From April a new performance-based inspection regime comes into force which targets utilities not pulling their weight on reinstating dug up roads.
Prior to the new regulations around 30 per cent of utility companies’ street works were inspected. Whether or not works were checked by the highways authority was not dependent on the company in question’s past failure rate. The average failure rate nationally is nine per cent though the worst performer comes in at 63 per cent.
The new rules change this to ensure more inspections for the worst offenders, up to 100 per cent if necessary, with fewer for companies that routinely pass their inspections. Routine inspections cost utility companies £50 each and follow-ups £120. Poor-performing companies therefore have an incentive to do better and avoid these costs.
Commenting on this Andrew Jones MP said: “Even if the utilities are doing valuable work laying durable gas pipes or future-proof broadband cables the site of temporary traffic lights or a diversion sign will always be frustrating.
“Utilities need to ensure they make good any dug-up surfaces and get it right first time. I hope that this new approach will ensure the good guys are left alone and the not so good guys up their game.
“The Government is investing £5.5bn in roads between now and 2025. Alongside this it is important any work done by utilities is to a high standard to avoid surfaces breaking up quickly and more temporary lights to sort it out when they do poor work.”
North Yorkshire Council has confirmed it will be resurfacing several worn-out local roads this summer including the A61 at the Prince of Wales roundabout and Newby Crescent. You can read more about the plans here.