Slow road workers can be fined

From July, municipalities will have a chance to punish companies delaying road constructions

After a year of the worst road chaos ever, the Danish parliament has passed a law that will allow municipalities to penalise construction companies for delaying their work.

The new legislation will come into force on 1 July.

Billions in delays
According to Dansk Transport og Logistik, road construction has an extensive economic impact on the society. 

It has been estimated that delayed work costs up to 20 billion kroner per year.

Morten Kabell, the deputy mayor for technical and environmental affairs in Copenhagen, expects the possibility to fine construction companies will speed up road work and improve the ability to move around the city.

Better co-operation over a ticketbook
Niels Nielsen, the branch-manager at civil engineering contractors Danske Anlægsentreprenørers, believes, however, that penalties are likely to create more conflicts between the municipality and the contractors.

"I think that penalising is a really bad idea as there may be many reasons why a project is delayed," Nielsen told Berlingske. "The collaboration we have already established with the Copenhagen municipality is working, and it's much better than if someone was running around with a citation-book." 

Kabell explained that although cooperation with construction companies is desirable, sometimes "fines have proven necessary" to speed up the work.

Local businesses count financial losses
A Berlingske Research study shows that construction work has a negative effect on commerce. 

Seventy percent of 1,400 businesses in Copenhagen claim their sales have dropped over the past four years. 

Some 40 percent blame construction work for damaging the ability of customers to negotiate the streets.