Did you know the government is cracking down on roadworks?

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This month, we're examining the government's latest proposals, set to boost the logistics industry with a potential £100m for road enhancements…

As a leading logistics company, we operate with a national network of drivers around the clock every day of the week. In light of this, we are pleased to report that the government has announced a series of significant initiatives to alleviate traffic congestion as part of their Plan for Drivers.

These measures were launched on Monday, the 15th of January, and are expected to reduce the inconvenience caused by extended roadworks, potentially generating an additional £100m in funds for road improvements. 

What is the Plan for Drivers?

The Plan for Drivers is the government's proactive long-term strategy for improving the driving experience and the services offered to motorists. A number of crucial issues are addressed, including: 

  • Reducing disruptive roadworks
  • Stopping unfair enforcement
  • Cracking down on inconsiderate driving
  • Helping the transition to zero-emission driving

Plan for Drivers: What changes are being made?

The new proposals aim to broaden the existing £10,000 daily penalty for delayed street works to also include weekends and public holidays. This extension serves as a deterrent against conducting road works on days typically marked by heavy traffic. As it stands, companies are only fined for disruption on working days.

In addition to extending the scope of fines to cover weekends and public holidays, the proposed changes also include a significant increase in penalties for companies violating specific terms of their work agreements.

This means that if a company is found operating without the necessary permits or breaching other job conditions, fines could escalate from the current £500 to as much as £1,000.

This measure is aimed at ensuring greater compliance with regulations and minimising disruptions caused by unauthorised or improperly managed roadworks. By implementing these stricter penalties, the government is taking a firmer stance on maintaining road efficiency and reducing unnecessary traffic congestion.

Why was the Plan for Drivers introduced?

The Plan for Drivers was introduced as a recognition of the critical role driving plays in the functioning of our nation. 

The significance of personal transportation in society

While there are often negative perceptions of drivers within the mainstream media, the reality is that at least 75 per cent of English residents aged 17 and over hold a driving licence. This is estimated to be approximately 34.8 million people. These figures show the widespread reliance on personal transportation across the country. The importance of vehicles becomes even more pronounced in rural areas, where they serve as a vital link to essential services like hospitals and supermarkets and help maintain family connections.

The role of HGV drivers in modern society

Beyond personal transportation, the role of HGV drivers and the haulage industry is fundamental to the fabric of our modern society. In fact, we would argue that they are the unseen backbone of our daily lives. The haulage industry supports almost every facet of society, from the transportation of medical supplies, food, and general commodities.

In the 1960s and 70s, HGV drivers were affectionately referred to as ‘Kings of the Road’. However, for many, those days seem long gone. Instead, there are often criticisms of motorists and drivers, with many arguments centred upon the environmental impacts of driving.

In response to the critiques and concerns voiced by drivers who often feel 'attacked' by prevailing narratives, the government has launched the Plan for Drivers as an investment initiative to improve the experience of drivers across the country.

What has the government said?

The Roads Minister, Guy Opperman, said: “Being stuck in traffic is infuriating for drivers. Too often traffic jams are caused by overrunning street works. This government is backing drivers, with a robust approach to utility companies and others, who dig up our streets.”

“We will seek to massively increase fines for companies that breach conditions and fine works that overrun into weekends and bank holidays, while making the rental for such works help generate up to an extra £100 million to improve local roads.” 

Fagan & Whalley’s thoughts

Fagan & Whalley managing director, Sam Fagan, commented: “We're greatly encouraged by the government's Plan for Drivers and support it. It's a clear recognition of the challenges in our sector and a commitment to enhancing the daily experiences of drivers.

“While just a small step in the right direction, it’s a positive impact overall on the logistics industry, which can be heavily impacted by roadworks, traffic jams and delays to schedules. Ultimately, traffic congestion is a major cause of delays throughout our industry, which only leads to increased costs for consumers and businesses alike.” 

For more information on the government’s Plan for Drivers, please visit their website. Alternatively, learn more about how we’re supporting drivers and backing the logistics industry in our previous blog. To get in touch, give us a call on 01282 771983.

Enjoyed this? Read more from Fagan & Whalley Limited

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