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Volume 705: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What progress has been made in charging utilities companies that dig up roads for the disruption caused. [HL5955]

Since 2001, local authorities in England have had the power to fine utility companies for works that overrun their agreed duration.

From April 2008 permits came into force allowing authorities, if approved by the Secretary of State for Transport, to operate a proactive regime that requires those working in the highway to have a permit. Local authorities may require a fee for that permit, to cover the cost of operating the permit scheme. No permit schemes are yet in operation, although we are currently considering applications from Transport for London and 14 London boroughs.