The government is now considering the national roll out of a lane rental scheme, which could see councils charge utility companies up to £2,500 a day for carrying out roadworks at peak times.
The decision follows the successful piloting of the lane rental scheme by Kent County Council and TfL, which reported significant cuts in the disruption caused to drivers during roadworks.
Both trials, which were due to end in March 2019, have now been extended indefinitely by the DfT.
The TfL and Kent trials found the scheme discouraged utilities from carrying out roadworks at peak times and incentivised them to collaborate on works to avoid the same stretch of road to be dug up twice.
TfL’s pilot scheme reported a 55% decrease in serious and severe congestion caused by planned utility works in 2015/16, and a 616% rise in the use of collaborative work sites, compared with the 2010/11 baseline.
The average number of days in which disruption was avoided also rose 221% from 110 to 353 in the same period. Kent reported similar results from its pilot scheme.
Announcing the extension of the two pilot schemes following a consultation on the subject that attracted positive support, DfT confirmed that it is “considering rolling out the lane rental scheme to other areas in England”.
It added that the roll out would begin in 2019.