In a move which will please commercial drivers who spend hours on the road each day, the Government has introduced new measures to penalise companies responsible for leaving potholes on the country’s roads after carrying out street works.
It is expected the new law change could prevent thousands of potholes being left behind by utility companies nationwide, and will ensure more roads are resurfaced to a high standard. A new performance-based inspections regime will be introduced, where the worst performing utility companies whose road works fail to meet strict standards will face financial penalties. These companies will go on to be inspected more regularly by local authorities to ensure their work meets rigorous criteria and they leave roads in a good condition.
While the majority of companies carry out street works to a high standard and pass inspections, the Government said that utility companies are on average failing 9% of the inspections that are carried out, and the worst performing utility company is failing a significant 63% of its inspections.
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. 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.”
Roads Minister Baroness Vere added: “I’m sure all drivers have felt frustrated by the potholes we see on some of our roads, which can damage our vehicles and make journeys a misery. That’s why we’re changing the law to ensure companies won’t be able to get away with poor quality road works for much longer.
“The changes we’re bringing in will also help to keep motorists updated with live traffic updates – easing congestion. This is a clear victory for motorists and all road users who will be able to enjoy smoother, safer journeys.”