South of England permit scheme expanded


A south of England highways permit scheme designed to coordinate local roadworks to minimise disruption has been joined by two more local authorities - creating a six-council framework with a 130-mile span.

The scheme launched by Surrey and East Sussex county councils had previously been joined by Wokingham and Bracknell Forest councils before West Berkshire and Slough also announced this month they would be joining the framework.

Following lengthy discussions with the Department for Transport, arrangements will now be put in place for the new councils to launch the permit scheme in their area within the next few months.

The scheme means utility companies must request permission and a time-slot for carrying out work instead of just notifying the councils, allowing for works to be coordinated to prevent multiple openings on the same stretch of road in close succession.

West Berkshire executive councillor for highways, Pamela Bale, said: ‘This is excellent news that should benefit everyone. Other areas of the country which have started these schemes report a significant drop in complaints about traffic delays.’

Surrey CC estimates it saves their economy alone millions of pounds annually.

Surrey’s cabinet member for highways, John Furey, said: ‘We took control of approving roadworks because the traffic jams they can cause are incredibly frustrating for motorists and cost businesses money, so it’s great news that two more councils are joining.’

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