MPs call to keep roadwork notices

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THE Doncaster Free Press is calling on the Government to perform a U-turn on plans to stop printing roadworks and closures in newspapers.

We have asked Doncaster MPs to back our campaign to get councils to continue to place notices in papers, allowing readers and residents to find out information about planned road closures, works and disruptions.

Plans proposed by the Department for Transport will mean councils will not need to publish details of roadworks and other traffic disruptions through newspapers, but instead can choose to advertise them through other means.

Doncaster Central MP Rosie Winterton has already written to Norman Baker MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport about the proposed plans and the impact it will have for residents.

She said: “It’s important that residents across the borough are given adequate notice about work that will affect their travel plans.

“Councils will remain free to use their local newspapers to advertise such information.”

Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband said: “Local authorities across the country are being forced to make tough financial decisions because of cuts imposed by the Tory-led Government, which leads to important services being cut.

“Local newspapers like the Doncaster Free Press play an important role by informing residents about public notices.”

Don Valley MP Caroline Flint said: “Thanks to the Government local councils are incredibly cash strapped and are cutting vital services, but I hope they will still see the importance of the local press in getting vital notices to the attention of the public.”

The Department for Transport claim councils could save up to £20 million a year by advertising roadworks or delays on their website, or through social media such as Facebook or Twitter.

Currently authorities must advertise any temporary works at least a week before issuing an order allowing the works to go ahead, and then again 14 days before the works are due to start.

A consultation period with councils runs until April 23.

The Newspaper Society has said the plans would create less transparent local government.