Who can I speak to concerning specific highway works?
Should you have any queries or questions relating to a specific scheme please contact Customer Contact Team.
Why does the Council allow roads to be dug up so often?
We have no powers to stop a Statutory Undertaker digging up the road. They have a legal right to control timings and co-ordinate works under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 and the Traffic Management Act 2000. This is to allow them to maintain their existing pipes, cables etc, or to install new ones. Statutory Undertakers need to inform the Council, by notice - the larger the scheme or repair work the longer the notice - from 2 hours for emergency works to 28 days for planned works.
Why are some holes left for weeks with no work going on?
Statutory Undertakers and their contractors don't want to leave holes open any longer than they have to. It costs money to keep barriers and lights around holes and they may be legally liable for any accidents.
There are three main causes why holes are left open with no apparent work going on. The first is where gas has seeped into the ground, or into cable ducts. In these cases, for safety reasons, the trapped gas has to be allowed to escape into the open air over a period of time. The second is where an undertaker finds that a piece of apparatus, such as a valve or bend on an old pipe needs to be replaced. In some cases this will not be available from stock and has to be specially made. The third is when a Statutory Undertaker is laying a new pipe or cable and comes across a previously unknown obstruction. There may be a delay while the obstruction is identified, and if necessary a new route is planned.
Why do the works always take longer than planned?
Statutory Undertakers have been digging holes in the road to lay pipes or cables for over 100 years and records of what was done in the early years are sometimes poor or non-existent. There are very sophisticated systems available to locate underground services, none of which are 100% accurate and nobody can be absolutely certain of what is there until they start digging. There can be cellars and vaults extending under the pavement and/or the road, and accurate information on them is not always available. All these things can combine to make work take longer than planned.
How do I find out who is digging up the highway and how long the obstruction will be there?
The signs surrounding the excavation should have a contact number on them to ring for information. Please use this telephone number as a first point of contact. If there is no contact number then contact the Customer Contact Team. Once details have been obtained you will be contacted with the information.