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Road rental plan could be rolled out nationally

Plans to charge utility contractors for the disruption they cause digging up roads have won the support of Transport Minister Norman Baker MP, who said he would be watching how effective they were, ahead of a possible national rollout.

Under the plans, which cover more than 465 roads in Kent, utility companies will be charged a daily rate for the inconvenience caused by road works on popular routes at busy times.

Money paid into the scheme will be invested in further work to cut congestion in Kent.

I am pleased that Kent’s pioneering lane rental scheme is now active. It provides a strong incentive to those carrying out road works on the busiest networks to make sure they complete improvements or repairs on time. This will help minimise disruption and congestion, but also provide a better service to drivers, cyclists and passengers. I look forward to seeing the results of the Kent and Transport for London schemes in due course, which will help me decide on the future rollout of lane rental at a national level."

– Norman Baker MP, Transport Minister

Kent County Council said it was committed to keeping traffic moving, but it was difficult when companies scheduled road works on heavily-used roads during rush hour.

The Kent Lane Rental Scheme forced companies to really think about the scale and duration of works on our key routes, or face a sizeable charge for the disruption they cause for Kent’s travelling public It is the perfect way to keep our network of roads as clear as possible and get drivers to where they need to be as quickly as possible; a truly remarkable scheme."

– David Brazier, Kent County Council

Plan to cut roadwork congestion

A scheme aimed at cutting congestion on Kent's busiest roads by charging companies lane rental while they carry out roadworks is now up and running.

The county council has set up the new Kent Lane Rental Scheme. Companies will now be charged up to £2,000 per day for the inconvenience caused by digging up the busiest roads on the network at peak time.

Kent is the first county council in the country to run the scheme, which is designed to get contractors to work on the roads during the night and at off-peak times, or to use techniques such as tunnelling more often to avoid closing roads.

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Flood protection scheme starts in Sandwich

Flood defence work has started in Sandwich to protect homes and businesses on the former Pfizer business park.

Some areas of Sandwich currently have a one in 20 chance of tidal flooding every year. The new scheme is intended to improve and raise defences on the banks of the River Stour.

Cllr Paul Carter, the leader of Kent County Council, and Andrew Pearce from the Environment Agency, explained why the scheme was so important.

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  1. Tom Savvides

Teens set up website for others in care

A group of teenagers who have spent most of their childhoods in care have helped to set up a new website offering career advice, shopping tips and information on health for their peers. They want others to learn from their experiences.

There are three and a half thousand children in care in Kent. The council believes an interactive website is one way of giving them help and support. In his report about 'Kent Cares Town' , Tom Savvides spoke to Theresa Jackson, Sophia Dunstan, David Tadese; and Tony Doran from Kent County Council.

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