Frequently Asked Questions

This page offers advice on the following:


Utilities Equipment

Where are the utilities equipment?

Equipment can be placed on any highway route.

There are some limitations on the utilities in streets designated as "Streets with Special Engineering Difficulty". These streets contain special features such as bridges, culverts and historical items or special construction and works must be carefully planned and executed to prevent damage.

When can public utility companies carry out work?

Limitations exist where streets are designated as "Traffic Sensitive". National criteria exist for defining these streets that is essentially linked to high volumes of traffic or the physical layout of the road.

Limitations, that may be seasonal, take the form of restricting working to night or away from peak flow times i.e. on main roads much of the work is carried out away from the summer and out of the times of peak traffic flow.

Traffic sensitivity does not necessarily stop a utility carrying out works during a traffic sensitive period but it does require an increased notice period.

There are powers for the Street Authority to ensure there is no clash with, say, a major sporting event i.e. Bath Half Marathon.

Can the Council Stop New Roads being Dug Up?

Utilities are contacted 3 months in advance of any major surfacing works so that they can co-ordinate works prior to the new surface being laid.

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Co-ordination of Utitlity Companies

Do you restrict works on new surfaces?

Bath & North East Somerset Council have powers to issue a section 58 notice relating to new road surfaces.

If this is notice is issued, then under Section 58 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, utilities are prevented, except in the case of an emergency or when linked to their charter for customer service connections, from digging up the road for 12 months.

Why Don't Utilities Share Trenches More Often?

Trench sharing is an encouraged practice when utilities are planning to undertake works on the same part of a road. This has happened several times specifically on telecommunication routes. In addition it is a requirement of Telecommunications Licences for spare capacity to be built in to avoid unnecessary digging up of the highway.

Trench sharing is only possible when utilities are undertaking similar works i.e. telecommunications and main laying. In cases of emergency a utility may need to reopen a trench shortly after another utility has completed their works.

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Reporting Problems

How do I get information about works still underway?

Where roadworks are taking place there should be a courtesy board placed by whoever is carrying out the works (as pictured left). This courtesy board tells you the company name and their telephone number.

Report a problem

Who do I contact regarding completed works?

If you are concerned about any works a utility have undertaken or notice a highway defect i.e. broken manhole cover, materials or signs left behind or poor reinstatement, please contact us via the details given at the bottom of this page.

Where practical i.e. Manhole covers, you should be able to identify which utility is responsible for the cover as their name will be on it. Please provide these details when contacting us.

Report a problem

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