The Highways Act 1980 places the responsibility for the management of the road network with local highway authorities. The New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 places a specific duty on the authorities to co-ordinate works on their networks, and on utility companies to co-operate with them in doing that. The Traffic Management Act 2004 imposed a ‘Network Management Duty’ on authorities and enabled them to introduce Permit Schemes which give them powers to more proactively manage and co-ordinate works to minimise disruption for all road users. They also offer discounts on permit fees when utilities work together to minimise impact on road users. More than half of English authorities have now either introduced a permit scheme, or are working towards it, which we welcome.
Officials work closely with representative bodies of both authorities and utilities to encourage increasing co-ordination and co-operation, whilst allowing for essential services to be maintained.