New Lane Rental scheme for roadworks

Roadworks in East Sussex MapA SCHEME could be implemented to reduce the length of time roadworks take on the busiest roads in the county.

At its meeting on Thursday, September 30, Cabinet approved plans to develop an East Sussex Lane Rental scheme, subject to approval from the Secretary of State for Transport.

Under the Department of Transport backed initiative, companies will be charged up to £2,500 per day for carrying out roadworks.

As well as helping to ensure essential roadworks cause the minimum disruption, the new scheme will also encourage better planning and coordination of work.

The scheme will apply to around 250 of the county’s busiest roads.

Councillor Claire Dowling, lead member for transport and environment at East Sussex County Council, said: “Road users know how frustrating it is when roadworks take place on key routes at peak times, causing delays and congestion.

“By introducing a lane rental scheme in East Sussex utility companies, developers and our own highways team will be encouraged to work as quickly as possible and avoid working during the busiest times.

“We are committed to keeping roads moving across the county and this scheme will help ensure essential roadworks cause the minimum disruption.”

A sliding scale of charges will be implemented to encourage contractors to carry out work at night and at off-peak times, and to complete works to the required standard first time, and with permanent reinstatements, reducing the need for remedial repairs.

The charges will also apply to the council’s own highway maintenance roadworks, with fees waived when utility companies and the council’s highway team work together and carry out work on the same section of road at the same time.

The income generated is expected to cover the cost of administering the scheme, with any surplus revenue used for highway improvement projects that help to reduce the disruption caused by roadworks.

It is hoped that the new scheme will be introduced in early 2023.