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Coordination of roadworks

Comment 7th September 2010

At present many companies have the right to shut off sections of road at any time of their choosing.  This often results in chaos or farce where other companies dig up nearby roads or even the same stretch a short time after it was resurfaced by the previous company.  This results in severe frustration and stress, increased emissions as cars wait and an incalculable bill to businesses who may lose both their workers and their customers.

Given that Local Authorities need to raise alternative revenues without pushing up Council Tax, would it not make sense for Councils to police the digging up of highways, charging for the right to do so and issuing licences that were valid for an agreed period with stinging penalty clauses for delays?  Regulation should place a duty on such companies to coordinate their activities ensuring that no particular route was disrupted more than a certain number of days per year.  A duty should also be placed on the Council to ensure that traffic flow was kept as free as possible.

Why does this matter?

Such a move would benefit residents, commuters, buses, businesses and the environment.  It would givi Councils the right to raise extra revenue in a manner that would very probably be seen to benefit rather than oppress its population.

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