An overhaul of how roadworks are carried out could be worth almost £220million to the Milton Keynes economy.
Next Wednesday (July 23) Milton Keynes Council will consider proposals to introduce a permit scheme for all roadworks across the city. Any body carrying out roadworks would first have to pay the council a fee, and the council could also challenge the time, duration or conditions of any works.
Although the council will not make any money from the scheme, officers reckon it could be worth £218,862,716 to the local economy over the next 25 years.
The officers’ report reckons this would be as a result of reduced congestion, fewer delays for motorists, and reduced costs to businesses caused by delays. Other benefits would be a safer road network and reduced carbon emissions.
The report says: “The additional income will allow provision of adequate resources to manage the network. There would only be one system in operation, and the council would have full permit powers.
“Full permit powers will reduce the number of street works, which will reduce disruption and the burden to businesses and other road users.”
Council departments carrying out roadworks would not have to pay for a permit, but would still have to tie in with the overall road management.
The scheme would cost £100,000 to introduce, but the council has already put aside that sum in its budget.
According to one UK-wide study, cited in the officers’ report, disruption caused by essential utility works costs the country’s economy £4.3billion a year at 2002 prices. Another report puts the cost of road disruption to UK businesses at £7-8billion per year.