The UK government is introducing new regulations from 1 April 2023 to clamp down on utility companies that leave potholes behind after carrying out street works. Under the new “street works regime,” utility companies will be assessed on the quality of their road repairs after carrying out street works, with better companies inspected less and worse-performing companies inspected more based on their performance. The move will benefit road users with smoother journeys, reduced congestion, and faster broadband rollout. Telecom operators, responsible for nearly 13% of poor street work repairs, will face particular scrutiny. The plans will also help ease congestion by mandating better live updates on roadworks to help drivers plan ahead.
- From April 1, 2023, new regulations will be implemented to ensure that utility companies resurface roads to the best possible standard after street works in the UK.
- The performance-based inspection regime will potentially prevent thousands of potholes from developing in the future and benefit road users by providing smoother journeys, reduced congestion, and faster broadband rollout.
- The government is investing over £5.5 billion by 2025 in highways maintenance, which includes the Potholes Fund and an extra £200 million announced at Budget 2023.
- Utility companies will undergo evaluations on the standard of their road repairs following street works, whereby inspections will be reduced for the top-performing companies and augmented for the poorly-performing companies, according to their performance.
- Companies with poor performance that fail to maintain roads in good condition may face 100% inspection of their street works and will be motivated to improve their performance to prevent incurring steep financial penalties.
- Reforms in the inspection framework that mandate improved live updates on roadworks to aid drivers in planning ahead will aid telecom operators in nationwide broadband deployment and reduce congestion.
- The Department for Transport’s street manager service will receive more accurate and up-to-date data on live works from utility companies and local authorities, which will benefit all road users and aid drivers in planning ahead and reducing congestion.
Benefits of these regulations
The government’s new regulations on utility companies leaving potholes behind after carrying out street works will benefit people across the country. Starting on April 1, 2023, utility companies must repave roads at the best possible standard after road work under a performance-based inspection regime that will stop thousands of potholes from forming in the future.This move will result in smoother journeys, reduced congestion, and faster broadband rollout. Motorists will save money on expensive repairs by protecting their vehicles from damage to tires or suspension, and cyclists and motorbike riders can drive more safely.
Companies that leave roads in a state of disrepair will face higher financial charges and may lose 100% of the inspection of their road works. The new oversight framework will help telecom operators roll out nationwide broadband and ease congestion by mandating better live updates on roadworks to help drivers plan ahead. Government investment of more than £5.5 billion by 2025 in highways maintenance, including a pothole fund, will allow local authorities to plan more effectively for the management of their roads and it will also save millions of potholes, repair dozens of bridges and Enough to drive up and down the streets. The measures will benefit all road users and will help drivers plan ahead and reduce congestion.
- Mandated improvements for live updates on roadworks
- Worst performing sector for street work repairs
- More frequent inspections until improvements are made
- Facilitating broadband rollout through removing restrictions on works for new connections
Impact on Road Users
- Reduction in potholes and vehicle damage
- Safer journeys for motorists, cyclists, and motorbike riders
- Improved planning for drivers and reduction in congestion
- £5.5 billion investment between 2020 and 2025 in highways maintenance
- Potholes Fund and extra £200 million announced at Budget 2023
- Local authorities’ ability to plan effectively for road management
New regulations are set to come into force in the UK from 1st April 2023 that will require utility companies to resurface roads to the best possible standard after street works. The move is aimed at preventing the development of potholes, which can cause damage to vehicles, create congestion, and pose a safety hazard to cyclists and motorbike riders. The new regulations will introduce a performance-based inspection regime for utility companies that will assess the quality of their road repairs after carrying out street works. Companies that leave behind roads in poor condition could see 100% of their street works inspected, with highway authorities charging £50 per defect inspection and £120 for follow-up inspections. This will incentivize utility companies to carry out better street works, potentially reducing the number of potholes on UK roads.