§ Dr. Godman
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make it his policy to require cable communication installers to restore all pavements and roads to their former standard and to replace trees which die within five years of the installation work; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
The New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 and associated regulations and codes of practice already require undertakers, such as cable operators, executing road works to comply with prescribed material specifications and standards of workmanship when reinstating a road or footway and to guarantee the performance of the reinstatement for a minimum period of two years. If an undertaker fails to comply with his duties under the Act regarding reinstatements then he commits an offence. Provision is made for road works authorities to inspect reinstatements and to require corrective work where a reinstatement is defective. Ultimately, the road works authority may carry out the work themselves and recover costs from the undertaker.
Particular attention is drawn by the codes of practice to the need to excavate carefully where trees, shrubs and other planted areas are involved. The National Joint Utilities Group has also recently published, in collaboration with the Cable Communications Association and arboriculturists, "Guidelines for the Planning, Installation and Maintenance of Utility Services in Proximity to Trees". A copy of the paper is available in the Library. The Government do not consider that it is necessary to legislate for the replacement of trees in the way suggested.