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Firms facing fines for late roadworks
8:00am Sunday 27th October 2013 in News
COMPANIES that fail to finish roadworks on time are being threatened with massive fines.
Worcestershire County Council is examining current government law to see if it can fine contractors for not finishing road projects in time. It comes after a scheme in Pershore was delayed a staggering five months, causing misery for motorists.
Back in March, work to widen the junction of Three Springs Road with Worcester Road, Pershore, started, due to be completed in May.
But due to complications between the contractors, Bloor Homes and Bellway Homes, both of which are building properties nearby, it eventually ended last week. At the moment, the council does fine utility firms for running late, but as of yet has not chosen to target their own contractors.
Currently, a five-month delay would cost a utility firm somewhere between £300,000 and £400,000.
Councillor John Smith, the cabinet member responsible for transportation and highways, is to investigate extending the fines policy.
He Smith said: “We are extremely frustrated about the situation, because delays of this kind are absolutely unacceptable on behalf of the contractors.
“I want to avoid any repetition so I am asking officers to re-examine the powers available to us and will keep the council informed about it. At the end of the day we don’t want to charge utility companies, we don’t want to charge anybody, but we do want road projects complete on time so the traffic on our roads can flow as quickly as possible. I will do everything I can to look into it.”
The stance has been backed by the area’s county councillor, who says people across Worcestershire are fed up with roads being dug up for long periods.
Coun Liz Tucker, Lib Dem group leader, said: “I would urge the cabinet to explore all the options.”
The Worcester Road work was carried out by Conion – contractors appointed by County Hall, Worcester.
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