Council set to ask for permission from utility firms before roads are dug up

Knutsford Guardian: Council set to ask for permission from utility firms before roads are dug up Council set to ask for permission from utility firms before roads are dug up

UTILITY companies will have to apply for permission before carrying out work on Knutsford’s roads, under plans being proposed by Cheshire East Council.

Formal consultation is now taking place on a permit scheme, which will mean any utility company planning to undertake repairs will need to apply for a permit before work can start.

The aim of the new scheme is to ensure that any repairs made to Cheshire East’s roads are to the highest possible standard, as well as giving residents and Cheshire East Council more control over when potentially disruptive road works will take place.

At the moment if a utility company wants to carry out work on a road in Cheshire East, it just has to notify Cheshire East Council of the work rather than asking for permission.

Many of the potholes in the Knutsford area have been blamed on utility companies not completing work to a satisfactory standard.

Under the new scheme, a company will have to apply for permission to access the road before it starts the work.

Other than emergency work, where a company would have to apply for a permit within two hours of the work starting, Cheshire East Council will then grant, refuse or tailor the application.

Attached to the permit will also be a list of specific conditions, which would be jointly agreed with the utility companies and used to amend the works to cause less disruption to road users.

A public notice has been published and the consultation runs from February 3, 2014 to March 14, 2014.

Clr David Topping, Cheshire East’s cabinet member for environment, said: “While we appreciate that utility companies have to make repairs from time to time, it’s important that the work is done at a consistently high quality and that any disruption is kept to a minimum.

“This permit scheme will give us more control over when road works take place, which should help to keep traffic moving as much as possible.”

More information about the proposal can be found at cheshireeast.gov.uk/streetworkspermit where your comments can be made.

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