HL Deb 02 May 2000 vol 612 cc164-9WA
Lord Lipsey

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Who responded to their consultation paper on holes in the road Reducing Disruption from Utilities' Street Works, identifying those which had an interest in avoiding charges for roadworks; and [HL2006]

What they estimate to be the costs incurred by business as a result of holes in the road, using the £16.28 valuation of business time which applies in the evaluation of new road building; and [HL2007]

Whether the Department of Trade and Industry of the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions is the lead department for policy on holes in the road; and [HL2008]

What is the estimated yield of a £1,000 per lane per day levy on those who dig holes in the roads; and [HL2009]

What arrangements are in force in other European countries to charge those who dig holes in the road for doing so; and [HL2010]

Whether they will commission an appropriate economic consultancy to assess the costs and benefits of charging statutory undertakers who dig holes in the road. [HL2011]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Whitty)

; The list of respondents to this consultation follows.

Responses sent to the DETR regarding the consultation paper on reducing disruption from utilities' street works

Local Government

  • Local Government Association;
  • Babergh District Council;
  • Metropolitan Borough of Wirral;
  • Eastleigh Borough Council;
  • Wellington Town Council;
  • City of Sunderland;
  • North Lincolnshire Council;
  • Hampshire County Council;
  • Wandsworth Borough Council;
  • Bexley Council;
  • London Borough of Merton;
  • Corporation of London;
  • Kennet District Council;
  • Shropshire County Council;
  • Bristol City Council;
  • Warwickshire County Council;
  • Cheshire County Council;
  • London Borough of Lewisham;
  • Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council;
  • Leicestershire County Council;
  • Warrington Borough Council;
  • Mid Devon District Council;
  • Devon County Council;
  • Staffordshire County Council;
  • London Borough of Redbridge;
  • Rutland County Council;
  • Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council;
  • London Borough of Barnet;
  • Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council;
  • Birmingham City Council;
  • Nottingham City Council;
  • Derby City Council:
  • South Kesteven District Council;
  • East Sussex County Council;
  • Metropolitan Borough of Bury;
  • WA 166
  • Cornwall County Council;
  • Swindon Borough Council;
  • Hull City Services;
  • Middlesbrough Council;
  • Hertfordshire County Council;
  • City of Westminster;
  • Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea;
  • Sefton Council;
  • Suffolk County Council;
  • Lincolnshire County Council;
  • Croydon Council;
  • Leicester City Council;
  • Borough of Pendle;
  • Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council;
  • Wolverhampton Metropolitan Borough Council;
  • Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames;
  • Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead;
  • Suffolk County Council;
  • Northumberland County Council;
  • Dorset County Council;
  • Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council;
  • Kirklees Metropolitan Council;
  • Wiltshire County Council;
  • South Gloucestershire Council;
  • Kent County Council;
  • City of Plymouth;
  • London Borough of Bromley;
  • Worcestershire County Council;
  • Derbyshire County Council;
  • Surrey County Council;
  • Cheltenham Borough Council;
  • Bradford Metropolitan District Council;
  • East Riding of Yorkshire Council;
  • Leeds City Council;
  • North East Lincolnshire Council;
  • City of York Council;
  • London Borough of Ealing;
  • Durham County Council;
  • Buckinghamshire County Council;
  • Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council;
  • Bradford Metropolitan District Council;
  • Gloucestershire County Council;
  • Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council;
  • Norfolk County Council;
  • Essex County Council;
  • Staffordshire County Council;
  • London Borough of Camden;
  • Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council;
  • Southend-on-Sea Borough Council;
  • North Somerset Council.

Utilities contractors and associated representative bodies

  • Eurobell;
  • Norweb Telecom Ltd;
  • Yorkshire Electricity;
  • VIATEL UK Ltd;
  • London Electricity;
  • Society of British Gas Industries;
  • Western Power Distribution;
  • Bristol Water plc;
  • National Joint Utilities Group (on behalf of Transco*, BT*, Water UK (representing water companies)*, Electricity Association (representing electricity companies)*, Telewest Communications, and Cable & Wireless Communications);
  • Yorkshire Water;
  • Society of British Water Industries.


  • Joint Committee on Mobility of Blind and Partially Sighted People;
  • London Walking Forum;
  • The Retroreflective Equipment Manufacturers Association;
  • METRO;
  • Manchester Chamber of Commerce & Industry;
  • Government Office for the Eastern Region (Planning and Transport);
  • BAA plc; Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation;
  • Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee;
  • Confederation of Passenger Transport UK;
  • Automobile Association;
  • Local Government Technical Advisers Group;
  • Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Limited;
  • Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry;
  • Railtrack;
  • Traffic Director for London;
  • South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive;
  • Urban Design and Town Planning;
  • United Kingdom Society for Trenchless Technology;
  • National Sewerage Association;
  • British Property Federation;
  • Construction Confederation;
  • Institute of Public Rights of Way Officers;
  • Jason Consultants Ltd;
  • County Surveyors Society;
  • Midlands Amenity Societies Association;
  • Department of Trade and Industry;
  • Civil Engineering Contractors Association;
  • Traffic Control Systems Unit;
  • WA 168
  • British Road Federation;
  • London First;
  • Office of Water Services;
  • Pipe Jacking Association;
  • Yorkshire Traction Company Ltd;
  • Transport Research Laboratory;
  • Freight Transport Association;
  • Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management;
  • International Society for Trenchless Technology;
  • Road Haulage Association;
  • Canary Wharf Group PLC;
  • Belsize Residents Association;
  • Errut Products Ltd;
  • Civic Trust;
  • London Regional Passengers Committee;
  • ntl;
  • Association for Geographic Information;
  • Sheffield Heat & Power;
  • Pedestrians Association, Stockton Pedestrians Group;
  • London Transport Buses;
  • Greater London Action on Disability;
  • London Chamber of Commerce and Industry;
  • Institution of Highways and Transportation;
  • British Chambers of Commerce;
  • Institution of Civil Engineers;
  • Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland;
  • Mr Derek Leggetter.

Note: The local government authorities listed are those that replied individually to the department; in addition, there was a co-ordinated reply sent on behalf of authorities in general by the Local Government Association (LGA). In the utilities, organisations marked with an asterisk (*) are those members of the National Joint Utilities Group (NJUG) which sent individual replies to the department: as with the LGA, NJUG sent a co-ordinated reply on behalf of its members.

The average value figure of £16.28 an hour in 1999 prices I gave in reply to my noble friend's Written Question on 13 March (Hansard, col. WA 191) related to car driving employees when considering the effect of new road building schemes and road maintenance. The Government do not hold data on which to form estimates of the cost of utility street works to business interests, since notification of planned works is given to the highway authority concerned and there is no provision for authorities to pass on the information for statistical purposes.

The Department of Trade and Industry has responsibility for the issue of the licences for telecommunications and energy companies that empower those organisations to place their apparatus in the street. The Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions is responsible for water companies and for overall policy on the control of utility street works.

The consultation document Reducing Disruption from Utilities' Street Works proposed, as a basis for discussion, a figure of £500 per day for overstaying by works in traffic-sensitive streets, with the possibility of a higher (perhaps double) figure for works in London. The consultation document also declared the Government's requirement of any system that the costs of operating it should be commensurate with the benefits derived from it. However, as information about the number and size of excavations in the road is not collected centrally, it is not possible at the present time for the Government to make a meaningful estimate of future yield.

The Government do not hold comparative information on the policy of other European countries with respect to charging undertakers for occupation of the road.

A regulatory impact assessment will be prepared before the first regulations under Section 74 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 are introduced, and these regulations will be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure. In addition, we shall monitor the costs and benefits of the charging scheme.