New regulations aimed at cracking down on utility companies causing potholes are set to come into effect from 1 April, potentially saving drivers in Harrow and across the country time and money.
The performance-based inspection regime will ensure utility companies resurface roads to the best possible standard after street works, potentially preventing thousands of potholes from developing in the future. Under the new “street works regime”, utility companies will be assessed on the quality of their road repairs after carrying out street works, with the best companies inspected less and the worse-performing companies inspected more, based on their performance.
Companies that leave behind roads in poor condition could see 100% of their street works inspected. With highway authorities now charging £50 per defect inspection and a further £120 for follow-up inspections, poor-performing companies will now be incentivised to perform better to avoid incurring high financial charges.
The measures are set to benefit drivers across the country but will be particularly relevant to those in Harrow where residents have highlighted their dissatisfaction with road surfaces via the Harrow Online Group with numerous posts in recent weeks. The new regulations will help reduce vehicle damage and ensure cyclists and motorbike riders can drive more safely and with greater peace of mind. Additionally, the regulations will speed up fibre broadband roll-out and ease congestion, allowing drivers to plan ahead while helping to grow the economy.
The move will focus on telecom companies in particular, which is the worst-performing sector, responsible for nearly 13% of poor street work repairs. The measures will ensure these companies are checked more regularly until they can bring about noticeable improvements and leave roads in the condition that all road users deserve.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “We’re investing more than £5.5 billion over this Parliament to maintain roads up and down the country, and today’s measures are yet another example of how this Government is on the side of motorists and other road users, leaving no stone unturned in the fight against the plague of potholes.”
RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “Potholes not only cause expensive damage to vehicles but are potentially lethal to those on two wheels. Utility companies have a responsibility to ensure roads are properly repaired after carrying out essential maintenance, but unfortunately far too many roads are left in a substandard condition.
“Introducing new regulations to encourage repairs to be done to a higher standard first time around will benefit all road users.”