HC Deb 22 July 2004 vol 424 cc92-3WS
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Mr. Tony McNulty)

Regulations under section 74 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 came into force in April 2001. These allow highway authorities to charge utility companies for works in the street that overrun an agreed deadline.

Separate regulations under section 74A of the 1991 Act allow highway authorities to charge utility companies a daily rate, commonly known as "lane rental", whenever the latter carry out works in the street. The 74A powers have not, as yet, been activated nationally, but have been tested in pilot schemes in the London Borough of Camden and in Middlesbrough, which ended on 31 March 2004.

The Department appointed consultants, Halcrow, to monitor the effectiveness of both sets of powers in reducing disruption on the highway. Halcrow have produced two final reports covering the section 74 and 74A powers respectively. Copies of each report will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses shortly.