§ Mr. Field
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list the initiatives currently under way to improve the operation of the provisions of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991. 
§ Dr. Reid
[holding answer 26 March 1999]Regulations are being laid under powers in the 1991 Act to facilitate and encourage the electronic transfer of information about street works and other works in the highway between utilities and highway authorities. This will ensure greater consistency and speed in transferring and registering the information, which in turn will help authorities in their co-ordination role.
In the debate on roads policy in the House on 18 March 1999, Official Report, columns 1364–66, I referred to our commitment to act to reduce the disruption and inconvenience of prolonged street works which had already been announced in last year's Integrated Transport White Paper.
There are other proposals being taken forward following earlier consultation: these concern safety measures (signing, lighting and guarding of works), reinstatement, the inspection regime and the recording of underground apparatus.