Public Sector

Published: December 11, 2019 | Updated: December 12, 2019

Businesses invited to have their say on BCP Council’s new street works permit scheme

The new permit scheme will allow BCP Council to reduce disruption, congestion and pollution. Picture: BCP Council.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Businesses are being invited to have their say on plans to introduce a new street works permit scheme for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

Earlier this year, BCP Council’s cabinet approved proposals to proceed with the implementation of the permit scheme.

It is intended to give the council greater control over works happening on the local road network.

At present, utility companies have a statutory right to carry out work and inform the council when they will be doing this.

Under the new scheme, they will have to apply for a permit in order to carry out planned works.

As part of the consultation, which runs until February 11 2020, the council is seeking views and questions from those who will be affected by the permit scheme.

This is mainly targeted at utility companies, however other interested parties, including businesses and residents, are also able to take part.

The council will take the feedback into consideration before considering whether any changes are needed to the permit scheme, or whether clarification of the scope of the scheme’s operation is required.

A BCP Council spokesperson said: “The permit scheme will enable us to reduce disruption, congestion and pollution on the highway network.

“We are pleased to now be taking the next step in its implementation.

“Before this happens it’s important that all interested parties are given an opportunity to view and influence the final plans before they are presented to cabinet for approval.’’

Plans for the new street works permit scheme, as well as details for submitting a response, can be viewed at bcpcouncil.gov.uk/streetworkspermitscheme

The Department for Transport estimates that the English local roads network is subject to around 2.5m road works each year.

The disruption caused is estimated to cost the UK economy around £4bn per annum.

Under BCP Council’s proposed permit scheme, permission will need to be requested, along with a clear start, end and duration details. Any alteration to these during the work could incur a fee.

The scheme is in response to requirements from the Department for Transport for all local authorities to have plans for introducing street works permit schemes by April 2020.

It will relate to activities on all streets in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area and require applicants to book planned works for specified periods and specific purposes.

As part of the proposed scheme, those wishing to apply for a permit to carry out works on the highway will pay a fee in line with statutory guidance.

The fees will cover the cost of operating the scheme.