Dozens of roadworks projects overrun in Wolverhampton and Dudley
Dozens of roadworks projects have overrun in Wolverhampton and Dudley over the last two years, with some being delayed for months.
Motorists were left frustrated as projects overran past their scheduled completion date, resulting in utility companies being fined by councils for the delays.
One project carried out by Severn Trent in Wolverhampton, on Oak Hill, Finchfield, overran by a massive 161 days. It was due to be completed in April 2017 but dragged on to September that year.
Others on Hugh Porter Way, near Aldersley Leisure Village, and Deansfield Road, done by Cadent Gas, went on for an extra 94 and 82 days respectively.
The average hold-up for delayed projects in the city was 11 days.
A total of 41 charges were handed out by Wolverhampton Council in 2017/18, 37 in 2018/19 and eight so far this financial year.
One of the most recent heavily-delayed schemes was on Prestwood Road West. It was held up for 20 days having supposed to have finished in January this year.
Drivers have had to negotiate several large roadworks projects in the city, including the long-running scheme on Pipers Way and Waterloo Road.
In Dudley, the local authority was forced to issue dozens of fines over delayed schemes. More than 200 fines have been dished out since 2017, though most schemes only ran over by a few days, bringing more than £350,000 into the coffers.
The longest delay in the borough was a month, for schemes on both Fairmile Road and Carters Lane in Halesowen during 2018. The figures, which were released following a Freedom of Information request, did not include council-run projects.
Councillor Milkinder Jaspal, a former cabinet member at Wolverhampton Council, said the delays were frustrating for the public as well as the local authority.
He said: "The work needs to be done and we accept that. The frustrating part is the communication.
"We get notices that work is going to be carried out, pipes are going to be removed or the road is going to be dug up but then they don't turn up and it is delayed.
"The communication element needs to improve and when they say they are going to do the work they need to stick to that programme."
Leyla Abbes, a campaigner for the Liberal Democrats, who unearthed the data, said: "Delayed roadworks waste time, money and test the patience of drivers. And while utility companies have traditionally been blamed for the problem, I think these new figures show that a greater problem lies with the local councils.
"They are not doing enough to stay on top of these issues and are allowing misery to hit commuters in the city."