HC Deb 21 December 1999 vol 341 cc531-2W
Mr. Blizzard

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 15 December 1999,Official Report, column 187W, on utilities' standards of compliance, if he will quantify the shortfall in utilities compliance with the statutory code of practice on reinstatement of highways and footways. [103579]

Mr. Hill

There are no central records of street works reinstatements or of inspections of works. So far as individual sites are concerned, it is for the undertaker concerned to put right any defects in reinstating the street that may have occurred. Such defects are likely to be discovered as the result of street works inspections by the local highway authority, who have powers under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 to require remedial works to be carried out at the undertaker's expense.

The research project carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory, referred to in my answer of 15 December 1999, Official Report, column 187W, examined only a sample of reinstatements undertaken mostly during the mid-1990s. While this showed where improvements needed to be made, it is not possible to extrapolate from it reliable figures for reinstatement defects for the country as a whole.

If there is any particular street works issue that has prompted this question, I suggest that my hon. Friend might care to write to me about it.