The RAC has told utility companies they must not pass fines imposed on them for digging up roads to the consumer.

Unnecessary delays from road works cost the travelling public in the UK an estimated £2 billion a year.

Kevin Delaney, Traffic and Road Safety Manager for the RAC Foundation said: “The new Traffic Management Bill will increase the powers of local authorities in England and Wales to pro-actively manage road works, apply conditions and specify start and finish dates. It will also increase the levels of fines available to them for the contravention of safety regulations, improve their ability to order re-surfacing work and fine those companies who abuse the system.

“A recent consultation by the Scottish Executive goes further and suggests charging for the full period of roadworks and/or premium charges for peak-period roadworks and sanctions for follow-up roadworks.

“None of these sanctions will help, however, if services just become more expensive to the ultimate consumer. The objective should be to speed up roadworks not pass the buck.”