The extent of disruption caused by roadworks taking longer than planned has been laid bare by new research that reveals there are 47,000 days of overrun roadworks in the UK every month.
Research from the England and Wales Performance Scorecard, which was compiled by the Highways Authorities and Utilities Committee, revealed some information that was described as “shocking.”
Amongst the findings, research found that roadworks carried out by local authorities and councils were three times more likely to overrun in comparison to work carried out by energy, water or telecoms companies.
Another major issue was that those contractors working for councils are less likely to repair road surface once any work is undertaken to the required specifications – which can add to suffering on roads that already suffer from pothole problems.
Between April to July 2017, the roadworks carried out included 132,000 overrun days, which highlights just how serious a problem this is.
For local roads that are important for businesses, freight deliveries and other vital elements of the economy, these delays can have a knock-on effect on overall productivity.
Many of the necessary roadworks – especially on stretches of motorways – are carried out at night in order to minimise disruption when companies are open for business.
What this does though is put incredible pressure on contractors to complete the work in time; while this is achieved in the majority of cases, the research suggests there have been problems. An example is the M4 which was closed for roadworks, which overran.
The breakdown of a resurfacing lorry exacerbated the problem, and major delays were the result.
There are other issues at play, of course – and workforce shortages add to the pressures felt by local authorities and their contractors, but it means that there are delays in completing work.
The severe weather at the start of the year has increased the number of pothole-related problems, which add another layer of complexity to completing work quickly and efficiently.