roads Policy, Nicholas Lyes, said: "While roadworks are frustrating at the best of times, it’s even worse when utility companies leave roads in a sub-standard state when the temporary traffic lights are finally removed.

Mr Lyes added: "Poorly carried out reinstatement work very often leads to road surfaces breaking down, unnecessarily causing potholes much to the annoyance of drivers.

"Introducing a performance-based inspections scheme should force utilities companies to raise their game and should ultimately lead to smoother and safer journeys for all road users."

Adam Carey

Sponsored Editorial

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