Street works reforms: The view from ADEPT

23/04/2024

The Department for Transport (DfT) has unveiled new plans for how councils should spend surplus funds from street works fines and lane rental schemes. ADEPT’s First Vice President, Ann Carruthers, outlines the association’s response.

The condition of many of England’s roads is a topic of fierce debate, as are the impacts of street works. Potholes, works and delays are huge concerns and cause frustrations for road users daily.

The answer is not only greater funding for maintaining our roads but also increased control to manage street works and incentives to reduce their duration. It’s no secret that local highway authorities (LHAs) have huge financial constraints and keeping pace with road maintenance requirements – as well as the demand for works on the network – is becoming increasingly difficult.

ADEPT has recently responded to the DfT’s consultation Street works: fines and lane rental surplus funds, offering clarity on our position and solutions to the issues.

The consultation includes three considerations. The first of these relates to lane rental schemes – these allow LHAs to charge utility companies and other parties working on the highway for closing all or part of a road, essentially ‘renting’ out the road space.

The consultation proposes requiring at least 50% of any surplus funds to be spent on repairing potholes.

The second proposition covers raising the level of fixed penalty notices (FPNs) that can be issued for street works offences, including failing to send timely work start-stop notices, failing to send notice of reinstatement after completion, working without a permit and breaching permit conditions. The final point proposes allowing overrun charges to apply at weekends and bank holidays.

We welcome the suggestion that at least 50% of surplus funds from lane rental schemes be allocated to pothole repairs and feel the proposal could go further.

Widening the scope of what surplus funds can be spent on ensures essential patching and resurfacing work are also included. These can prevent more potholes from forming in the first place and at present resources limit the amount of minor road maintenance taking place.

Currently, only a small number of LHAs have implemented lane rental schemes. ADEPT supports changes to make it easier for LHAs to set up lane rental schemes and wants to see barriers removed. The existing process is time consuming and requires the transport secretary’s approval. Having established a scheme under the current system, ADEPT member West Sussex County Council is working with the DfT on a more streamlined process and we are following its progress keenly.

It is vital that lane rental income should enhance existing and future government investment in highways, not replace it.

FPN levels for street works offences have not increased since 2007 and are out of step with inflation. ADEPT supports the doubling of fees so that they start to become a deterrent against failure to send start-stop or reinstatement notices on time, working without a permit or breaching permit restrictions. However, ADEPT would like to see even higher FPNs imposed.

Many utility companies and developers simply factor current fines into their budgets. ADEPT’s view is that fines should be a genuine deterrent against inefficient practices. Road works without permits can endanger the public and cause unnecessary congestion and fines should reflect the severity of the situation.

Traffic during weekends and bank holidays can be similar to weekday peaks, leading to severe delays and congestion. ADEPT supports proposals to extend overrun charges to cover weekends and bank holidays.

There are no current penalties for street works activities left up or overrunning into weekends and bank holidays. ADEPT agrees with proposed amendments to the 2009 regulations allowing overrun charges to be applied all the time. Those responsible for street works will be held accountable for all overrunning works and encouraged to find swifter resolutions. Currently, they are required to submit start-stop notices at weekends but many do not.

Implementing FPNs encourages better compliance and offers LHAs enhanced knowledge of all schemes, improving the co-ordination of works and decreasing the risk of congestion. This approach will also ensure that more timely information on the status of street works can be communicated to the public via sources such as one.network and subsequently to satnav services, helping improve travel conditions.

ADEPT supports better solutions for all stakeholders. LHAs need sufficient funds for all types of road maintenance; those carrying out street works need defined boundaries for their works and genuine incentives for efficient practices, ultimately improving roads and highways for everyone.

• More information about ADEPT can be found here: www.adeptnet.org.uk

• Download ADEPT’s full consultation response at www.adeptnet.org.uk/documents/adept-response-dft-street-works-fines-and-lane-rental-surplus-funds-consultation

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

 

ALSO INSIDE:

  • Exclusive: Smart Motorways
  • Are you AI protected?
  • Traffex Parkex Evex Cold Comfort
View the latest issue


Highways jobs

Traffic Management Officer – Technical Specialist x2

£44,428 - £47,240
The City has ambitious plans to deliver an improved sustainable transport infrastructure Bristol
Recruiter: Bristol City Council

Assistant Service Manager

£30,054 - £31,963
We are looking for a highly motivated Assistant Service Manager to join our County Transport team County Transport, Brimington Workshop, Chesterfield
Recruiter: Derbyshire County Council

Principal Engineer - Highways Development Management

£48,378 - £51,571
We are looking for an experienced and talented professional to join West Northampton Council as our Highways Development Principal Engineer. One Angel Square, Northampton
Recruiter: West Northamptonshire Council

Principal Engineer - Highways Development Management

£48,378 - £51,571
You will play a lead role on all major highway development proposals across West Northampton. One Angel Square, Northampton
Recruiter: West Northamptonshire Council

Service Manager - Highways (Asset and Traffic)

£48,474 to £51,515
A vacancy has become available for a Service Manager to join and manage our successful Highways Assets and Traffic team. Torbay, Devon
Recruiter: SWISCo

Head of Highway Operations

Grade 15 £59,559 - £65,327
At Derbyshire, we have been on a journey to transform the way we deliver highway services Derbyshire
Recruiter: Derbyshire County Council

Highway Inspector Manager

£42,403 - £46,464
You will be working closely with the Highway Inspections Operations Manager Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Recruiter: Staffordshire County Council

DSO Compliance Officer (Health and Safety)

Salary From £41,043

Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Highway Inspector

£31,364 - £35,745
Our Highway Inspection team ensures that we comply with our duty to maintain the highway Staffordshire
Recruiter: Staffordshire County Council

Highway Network Officer WMF1060e

£35,745 - £36,648
Westmorland and Furness Council, Highways and Transport service is looking for an experienced, motivated, and friendly individual. Cumbria
Recruiter: Westmorland and Furness Council

Head of Commissioning Management

Grade 15 £59,559 - £65,327
At Derbyshire, we have been on a journey to transform the way we deliver highway services Derbyshire
Recruiter: Derbyshire County Council

Light Vehicle Mechanic

Grade 8 £27,507 - £29,418 per annum
We are looking for a highly motivated Light Vehicle Mechanic to join our County Transport team Derbyshire
Recruiter: Derbyshire County Council

Traffic Management Officer - WMF1092e

£35,745 - £36,648
This is a role for Traffic Management Officer to be based in the Eden area. Penrith, Cumbria
Recruiter: Westmorland and Furness Council

Traffic Management Technician - WMF1090e

£26,421 - £27,334
This is a role for Traffic Management Technician to be based in the Eden area. Penrith, Cumbria
Recruiter: Westmorland and Furness Council

Multi Skilled Operatrive x4

£22,737.00 - £29,269.00, Career grade 3-6, 37 hours, Permanent
We are seeking enthusiastic and capable colleagues to join our Highway Operations team that forms part of the Highway Network Management. Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Wakefield Council

Supervising Technician

£33,024.00 - £35,745.00, Grade 8, 37 hours, Permanent
The purpose of this role is to support the Workshop Manager you will be required to work closely with other Supervising Technicians. Newton Bar Depot, Central Vehicle Workshops, Newton Bar, Wakefield WF1 2TU
Recruiter: Wakefield Council

Heavy Vehicle/Plant Apprenticeship

Age dependent (Under 18 yrs - £12,347, 18-20 yrs - £16,591, 21+yrs - £22,071)
The programme can start to build your career, or help you to re-train, becoming a valued, recognised and rewarded team member. Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Wakefield Council

Senior Engineer - Highways and Drainage

£40,221 - £44,428 + 12% Attraction + Retention Payment equating to actual pay £45,047 - 49,759
This is an exciting opportunity to join us as a Senior Engineer. Lincolnshire
Recruiter: Lincolnshire County Council

Traffic Management Technician - WMF1090e

Salary £26,421 - £27.334
This is a role for Traffic Management Technician to be based in the Eden area. Penrith, Cumbria
Recruiter: Westmorland and Furness Council

Assistant Arboricultural Consultant

£26100 - £30706 per annum + + 26 Days Leave & Defined Benefit Pension
Assistant Arboricultural ConsultantPermanent, Full TimeUp to £30,706 per annumLocation
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Highways Presents

 


Latest Video