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Roadworks near Lydgate Lane ,Crookes
Roadworks near Lydgate Lane ,Crookes
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MORE than three-quarters of Sheffield motorists were held up at roadworks on their way to work - and are delayed by an average of 59 hours a year in the jams, according to a new study.

The statistics were revealed by a car insurance provider, which has interviewed more than 3,000 drivers around the country.

But it also found Sheffield had the lowest proportion of motorists who said they had been made late for work due to roadworks out of any other region or city in the UK - 48 per cent.

More than 77 per cent of Sheffield drivers encounter roadworks as part of their daily drive to work.

City motorists also admitted they have also turned up late for important events such as weddings, funerals and job interviews - and the average amount of time factored into daily journeys in anticipation of roadwork-related delays was 13 minutes.

Mac Millard, aged 75, of Longley, a retired postman who is on the Sheffield Motorists’ Forum, whose members raise highways issues with the council, said: “These statistics come as no surprise.

“There do seem to be a lot of roadworks and what really gets my goat is when one company digs a road up then another utility firm comes in a few weeks later.

“They ought to work in a more co-ordinated way to minimise disruption.”

Richard Massett, of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, the recognised trade body for taxi drivers run by taxi drivers, said: “It’s the sheer number of roadworks that take place that is the problem.

“Whether they are relatively minor works carried out by the utility companies or major works which close roads for months or even years at a time, they are impossible to avoid on our heavily congested road network.”

Coun Leigh Bramall, Sheffield Council cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “We are currently looking to seek Department for Transport approval to set up a permit scheme for firms wanting to work on the highway - this will help greatly on our busiest routes.

“We always try and schedule non-emergency works outside of peak hours so that motorists are disrupted as little as possible.

“Roadworks are inevitable in a big city like Sheffield but we make sure that we coordinate roadworks so that as to minimise the impact on traffic through unnecessary works on the public highway.

“For example, three utilities companies might want to do work on the same stretch of road so we get them all in at the same time so there is one disruption rather than three.”

The council said it deals with over 20,000 requests from contractors needing to work on the city’s roads, with over 300 sets of roadworks are carried out every day - but 70 per cent are classed as urgent or an emergency, such as a burst water main or gas leak.

Pete Markey, head of insurance at More Than who carried out the research, said: “While roadworks are necessary and beneficial to motorists in the long term, the additional time spent in the car means stress levels are increasing, which, in turn, can lead to poor driving and, ultimately, accidents.

“Fuel prices also remain high and roadworks mean people have to spend even greater sums on petrol, with 68 per cent of commuters incurring extra expense on a weekly basis as a result of getting caught in roadworks.”