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Permit system will fight roadworks chaos

February 4, 2020 7:43 AM
By Trevor Carbin

On any day in Wiltshire 60 new sets of road works hit the streets, but as of April Wiltshire Council will require the utilities who dig up our roads to get a permit in advance of the work. Scores of companies have a legal right to excavate the road whenever they want to, and that won't change. However the new system will allow the council to know which roads are to be affected, and to take a more active role in planning and coordinating streetworks. There will be sanctions against operators who don't get their permit or who don't stick to their timetable. There will of course be exemptions for emergency work such as gas or water main leaks.

The fees are quite small, with the maximum being £72 but less for most holes. The council won't make a direct profit, though there will be a profit to the community in terms of less congestion. About seven new jobs will be created to administer and enforce the scheme.

The government is encouraging councils to bring in permits, and two thirds of local authorities have already done so.

February's WC cabinet meeting agreed for the scheme to go ahead.