New permits for work to be done on roads

A new permit scheme is to be introduced for organisations that dig up roads.

From February, North Tyneside Council will become the first authority in the region to introduce a permit scheme for the management of activities on public highways – giving it greater control over roadworks.

Currently companies only need to inform the council of their intention to carry out works but they will need to book time on the network by obtaining a permit in advance.

The council can choose to grant the permit, decline the request, or apply a range of conditions.

It will give the local authority greater control and co-ordination of highway activities, minimising unnecessary delays.

Coun Frank Lott, cabinet member for economic development, said: “We know that unnecessary delays can be a real cause of frustration for motorists and people using public transport.

“An effective highway network is also a key driver of economic growth, as it connects businesses with their employees, suppliers and customers.

“This scheme will give us greater control of our roads and will enable us to minimise disruption.”

Permit schemes were introduced by the government under Part 3 of the Traffic Management Act 2004.

Last year, on behalf of the council, Capita successfully applied to the Department for Transport for the introduction of the scheme in North Tyneside and will run the scheme in the borough.

The permit fee ranges from £30 to £148, depending on the scale of works and whether the roads are deemed as strategic routes or traffic sensitive.

The A19 is excluded from the scheme, as it is the responsibility of the Highways Agency.