Guernsey States may introduce road work charges

Road closed sign in Guernsey
Image caption Deputy Yvonne Burford said anyone benefitting from a closure should bear some of the costs

Charges for closing and digging up roads could be introduced in a bid to raise more money to fund road repairs in Guernsey.

Public Services Minister Paul Luxon said it followed several years of complaints from the public.

The £4.2m budget for roads only covers resurfacing 50% of the roads dug up in the past two years.

Deputy Luxon said the number of excavations was increasing - up from 820 in 2012 to 874 last year.

The increase, he said, was down to utility companies carrying out "major programmes of installing of new infrastructure or indeed repairs or ongoing maintenance".

The island's utility companies are being consulted on the charges - which could be decided on a sliding scale based on the size of the road and the duration of the closure.

Deputy Luxon denied the charges were a stealth tax, but admitted the increased costs may be passed on to consumers.

"If the utility companies incur a new charge, which this would be, then they would need to either operate more efficiently to be able to cover that cost or they may consider passing it on in terms of their charges," he said.

Public Services and the Environment Department are working together on the proposals as the latter spends £350,000 a year on managing road closures and parking restrictions.

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