Better streetworks: permits proposal to keep traffic moving

New proposals for permit schemes which give local highway authorities the power to control when and where their roads are dug up and keep traffic moving has been put to public consultation, Transport Minister Gillian Merron announced today.

Under the scheme, anyone digging up the road would have to seek permission from a local highway authority to begin works. The authority would then issue a permit specifying the duration and in some instances the day and time that the work should take place. The scheme will, for the first time, give local highway authorities oversight over all existing and planned street works in their area. Permits will make it easier to schedule works so that a lot more collaboration can take place - different companies may even use the same hole in the road.

Transport Minister Gillian Merron said:

"I know how frustrating it is for all road users, including pedestrians, when the same stretch of road or pavement is dug up again and again by separate utility companies, causing delays, inconvenience and congestion each time. The consultation I am launching today will give local highway authorities the power to take a more sensible and co-ordinated approach to necessary street works. I hope that authorities use these powers as an effective tool when carrying out their network management duty."

Before the Traffic Management Act 2004, local authorities had much less control over streetworks. Today's announcement is part of a suite of innovations under the Act designed to keep traffic moving.