LGA Lib Dems have welcomed lane rental schemes, where utility companies can be charged for digging up the busiest roads at peak times. This could now be adopted by councils nationwide after successful trials. About 2.5 million roadworks are carried out each year, costing the economy £4 billion in increased costs to businesses through late employees or deliveries. This follows lobbying from the Local Government Association and other organisations.
In London, utility companies have worked together more than 600 times since lane rental was introduced in 2015, up from just 100 beforehand.
The Department for Transport will produce guidance in the autumn to help councils develop lane rental schemes for approval. The first schemes could start by the end of 2019.
They incentivise firms to work on quieter roads or outside of rush hour, as well as to collaborate with other companies to stop roads being dug up multiple times, to reduce the impact of roadworks on drivers.
Cllr Adele Morris, LGA Lib Dem Transport Spokesperson said:
“I’m delighted to see that the government has listened to requests from the LGA and local authorities to roll-out lane rental across the country. The success of these schemes in London and Kent has led to an improvement in traffic management, by minimising the amount of time that utility companies spend on site during busy periods. We must do everything we can to tackle congestion and its associated air pollution, which is contributing to thousands of deaths across the country every year.”