Comment: Fines needed to deter worst offenders

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THERE is little more annoying to motorists than waiting in traffic because of roadworks which, by the time you finally pass them, are deserted.

They may stay like that for days or weeks before disappearing as fast as they appeared, with nothing but a shabby piece of relaid tarmac in their place.

And while the city council will ultimately take the brunt of the motorists’ ire, more often than not it is utility firms who are responsible for the chaos.

Today’s news that these firms are to be made to sign up to a new set-up of rules before rolling out the diggers is welcome.

Clear information on the reason for the works, a start and an end date, along with an explanation for any delays, will not stop the frustration of being stuck in traffic but it may make it a little more 
bearable.

The real test will then be in what action is taken against those who go on to break the rules.

Meaningful fines along with naming and shaming the worst offenders will be needed to ensure this move has a real impact on the streets.

A smile to go yet

George Osborne – or the Wizard of Os as some Tories are now calling him – looked very pleased with himself 
yesterday.

Britain has somehow become the fastest growing major economy in the western world. The public finances are looking better, more houses are being built and GDP is up.

The trouble for George is that few of us feel better off. Tens of thousands of workers are still waiting for their first pay rise in years, fuel bills are soaring, rail fares are up and we are being told we’ll have to work until we are 70. Smiling yet? Didn’t think so.

Economic assessments are one thing, but making us all feel better is just as important in turning around a stagnant economy.