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Utility companies and councils could be fined up to £5,000 a day for leaving roadworks unmanned at weekends according to the Department for Transport, the BBC reports today.

Councils and utility companies could be fined for needlessly inconveniencing drivers if they leave roadworks in place over weekends when no work was being carried out.

Fines could also be levied on contractors who leave temporary traffic lights in place after work has finished.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said some roadworks were essential but "that doesn't mean they should be in place any longer than is absolutely necessary.”

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: "Road users see red when they come across sets of temporary traffic lights that are stopping traffic but there are no workmen in sight or the work has actually finished. Ministers can't stop utility companies digging up the roads but they can make firms pay the price if the work is not done swiftly and they do not tidy up after themselves."

Street works must be supervised by a qualified street works ‘supervisor’. In addition, whether the street is excavated or not, a ‘trained operative’, with an ‘operative’ qualification must be present on site at all times when the work is in progress.

Merit Skills’ course MS-123 provides participants with the skills and knowledge necessary to carry out or monitor streetworks.

Book your training now

MS-123 - Excavation, backfill and reinstatement for operatives (1-6 and 9) and supervisors (1, 10-14 and 16)

5 days

£600 + VAT per person

Call 01733 246415 to discuss your requirements or email

Peterborough Training Centre, 9 Broadway Business Park, Yaxley, Peterborough, PE7 3EN

The following courses are also available:

MS-115 - New Roads & Streetworks (NRSWA) Refresher and Reassessment (Operatives & Supervisors)

MS-127 - New Roads and Street Works – Signing, Lighting and Guarding for Operatives or Monitoring Signing, Lighting & Guarding for Supervisors