§ Mr. Spearing
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will initiate a study of the extent to which all county, borough and district highway authorities are able to co-ordinate and control highway excavations for purposes other than emergencies; and if he will list those bodies authorised to do so without local authorities1 prior consent.
§ Mr. Norris
I see no need for a specific study of this kind. The Department keeps in close touch with the Association of County Councils and the Association of Metropolitan Authorities about the operation of the street works provisions of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, and we stand ready to strengthen any of the regulations and codes of practice issued under the Act where there is a case for doing so. Undertakers execute street works by virtue either of a statutory right or of a licence granted under the Act and do not need prior consent from the street authority. For most non-emergency street works there is, however, a requirement for undertakers to give the street authority a specified period of notice.