Changes are being proposed to streamline the process local councils and the Highways Agency must go through when introducing new traffic restrictions.
Councils wanting to bring in controls on their roads – for example to allow road works to take place or to vary parking restrictions – must put in place a Traffic Regulation Order detailing what the controls cover.
Currently, councils and the Highways Agency must advertise in local newspapers both when these orders are proposed and when they come into effect.
The Department estimates that these adverts cost councils and the Highways Agency around £20m every year.
The new proposals will remove the need to advertise in local newspapers and will instead give local authorities the freedom to publicise changes to those likely to be affected in ways that they think will reach them best.
Councils would still have to publicise changes but could choose different means such as advertising on local websites, displaying notices in the area or distributing leaflets on affected roads.
Transport minister Norman Baker said: “It is right that residents and businesses are told about changes to their local roads.
“But councils and the Highways Agency should have the freedom to use their local knowledge to decide how best to do this rather than being forced to spend taxpayers’ money on indiscriminate advertising.
“These changes will save council taxpayers, the Highways Agency and businesses millions of pounds that they will now be able to spend on improving services for local residents.”