23 June 2014

Roadworks proposal aims to ease disruption and delay

A roadworks permit scheme that would give Brighton & Hove City Council more control over the management of works in the city will be discussed by councillors next Tuesday.

Members of the environment, transport and sustainability committee on 1 July will decide whether to go ahead with the scheme which would then be sent to the Department for Transport for approval. If agreed, it could be up and running next year.

Under the scheme operators would have to book time on the highway through a permit. Currently they only have to give the council notice of their intention to carry out roadworks which limits the council's role in being able to control how and when they take place. The scheme would also apply to the council's own works.

A roadworks permit scheme would give the council a better opportunity to make sure work is carried out on time as well as improve co-ordination and consultation with those affected. Greater control would mean reduced delays and disruption to traders and more reliable journey times.

Councillor Pete West, chair of the environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “Roadworks are necessary to improve the road network, carry out repairs and provide utilities to homes and businesses but they do affect communities through congestion, delay and environmental impact.

“The proposed permit scheme will help us manage roadworks in a more co-ordinated way. It will help ease disruption by better planning for when works should take place and more control while work is going on. It will not only improve journey times but also air quality and the street environment. It will also make sure we use resources much more sustainably so that roadworks are carried out efficiently and on time.

“A great deal of work has gone into preparing the proposal for submission to the government. Permit schemes have been used in other areas such as London and Kent to good effect and we have tailored ours to the city's particular needs.”

The council has talked to public utilities, emergency services and others in drawing up the proposal. Permit fees will be set to cover running costs.

Brighton & Hove worked with other councils in drawing up its scheme and shared best practice. As a result Southampton City Council used Brighton & Hove's outline as the basis for their own roadworks scheme.

Further information

Read the reports for the environment, transport and sustainability committee here: http://present.brighton-hove.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=823&MId=5175

The Brighton & Hove Permit Scheme is Agenda item no. 17