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Council could get tougher with utility companies planning roadworks in Gedling borough

Utility companies could soon require council permits when carrying out roadworks across Gedling borough under proposals being considered to cut disruption.

Nottinghamshire County Council wants to introduce a permit scheme (under the Traffic Management Act 2004) so that any work taking place can be better co-ordinated.

Currently utility companies, which are responsible for maintaining the networks of pipes and cables, only have to give council notice about any work taking place.

A Streetworks Permit Scheme would mean utility companies have to request permission to carry out work and it would allow the Council to take a more active involvement in the planning and coordination of works from start to finish. 

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Cllr John Cottee, Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Communities and Place Committee, said: “We know residents get frustrated when they see work being done on a road by different organisations within short spaces of time.  Sometimes this is in response to an emergency and that will always take priority but sometimes it’s because the works aren’t coordinated.

“We would like to work more closely with utilities to try and schedule work more effectively and introducing a permit scheme could potentially give us the opportunity to do that.”

Evidence gathered from similar schemes around the country have reported reduced congestion, improved coordination of works and communication to road users, adherence to health and safety checks and minimised use of temporary traffic lights.

Fixed Penalty Notices have also be issued to organisations working without a permit or in breach of the permit conditions.

Cllr Cottee added: “Our duty as a Highway Authority is to ensure all road users, including pedestrians and cyclists, can get from A to B as quickly and easily as possible.

“We also recognise that utility works are essential and cannot be done without some disruption.  There is strong evidence from the Department for Transport that other areas have benefitted significantly from similar schemes, but we will listen carefully to all feedback before making a decision on whether to proceed.”

A formal consultation on the proposed Streetworks Permit Scheme will now take place with utility companies and feedback will be carefully considered before reaching a final decision on whether to proceed with the scheme.  

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