Tackling road works disruption in Greater Manchester
- Published on Friday, 20 July 2012 10:42
- Posted by Scott Buckler
Utility firms in Greater Manchester will have to cut the disruption caused by their road works after Transport Minister Norman Baker approved the country's first joint permit scheme today
The scheme will give all 10 councils in Greater Manchester more powers to co-ordinate road works and take tough action against companies who break the rules – including issuing fines of up to £5,000.
The authorities are Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan.
It follows other schemes rolled out elsewhere in the country. But this will be the first to be administered by a central body – Transport for Greater Manchester – rather than individual councils in order to reduce costs and provide a more efficient service across the region.
The scheme requires anyone carrying out road works to apply for a permit in advance and allows councils to set conditions on timing, coordination and the amount of road space left available to road users.
Companies who work without a permit or break the conditions will be fined.
Norman Baker said:
"I am pleased to be able to give the go ahead for this permit scheme.
"Although we all know that road works are sometimes unavoidable, the disruption they cause can be a hugely frustrating for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians as well as costing businesses time and money. That is why it is important that councils use the powers they have to make sure utility firms carry out works with consideration for those who use the road.
"We are determined to tackle problem road works and make sure that those who dig up the road are made accountable when unnecessary disruption occurs."
The Greater Manchester scheme follows others introduced by Bedford Borough Council, Hertfordshire County Council, Luton Borough Council, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, Kent County Council, Northamptonshire County Council, London councils, St Helens Borough Council and authorities in parts of Yorkshire.
These councils are monitoring their schemes to make sure they are producing benefits for local residents and feeding this information back to the Department for Transport.