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Firms could be fined over roadworks delays
3:14pm Monday 2nd December 2013 in News
Utilities firms could be fined for letting roadworks drag on, under tough new rules being considered by Bradford Council.
If the congestion-busting scheme goes ahead, anyone wanting to carry out roadworks in certain streets would have to buy a permit from Bradford Council.
The permits would allow contractors to work on a street for a limited amount of time, which would have to be booked in advance. Fines could then be imposed if the work over-ran.
The Yorkshire-wide scheme has been developed by Leeds City Council and Yorkshire Water.
Leeds and Kirklees councils have already taken it on, and are reporting a reduction in road delays as a result.
If adopted in Bradford, the Yorkshire Common Permit Scheme would only apply to key routes where roadworks are judged to cause significant delays on the wider highway network.
The Council currently expects that about a quarter of the district’s roads would meet this Department for Transport criteria and could be included in the scheme.
Bradford Council would be consulting utility companies and transport organisations about which roads should be included in the scheme.
Highways experts estimate that the move could prevent motorists from suffering more than 43,621 hours of delayed journeys.
It is also expected to reduce emissions caused by vehicles in queues, and save £492,000 being lost to the economy because people can’t get to work.
Councillor Val Slater, Bradford Council executive member for highways, said: “There is nothing more annoying than getting caught in traffic queues because someone has dug a hole in the road, but there is no sign of any actual work taking place. Sometimes this can go on for a matter of days or weeks without any progress.
“The permit system will give us greater control over utility companies and better co-ordination of their activities with our own highway work to minimise disruption and congestion.”
If the executive, which meets at City Hall today, endorses the scheme, a consultation would begin before an application is made to the Government.
If it gets the go-ahead, the Bradford permit scheme could be up and running by next summer.
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