Latest Public Sector News

03.05.13

LGA taskforce to reduce roadworks disruption

A new taskforce comprising councils, utility companies and businesses has been set up to try and tackle cost and disruption caused by roadworks.

The move follows research from the LGA, which found that poorly re-surfaced roads cost taxpayers almost half a billion pounds over the past two years. 20% of works had to be redone at the expense of local councils. Different companies sometimes dig up the same stretch of road separately, rather than working from the same trench.

The taskforce will consider how new technology for recording works can coordinate projects and monitor performance, as well as improving communications between contractors and local businesses, and helping affected traders claim compensation where appropriate.

Cllr Peter Box, chair of the LGA’s Economy and Transport Board, said: “Most roadworks are essential and in many cases carried out efficiently and to a good standard. However, all too often the rush to get on to the next job leaves in its wake patches of shoddy resurfacing. Not only is the taxpayer left to foot the bill to do the resurfacing properly, it means needless frustration for motorists and thousands of pounds in lost trade for small businesses.

“Thousands of hours of roadworks disruption – closed roads, blocked pavements, temporary traffic lights, noisy drilling, restricted parking - are totally avoidable if only contractors did the job properly and companies better coordinated their works.

“For many years people have been complaining about these problems but very little has changed. Hopefully now that councils, utility companies and businesses have agreed to work together something will be done so the disruption and frustration of motorists and traders is kept to a minimum.”

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