Proposed street works permit scheme
Proposed street works permit scheme
Together with other councils in the North East, we received a letter from the Secretary of State for Transport in July 2018. This letter asked us to introduce a permit scheme for street works activities.
The main reason behind the request is that it will give us greater control over works on our highway network. Along with our regional colleagues, we intend to introduce a permit scheme, which is already in progress.
During 2019 we have been designing a permit scheme for Gateshead, working in cooperation with other authorities in the region. Our draft scheme is now ready for consultation, as required by the Traffic Management Permit Scheme (England) Regulations 2007 (as amended). The consultation period runs until Wednesday 30 October 2019, following which responses will be considered.
The draft scheme will be submitted to the Council's Cabinet during the autumn of 2019. They will decide whether or not to proceed with the scheme, and whether to authorise any appropriate changes arising from the consultation.
Benefits of a permit scheme
The total length of the highway network in Gateshead is more than 560 miles (900km) and reflects the mixed character of Gateshead. These networks range from major urban routes to minor rural roads.
The network includes:
- 740 miles (1191 Km) of footway
- 32,000 streetlights
- 289 bridges and other highway structures
- 170 traffic signal-controlled junctions or crossings
An efficient road network is an important element of our vision of making Gateshead a place where everyone thrives. It is fundamental to the borough's economy, enabling businesses to deliver goods and services. It allows local people to access services such as:
- leisure activities
It also keeps communities connected and is vital for visitors to the borough and wider region.
Roadworks can cause significant disruption to the smooth running of the network. This includes by utility companies, developers and maintenance work by the authority. Whilst this may be necessary work, it is important that it is managed as effectively as possible.
There is currently a system in place whereby works promoters give notice to the authority to carry out works on the highway. Promoters are statutory undertakers, such as gas, electricity, water and telecommunications providers. But, as long as the required notice periods are adhered to, we have very little control over the timing or duration of those works.
Under the proposed permit scheme, promoters will have to book time on the highway network by applying for a permit before carrying out any works. Special arrangements will apply in respect of emergency works.
Similar schemes have already been implemented by most other local authorities. The Government considers these to be a success. A permit scheme will allow us to manage and coordinate essential roadworks. In particular, it will aim to:
- increase the efficient running of the highway network
- protect the structure of the street and the apparatus belonging to utility companies and others within it
- improve the safety of those using the street and those working on activities that fall within the scheme
- ensure that better and more accurate information is available for road users about work on the highway
More information and scheme documentation will be available as the scheme progresses.
In addition, national statutory guidance for all permit schemes in England can be found on GOV.UK.
Traffic Planning Section
Phone: 0191 433 7000