Local authorities across the country will be able to charge utility companies as much as £2,500 a day to work on roads in peak hours from next year.

The DfT has announced a national roll out of its Lane Rental scheme after a successful pilot on roads in London and Kent.

It will go live across the UK in late 2019 in a bid to reduce peak time congestion caused by planned works.

The trial by Kent County Council and TfL found that the scheme discouraged utilities from carrying out works during peak times, which in turn reduced roadwork congestion; TfL reported a 55% fall in works-related traffic in 2015/16.

It also saw an overwhelming 616% increase in the use of collaborative work sites.

The DfT made the decision to push the scheme out across the country after the majority of responses to a consultation last year were in favour of the move.

Transport minister Jo Johnson said:

"Drivers often see red when roadworks cause them delays, especially if no one is working on them.

"Lane rental has seen a massive drop in disruption to drivers as utility companies have changed when and where they carry out work. Now we want millions of motorists around England to get the same benefits."

The Local Government Association welcomed the news and transport spokeswoman Judith Blake said: “Today’s announcement is a positive step to reducing congestion caused by roadworks.

“The pilots in both Kent and London have proven that giving councils greater powers to regulate roadworks can deliver huge benefits to businesses and road users.

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“The LGA believes the lane rental scheme offers a clear incentive for utility companies and their contractors to minimise the time they spend in occupation of the road and encourages greater collaboration between firms.”

However RHA chief executive Richard Burnett raised concerns about utility companies leaving works until infrastructure needed repairing, because they don't have to "rent" lanes for emergency works.

He said: “This isn’t a good sign and certainly flies against the move to encourage contractors to plan and synchronise their work schedules to reduce disruption to road users; so this needs managing very carefully.

“The last thing we need is more unplanned roadworks.”

Burnett also called for revenue from the rental scheme to be put towards road maintenance.

“The road network is clogged-up and in a poor state of repair, and has suffered as a result of continual under-investment and short-term thinking. We urge authorities to reinvest all surplus Lane Rental revenues in high-quality road improvement schemes to help make the network fit for purpose," he said.