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MP Kelly Tolhurst backs bill to ramp up fines for overrunning roadworks

An MP is supporting a bill that would ramp up fines on overrunning roadworks to more than £12,000 a day.

Rochester and Strood MP Kelly Tolhurst has pledged her support for legislation which would mean companies which do not complete roadworks on time could pay up to £12,500 for every day they run over their deadline.

Overrunning roadworks cause misery for many
Overrunning roadworks cause misery for many

The Roadworks (Regulation) Bill would increase the fines contractors face for delayed completion, which are currently a maximum one-off £2,500 fine.

If introduced, for the first three days a penalty of up to £6,250 each day would be enforced, which would then rise to £12,500 per day, depending on the type of road and level of disruption.

This, supporters of the bill say, would create a greater incentive for roadworks companies to complete jobs on time as the current level of penalties are too low and too easy for contractors to cost into the work.

It would mean that for a major road disrupted by overrunning roadworks 10 days beyond the deadline, the company responsible would be fined a total of £106,250, rather than the current penalty of just £2,500.

This money would then be split between any authorities impacted by the roadworks.

For more minor roads, the fines would be less but even the lowest fine would see contractors pay £313 for every day beyond the scheduled deadline rather than the current single penalty of £100.

The bill would also give councils more powers to refuse roadworks on the basis they would be too disruptive to residents, while also putting in specific wording that means authorities must carefully plan works to minimise disruption for road users.

It comes as part of the Can the Cone campaign started by Conservative MP Mark Francois after frustrations about gridlocked roads due to roadworks.

Miss Tolhurst said: “I am pleased to be backing the Can the Cone campaign.

“I believe that this will have a positive and significant impact across the country and in particular, across the Medway Towns.

Kelly Tolhurst, MP for Rochester and Strood, is backing the bill
Kelly Tolhurst, MP for Rochester and Strood, is backing the bill

“Over recent months, residents have seen huge disruption caused by badly planned council and utility roadworks, often beset with delays.

“This widespread disruption and overrunning roadworks have seen my constituents miss appointments, struggle to get to work or school and complete day-to-day tasks, with some people facing delays lasting hours.

“I believe that the Roadworks (Regulation) Bill would significantly reduce disruption and minimise delays to the completion of works, and providing the functioning road network that residents rightly expect.”

Find out the latest roadworks in your area by clicking here.

The bill will have its first reading in Parliament on November 30.

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