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New charges for road works

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Flat rate revised to include time, distance

Roadworks for cabling and utility services, which have become more frequent over the years, often meant delays and annoyance for motorists. But from July 1, these projects will have to be scheduled more efficiently - or there will be more to pay.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is revising its fees for road work applications from a flat rate of $165 to include a time- and distance-based charge.

The price also goes up during peak periods.

With the new formula, a five-hour closure over a 5m lane of road will cost over $300 if the work begins at noon. After midnight, the fee will be over $150.

The current flat fee charged to telcos and utility providers who need to dig on public roads does not take into account the length of road lanes closed or how long the works take.

This has led to applicants applying for a "longer time window than needed", an LTA spokesman told The Straits Times.

LTA explained that it has seen an "increasing trend" in the number of permits issued annually - from an average of 725 a month in 2010 to 1,000 last year.

The new fee structure states that for every peak hour, the base amount is $60 with an additional 30 cents for each metre of road lane closed.

The charges are half for off-peak hours, when road works should "preferably" be conducted, said LTA.

The length of lane closure will be restricted to not more than 300m, and each permit can also stretch for only three weeks. If the works cannot be finished within that time, an extension is needed.

This will cost an extra $165 in addition to the daily charges, and these charges apply to both private and public agencies.

Road works are also generally not permitted between 6am to 9.30am and between 5pm to 8pm, from Mondays to Saturdays.

Telco M1 said the hike will mean higher business costs, but it insisted that it does not plan to pass this on to customers. Instead, it "will look at ways to minimise such costs".

PUB, the national water agency, said it works closely with LTA for any lane closures or diversion needed for its pipe-laying and drainage projects.

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