Councils’ new powers to ease roadworks chaos

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ROADWORKS which overrun and cause disruption will cause firms to be fined after South Yorkshire councils were granted new powers.

Authorities can set conditions on the timing, co-ordination or amount of road space works leave available for drivers and pedestrians under the Yorkshire Common Permit Scheme - the first of its kind in the north of England.

The initiative, approved by transport minister Norman Baker, also means councils can require anyone carrying out roadworks to apply for a permit in advance.

Companies that break the terms of their permit will have to pay a fine.

Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield and Barnsley councils are included in the scheme - only the fifth approved.

Barnsley Council cabinet member for development, environment and culture Coun Roy Miller said: “Roadworks can affect everyone - any works carried out in the street have the potential to cause disruption depending on how long it lasts, where it is carried out, its scale and potential relation to other activities which may be taking place.”

The permit scheme aims to deliver public benefits by minimising disruption.

Mr Baker said: “Although we all know roadworks are sometimes unavoidable, the disruption they cause can be a hugely frustrating for drivers, cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians as well as costing businesses time and money.

“That is why it is important councils use the powers they have to make sure utility firms carry out works with consideration for those who use the road.

“We are determined to tackle problem roadworks and make sure those who dig up the road are made accountable when disruption occurs.”