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Tackling utility company roadworks

An investigation has been launched into ways to reduce congestion and damage caused by utility companies digging up roads.

Energy, communication and water firms all need to carry out roadworks, but bad timing and poor repairs can cause a nightmare for motorists and cost taxpayers money.

When Surrey County Council tested a sample of utility company road repairs it found half of them were of poor quality and many needed to be redone. A task group has been set up, chaired by councillor Pat Frost, to investigate the issue and find out how to reduce congestion and improve the quality of work taking place.

Mrs Frost said: “You simply have to read the newspapers and listen to the radio to realise this is an important issue. As well as being irritating, traffic jam costs businesses money which damages Surrey’s economy. I understand the need for utility companies to carry out essential work, but this must be balanced with the needs of road users, residents and businesses.”

John Furey, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, said: “It’s incredibly disheartening to see a smooth stretch of newly resurfaced road dug up just weeks after we’ve finished laying it. We want to work more closely with everyone involved to improve the situation.

“This will build on the great work done to improve Surrey’s roads since we began working with our new contractor May Gurney in April, last year. In the first year of the deal alone, 300 miles of Surrey’s roads were resurfaced, which is the distance between London and Land’s End.”

As part of its work, the task group wants to hear from residents, businesses and anyone else affected by the issue. To give your views, email streetworksreview@surreycc.gov.uk, or write to Streetworks review, Democratic Services, Room 122, County Hall, Penrhyn Road, KT1 2DW.

ENDS

Media requiring more information can contact Surrey County Council senior media relations officer James Oxley at james.oxley@surreycc.gov.uk.

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