Improving our roads, Surrey County Council, Transport

More than 200 roadworks rejected in Surrey congestion crackdown

Council bosses have rejected permission for almost 250 inadequate roadworks in a fortnight since launching their new permit scheme.

Earlier this month, Surrey County Council took control of who digs roadworks where, when and with whom. This will mean up to 2,400 fewer roadworks in the county every year, slashing congestion and saving Surrey’s economy around £6.5 million a year.

Before receiving Government permission for its own scheme, the county council could only ask companies to find ways to limit roadworks congestion.

A fortnight into the scheme, road bosses have already:

· Rejected 237 roadworks applications for having inadequate traffic planning

· Dealt with more than 2,500 applications in five days alone

· Inspected 25 live roadworks a day

The scheme also means better co-ordination between utility companies so roads are dug up and closed less often. In one example, council bosses told one company to dig at the same time as another’s approved street closure in the same road. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin approved Surrey County Council and East Sussex County Council’s joint permit scheme in July.

John Furey, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “Cutting roadworks hassle allows Surrey drivers to get from A to Z more easily, and that boosts our local economy.

“When we do approve roadworks, our new system ensures they’re better planned and regularly inspected so we keep Surrey moving.”

ENDS

Media requiring more information can contact Surrey County Council senior media relations officer James Osborne on 0208 541 7259.

Notes to Editors

Under the original Road Street Works Act 1991, utility companies only had to tell the roads authority they were doing works, and councils’ limited powers were difficult to enforce.

The South East Permit Scheme allows Surrey’s roads teams to force firms to:

· Time their works to fit with other companies’ plans for the same road

· Purchase a roadworks permit

· Follow clear rules, including times and days of work

If workmen break a permit or dig without one, Surrey County Council’s roads team can now give a fine and prosecute the most serious offences more easily. This means road bosses can limit the number of roadworks at any one time in one area so there are fewer traffic issues.

The permit scheme rules have been written to make it easier for other councils in the South East to join Surrey and East Sussex’s scheme.

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