'Rent' charges for digging up roads
By: Elizabeth Smythe
24 August 2011
Plans to encourage utilities companies to dig up roads during the night or in quiet periods will be announced later today, The Telegraph reports.
Controversially, ministers are recommending that the companies pay 'rent' if they have to work during peak hours, those in logistics work might be interested to learn.
The suggestions are being made not only to ease inconvenience, but to try and reduce the £4 billion loss to the economy that roadworks and congestion cause each year.
Transport secretary Philip Hammond told BBC News: "Everyone knows how frustrating it can be when you are sat in a traffic jam, unable to get to work or drop off the children at school because someone is digging up the road.
"The disruption is expensive as well as inconvenient. We simply cannot afford this," he added.
"That is why I am putting forward proposals which would incentivise utility companies and local authorities to carry out their works at times when they will cause the minimum disruption to the travelling public."
Under the proposals, utilities companies would have to rent a lane for work to be carried out at busy times, though would not be charged to work overnight. Money raised would go to the local council to fund road and transport projects, potentially reducing the need for disruption in the future.
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