Utilities companies could be fined for bad work or delays under new scheme

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Residents and businesses are being asked their views on a scheme where Lincolnshire County Council would gain more control over the works of utility companies on its highway network.

Under the Lincolnshire Permit Scheme, companies would need to apply for a permit before starting work.

The scheme would apply to firms working on new developments where planning permission has been granted and affects a highway, and to the council’s own road maintenance contractors.

It would be administered by Lincolnshire County Council, which as the Permit Authority, would charge a fee for the issue of a permit or the variation of an existing permit.

Coun Richard Davies, executive councillor for highways and transportation, said: “A huge amount of works on our network are actually carried out by utility companies and not the council – last year 80 per cent of all works were those of water, gas and electricity suppliers.

“This scheme will help us manage any activity on the highway, control the timing and duration of works and make sure they are completed to a good standard.

“While we appreciate some works are emergencies, this will give us the option of issuing penalties when unnecessary inconvenience has been caused, such as not completing jobs on time or having to revisit works.”

The scheme could commence in October 2016. The consultation has now started, and comments need to be received by 5pm on Friday, May 31. It is available on the council’s website www.lincolnshire.gov.uk