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Kent pioneers scheme to charge companies for digging up roads

PUBLISHED: 15:33 31 May 2013 | UPDATED: 15:33 31 May 2013

Companies will now be charged up to £2,000 per day for the inconvenience of digging up the busiest roads on the network at peak time.

Kent is the first county council in the country to run the scheme, which aims to push utility contractors to work on the roads during the night and at off-peak times or to use techniques such as tunnelling to avoid closing the road altogether.

The Kent Lane Rental Scheme covers over 465 roads in the areas most susceptible to major roadwork disruption. Revenue generated from the scheme will be invested in work to cut local congestion.

Transport Minister Norman Baker said the scheme provided “a strong incentive” to make sure improvements or repairs are completed on time.

Seeing the results of the scheme would help him decide on a national rollout, he said.

David Brazier, Kent County Council cabinet member for transport added: “It is the perfect way to keep our network of roads as clear as possible and get drivers to where they need to be as quickly as possible, a truly remarkable scheme.”

A 12-week trial of the scheme began in March after it was given the green light to commence by the secretary of state for transport, Patrick McLoughlin. Companies began incurring fines from Tuesday when the scheme came into full force.

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