Transport Minister Sadiq Khan has unveiled new guidelines to help local councils crack down on companies who do not complete roadworks on time.
Kent County Council is now the first authority outside of London to have introduced a permit scheme for roadworks, giving it greater powers to co-ordinate the work and take tough action in the event of an overrun.
Once a scheme is in place companies must apply for a permit before work commences, and must follow strict conditions on timing, co-ordination and the amount of space to be left available to road users.
The new guidance will help other authorities develop their own schemes, and anyone who breaks the terms of the permit or begins work without authorisation could be prosecuted and face a £5,000 fine.
Mr Khan said: "I am delighted the Kent scheme is up and running and am pleased that more and more councils across the country are developing plans to introduce their own permit schemes. We also plan to consult on higher financial penalties for companies who allow their roadworks to overrun as well as on lane rental charges for firms operating on the most traffic sensitive routes."
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