Rayleigh and Wickford MP, Mark Francois, has today published his Roadworks (Regulation) Bill, which is designed to curtail the seemingly endless increase of roadworks in Britain and thus help ‘Can the Cones.’
The Bill, which has the “full support” of the AA, was first presented to the House of Commons late last year. In essence, the Bill would seek to give local highways authorities much stronger powers to control the granting of permits to anyone who wanted to dig up the highway network, mandate highway authorities to take all practicable steps to “deconflict” roadworks in their areas, whilst also materially increasing the fines for roadworks that overrun (by up to 10% of company turnover for persistent offenders.)
Commenting on the publication of the Bill, Mr Jack Cousens, Head of Roads Policy at the AA said:
“We fully support the objectives of the Bill. Excessive and overrunning roadworks cause congestion, more emissions, create driver frustration and have a detrimental cost to both the local and the national economy. Roadworks are a necessary evil, however, poor standards mean they can easily become a negative experience."
“While Private Members Bills have limited chances of success on their own, we are hopeful that it will be adopted by the Department for Transport.”
Following its first reading in the House of Commons under the ‘Ten Minute Rule’, the Bill is currently due to receive its second reading on Friday 24th March. Mark will also be meeting shortly with the Roads Minister, Mr Richard Holden MP, to discuss the Bill’s main objectives and how this might be achieved, either by the Government adopting the Bill, or strengthened Government guidance on roadworks.
Speaking about his new Bill, Mark Francois said: “One of the great frustrations of modern life is queueing for ages in a line of traffic, inching forwards to get through a set of contra-flow traffic lights at the scene of some roadworks, only to then crawl past a large hole in the ground, heavily coned off, with absolutely no one working on the site, as you finally drive past it.”
“Although it is rare for Ten Minute Rule Bills to make it onto the statute book, I do hope that during my meeting with the Roads Minister, Richard Holden MP, the Department may adopt the legislation, or at the very least, strengthen government guidance, so that we can finally ‘Can the Cones!’