Brighton and Hove Conservatives want firms to pay for digging up roads

Posted On 12 Oct 2011 at 3:41 pm

Brighton and Hove Greens are being urged to charge utility companies fees for digging up the roads.

The opposition Conservatives on Brighton and Hove City Council say that the measure is necessary “to tackle the blight of never-ending roadworks on the city’s streets”.

Councillor Andrew Wealls has put down a motion to be discussed at the council meeting next Thursday (20 October).

He said: “Clearly roadworks are necessary in order to provide and maintain the essential services and transport networks on which the residents of Brighton and Hove depend.

“However, this does not give the operators carte blanche to dig up the road and pavement wherever and whenever they want.

“We would like the Green administration to take advantage of the measures currently on offer from the government to improve the situation for residents, visitors and businesses alike.”

Cost

He favours the council charging permit or lane rental fees to utility companies carrying out works.

And he pointed out that traffic congestion caused by roadworks carries a considerable cost to residents, businesses and visitors.

Nationally, the Tories put the cost of the disruption to the economy caused by roadworks at £4 billion a year.

He said that where charging for permits had been introduced in parts of London it had led to a much more co-ordinated approach to roadworks and significantly reduced disruption.

The government is also consulting on giving councils more power to use lane rental schemes to incentivise utility companies and councils to complete roadworks more quickly and at less disruptive times.

It would also encourage co-operation between utilities and is designed to end the practice of the same stretch of road being dug up by different operators in quick succession.

Councillor Geoffrey Theobald, leader of the Conservative group, said: “I’m sure residents know how deeply frustrating it can be when you have to sit in a seemingly permanent traffic jam, unable to get to work or drop the children off at school, because the utilities are digging up the road.

“We are calling on the Green administration to look at how they can be incentivised to carry out works at times when they will cause much less disruption to local people going about their everyday business.

“I hope that this will be welcomed by everyone in the city.”

  1. Valerie Paynter Reply

    Well, well, well! I’m not used to seeing the Conservatives come up with really useful, practical & constructive ideas. In this case, borrowed from London. Nevertheless, it is brilliant and I hope the Greens acknowledge and support Andrew Weall’s Notice of Motion.

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