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Scottish 'roads Tsar' to fine contractors

UTILITY contractors north of the border will be hit with increased penalties if they fail to co-ordinate roadworks or leave roads in a poor state.

The news comes after the Scottish Executive unveiled its Transport Bill this week, allowing the creation of a 'roads Tsar'. Transport Minister Nicol Stephen said: 'We want to support economic growth by tackling poor road works.We want a tougher approach.The Scottish road works commissioner will have powers to take action and enforce stiffer penalties.'

New fixed penalty fines of several hundred pounds are likely to be introduced for low-level offences, such as failing to notify councils when roadworks will start, while the current £1,000 limit for more serious offences will be increased to £2,500 for starting emergency works without due notification.

Offences involving public safety could see contractors stung for £5,000.