The ‘pothole scourge’ will be addressed in new government measures created to penalize companies responsible for leaving damage on roads after carrying out roadworks. The Department for Transport (DfT) has said utility companies will face financial penalties more easily for poor quality roadworks and leaving potholes behind.
It is hoped that the new law change will prevent thousands of potholes from being left behind by utility companies and ensure that more roads are resurfaced to high standards. The DfT said it would save motorists from paying for expensive repairs such as car tire damage or suspension caused by driving over potholes.
A new performance-based inspections regime will be introduced, leading to financial penalties for underperforming utility companies whose road works fail to meet strict standards. The DfT said these companies will be inspected more often by local authorities to ensure that their work meets rigorous criteria and that they leave the roads in good condition.
Utility companies fail an average of 9% of inspections that are done, and the lowest-performing utility company fails 63% of its inspections, the department said, adding that the majority of companies perform construction work. street at a high level. and pass the inspections. The DfT said the plans will also help speed up the rollout of broadband across the country, through exemptions to restrictions on works for new customer connections.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘The scourge of potholes is the threat to our roads. That’s why I’m making sure the companies that create them and leave the roads in poor condition can be held accountable more easily, protecting drivers from unfair repair costs.”
Labour’s shadow Transport Secretary Louise Haigh MP said: ‘The Transport Secretary is shamelessly trying to claim credit for solving the problem he helped create. Last year alone, the Tories cut funding to fix our crumbling roads enough to fix 12 million potholes.”
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