Firms that dig up the roads would have to guarantee they remained pothole-free for five years, under new Department for Transport (DfT) proposals. At the moment, utility companies only guarantee roadworks for two years.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: "Imposing higher standards on repairs will help keep roads pothole-free for longer." But a utilities sector spokesperson said it was unnecessary to increase the guarantee.
Street Works UK represents gas, electricity, water, sewage and telecoms companies. Chief executive, Clive Bairsto, said: "The Government should not take forward proposals unless they are supported by a strong evidence base."
"Utilities and their contractor partners play a vital role in delivering and maintaining vital infrastructure which powers the economy, and it is crucial that any new regulations are proportionate."
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: "Potholes are the biggest enemy for road users and this Government is looking at all options to keep our roads in the best condition."
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation said: "A five-year guarantee might cause the utility companies to sit up and take notice, but only if they believe local highway authorities will have the resource to monitor the state of repairs up to five years after they have been done."
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