ROADWORKS. Given the ongoing difficulties motorists are having in trying to get into and out of Newport while the junction 28 project is being carried out, it is a word guaranteed to ramp up one's blood pressure.

With a project like this however, one has at least to try to look beyond the queueing vehicles ahead, to a future in which traffic using the Tredegar Park roundabout and its offshoot highways flows freely.

In other words, there is a reason, however inconvenient, for the current upheaval.

Other roadworks though, do not have such an excuse.

We've all seen them. We've all been delayed by them. we've all fumed at them.

Lanes coned off for hundreds of metres, even miles on occasion, with nothing apparently going on to merit their being there.

Sections of road, often it has to be said, quite small, cordoned off for hours, even days, with no-one doing anything to remedy the problem that caused the cordoning off in the first place.

Often too, these sorts of roadworks are in inverse proportion to the traffic jams they cause, at peak times of the day.

The Department for Transport (DfT) in England is set to roll out across the country a scheme it has piloted in Kent and London, whereby utility companies are charged daily fees of up to £2,500 for carrying out roadworks on busy streets at peak times.

Here's hoping the Welsh Government follows suit. For, according to the DfT, the pilot 'lane rental' scheme led to a reduction in traffic jams, with utility companies more inclined to work on quieter roads or outside the rush hour to avoid hefty penalties.

This can only be a good thing, and after all, there are several hours between our morning and evening rush hours when all manner of repair work can be carried out on lights, mains or whatever.

It won't be a cure-all - some repair and maintenance projects will be too big to cram into a few quieter hours - but anything that might alleviate our increasingly nose-to-tail existence must be applauded.

One thing though - some sort of safeguard ought to be introduced to prevent utility companies being tempted to pass on lane rental costs to their already overburdened customers.