Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
observer

But who will pay?

Recommended Posts

Seems the Government are consulting on the idea of Councils charging the Utilities for digging up our roads at inconcenient times. Well, on the face of it, much better if they did it at night or at week-ends I suppose (unless you live nearby!), and it could provide cash strapped Councils with a few bob. BUT, who will pay in the end? Surely the Utilities will merely pass on the charge to their customers? :mellow:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the long run, of course they will!

 

I thought they could already be fined if they overrun on the time work takes?

 

They would have to define 'inconvenient time' as any time will be inconvenient for somebody!! :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A close friend of mine writes software used by a large contracting company to schedule crews for road works on behalf of a variety of Utility companies.

 

The current system requires each Utility company which wants to excavate a road to buy a seperate permit - even if they all want to work simultaneously to minimise disruption! The other problem is, the permits are in units of 1 day, 7 days or 30 days. So if a job will take more than a day anyway there's no incentive for the Utility to get it finished in less than a week, if it will take more than a week there's no real incentive to have the road open again in less than 30 days.

 

That's one of the reasons why you see so many half finished jobs surrounded by cones but with no workers in sight for days on end. They've gone off to finish something which is getting close to the end of its permit and just plan on being back before their 7 or 30 days runs out on the one they've left.

 

If the new system results in charging for each hour the road is closed, and differential pricing for busy and quiet times, then it might reward the Utilities for co-operating more to co-ordinate when they're working on a given stretch - and also provide an incentive to get a job completed and the road re-opened in the minimum time necessary.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting post Inky and now I understand why we often see what we see ie jobs taking longer than expected :blink:

 

How much do the different permits cost and who is the permit payment currently made too, any idea ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But, if the Utilities merely pass on the extra costs (overtime nights/ w/ends etc) to the customer, WE (as always), will finish up paying for it. Wouldn't it be as simple, for Council's to issue permits for escavations, with strict regulations as to times of operation/duration etc? :mellow:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You would think it would be but nothing is simple or straight forward these days.

 

Shame in a way we cant go back to how things used to be for a few months to see just how much work could be done and how quickly when you take out all the box ticking, meetings, reports, discussions, site visits between each raise of a shovel and foreman's tea breaks etc etc :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ink is probably correct; but wasn't it the last Gov who de-regulated street escavations? The other thing is, the Council could repair a road and pavements - it all looks perfect - then along come the Utilities and destroy it with a patchwork of fillings - perhaps before the Council re-do the road, the utilities should be invited to do any digging first; any digging after that and they should re-surface the whole street. :shock: :shock:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting post Inky and now I understand why we often see what we see ie jobs taking longer than expected :blink:

 

How much do the different permits cost and who is the permit payment currently made too, any idea ?

 

Thinking about digging a hole in the road Dizzy? :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No idea about the cost, I'd assume that it varies according to the type of road being dug up and the amount of that road affacted.

 

The utilities - or indeed anyone who digs up the road - has a legally enforcable duty to re-instate the road surface back to its original condition. The permit fees are paid to the council, who are supposed to check that the re-instatement is satisfactory before signing off the permit as completed. Generally speaking they don't bother, and so companies get away with the poor quality patch jobs we see everywhere.

 

De-regulation of road excavations has simply meant that large, speciallist contracting firms can dig holes as a sub-contractor of the utility companies. In theory, that should be more efficient than for each utility to maintain its own road digging division - and should enable the contractors to co-ordinate the works needed for each of its customers.

 

Unfortunately since local councils generally - but certainly ours in particular (can someone ask our Highways Dept when was the last time they refused to sign off on a completion or took enforcement action for poor quality?) - aren't using the enforcement powers they already have, there is little or no incentive for the contractors or utilities to do a proper job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...