Below is the text of a series of Written Parliamentary Questions that Sir Oliver sent to the Transport Department on the subject of road maintenance, and the reply he recieved from them.
Q1: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the quality of reinstatement work carried out by utility companies and statutory undertakers; and if he will make a statement.
Q2: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what representations he has received on the quality of reinstatement works by utility companies and statutory undertakers in the last year.
Q3: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has plans to increase resources available to highway authorities to enforce requirements relating to reinstatement works by utility companies and statutory undertakers.
A: The Department does not collect data relating to the quality of utility reinstatements.
The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State has met with representatives of both utility companies and local highway authorities to discuss street works, including the quality of reinstatements. In the last year the Department received 8 letters from MPs and 8 other items of correspondence about reinstatements.
It is for local authorities to determine the resources assigned to enforce requirements relating to street works. Councils have powers through the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 to inspect reinstatements and to require utilities to carry out remedial works to comply with their reinstatement duties. Further powers are available through the Traffic Management Act 2004 where local authorities can introduce permit schemes for street works, and enforce conditions about how works are carried out. A prescribed proportion of street work inspections is funded by utility companies, and authorities also have powers to bring prosecutions where the quality of reinstatement does not meet standards.