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Councils could be given greater control over street works

Councils are set to get more control over the roadworks in their areas, instead of utility companies getting permits straight from the transport secretary.

A consultation has been launched by the DfT to explore the option of giving local authorities the direct power to introduce a street works ‘permit scheme’, which means utility companies and their contractors and those doing road works would have to obtain a permit to work on the road from the council.

Currently, an authority wishing to introduce a permit scheme has to submit an application, and get approval from the transport secretary.

Following a consultation in 2012, the government decided (for England only) to remove the requirement for the secretary of state to give effect to permit schemes by Order from April 2015.

Other changes include the introduction of a standard set of conditions to be used across permit schemes, which set how and when works can be carried out.

Authorities will still need to develop a robust business case for their proposed scheme, including a cost-benefit analysis, and will have to consult with people likely to be affected by the scheme.

The consultation period will run until 25 September 2014. Responses are welcomed from anyone, but the DfT would particularly like to receive responses from local authorities and utility companies, and their representative bodies as well as those representing the full range of road users.

(Image: c. David Holt)

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