§ Mr. Blizzard
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what assessment he has made of the compliance rate of utilities in using permanent reinstatement materials as set out in the statutory code of practice under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991. 
§ Mr. Hill
Research carried out for the Department by the Transport Research Laboratory, covering a period up to early 1998, showed that there was room for improvement in utilities' standards of compliance with the statutory code of practice on reinstatement (the reinstatement specification). Street works and the reinstatements after works are subject to inspection by street authorities (normally the local highway authorities), who have powers under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 to ensure compliance with the specification.
The research is contributing to the revision of the specification, a new edition of which we expect to be published next year.