New scheme will improve Havering roadworks hell

Councillors gave the green light to a new permit scheme that will lead to greater control and regulation of roadworks in Havering.

It means utility companies who want to dig up the borough’s roads will need to apply to Havering Council for a permit before they can begin.

The London Permit Scheme has already been adopted by 26 boroughs in the capital - and was deemed a “no brainer” by cabinet member for the environment, Cllr Barry Tebbutt, during last Wednesday’s (March 21) cabinet meeting.

Residents have been growing increasingly angry with roadworks blighting the borough.

Hornchurch shopkeepers recently claimed their trade had dropped by half during a prolonged period of roadworks in the town.

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Permitting will help the council coordinate the timing of roadworks, allowing several companies to work on the same sections of road at the same time.

Benefits include fewer works by utility companies, fewer delays, and reduction in vehicle emissions, the report to cabinet said.

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It should also cut the number of times roads are repeatedly dug up.

Cllr Tebbutt said after the meeting: “As a motorist and businessman, I am fed up being stuck in queues as our roads are constantly dug up by utility companies and then no one is working.

“We’re on the side of residents and the permit scheme will help us manage and co-ordinate roadworks, reduce congestion and help local people go about their business.”

The permits cost utility companies up to �240 per roadwork.

Action will be taken by the council against utility companies who do not meet the conditions of their permit.

Fines are given by issuing a fixed penalty without the need to go to courts.

Companies staring emergency works such as gas leaks are required to contact the council within two hours of starting work to apply for an immediate activity permit.

Cabinet agreed to proceed with the scheme, during the meeting in town hall, and will now ask Transport Secretary Justine Greening to approve its application to join.

If successful, permitting is likely to be in place by the autumn.

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