These new regulations have established a framework for a highway authority, should it choose to do so, to set up and operate permit schemes. These schemes will provide the basis upon which the undertaking of works in streets, whether by utilities or highway authorities, will first require a permit. Where and when implemented, they will supersede the current system where utilities simply give notice before undertaking such works.
The regulations cover the following areas:
- the application process for a permit;
- the content of the permit schemes;
- the sanctions for non compliance with the regulations;
- the fees involved; and
- the introduction of a register of permits, which will provide a record of all permits issued, varied, refused or revoked.
One of the key features of these regulations is that the authorities will become more proactive in the management and control of works taking place on the highway. In essence these regulations will introduce a scheme whereby the occupation of a street must be booked for specified periods for a specified purpose. The applicants must follow the application process whereupon the authority will decide whether to grant the permit, with or without conditions attached.
The regulations come with an explanatory memorandum.