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Street Works

Volume 453: debated on Monday 27 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will undertake pilots of permit schemes in respect of street works in order to assess the costs and benefits of such schemes and resolve any issues that may prevent their effectiveness before the national rollout of permit schemes. (101961)

The Traffic Management Act 2004 (TMA) did not make express provision for pilots of permit schemes and the Department is not running such pilots.

There will not be a national rollout of permit schemes. Once the relevant legislation is brought into force a highway authority wishing to operate a permit scheme will be entitled to prepare and submit a scheme for approval. A permit scheme cannot take effect until it has been approved by the Secretary of State by Order. Any such application must be dealt with objectively and treated on its merits. However, the Department will seek to ensure that only those authorities which demonstrate the ability to operate an effective permit scheme will be granted approval.

In addition, the Department is committed to reviewing permit schemes after a year of operation. This review will include analysis of costs and benefits. This will form part of our overall evaluation of the TMA.