§ Mr. Nicholas Bennett
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action is being taken to improve the co-ordination of statutory undertakers' road works.
§ Mr. Atkins
Statutory undertakers' rights to excavate in roads in order to lay and maintain their apparatus are governed by the street works code in the Public Utilities Street Works Act 1950. The Government accept that a fundamental reform of this legislation as recommended by the Home report is required. A Bill will be introduced as soon as a suitable opportunity can be found. This will include a new duty on highway authorities to co-ordinate all excavations in the highway with a view to minimising the disruption to road users and avoiding undesirable combinations of excavations.