Following my local campaign to ‘Can the Cone’, I am pleased that the Government has listened and announced their Plan for Drivers. The proposals will seek to prevent the significant disruption overrunning roadworks cause on not only drivers, but the whole community, as so many residents have experienced over recent months.
It is not acceptable, that many roadworks continue to overrun, extending disruption, adding to journey times, meaning that people are late to school and work, missing medical appointments and also delaying emergency services travelling to those in need.
The Plan for Drivers will introduce increased fines of up to £10,000 for gas, water, and utility companies whose works overrun into the weekends or bank holidays, often increasing congestion at busy times. The proposed increased fines are expected to generate up to £100 million over the next 10 years, which will be invested back into improving the local road network.
I was pleased to welcome the Guy Opperman MP, the Minister for Roads and Local Transport to Rochester and Strood today following the Government’s announcement. I was able to show him some of the ongoing street works and discuss the Government’s plans to crack down on the unacceptable delays caused by utility companies completing roadworks.
Guy Opperman MP said “What we’re proposing, is to make sure that there is no weekend overrunning and when there is weekend overrunning we’ll fine them [the utility companies] £10,000, we’ll make sure there is less congestion, less street works, bigger fines and we’re doubling the fines if they don’t have a permit.”
I have been contacted by many residents across Rochester and Strood who have experienced significant disruption across Medway due to overrunning street works, with some experiencing delays of up to 2 hours. This disruption is unacceptable, and I strongly welcome the announcement by the Government to tackle this issue. I know that this will have a positive impact on the area, but I intend to push for further action to be taken to ensure that drivers are able to use the road network without the chaos we have seen recently, as they rightly expect.
The Government's Plan for Drivers can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-to-crack-down-on-disruptive-street-works-to-cut-congestion-and-improve-roads.