Hertfordshire County Council’s highways department is taking action against companies that carry out unauthorised work on its network.
This follows a number of recent unapproved activities on the local authority’s roads, with companies found to be working without a permit or in breach of their permit conditions.
According to the county council, unauthorised work on Hertfordshire’s highway network can cause traffic congestion and potential risks for road users.
As a result they are reminding utilities and other companies that they must obtain a Hertfordshire County Council permit before their work can begin.
The county council applies conditions to say when, where and how roadworks can take place in the county to help manage and reduce the impact of works on both the traffic and the environment. This coordinated and planned approach to roadworks helps to reduce traffic congestion and keep the county’s roads moving.
Terry Douris, cabinet member for highways, said: “Unauthorised roadworks can cause real headaches for Hertfordshire road users and that’s why we’re taking this stance with anyone who goes ahead and digs up the road without permission, or disregards their permit conditions. Ultimately, it’s the residents and road users who suffer the impact of delays, and our highways team, who can see what’s happening in a particular area, work hard to coordinate the roadworks so the least disruption is caused.”
Hertfordshire’s road network is made up of more than 3,000 miles of public highway and its inspection team work constantly to ensure that all works undertaken are as safe and efficient as possible.
When utility companies are found to be working in breach of their permit or without a permit at all, the relevant penalties are applied and the appropriate action is taken with the company carrying out the works. This action can range from a fixed penalty notice to a court prosecution, depending on the circumstances.
Some of the problems typically found on site can vary from temporary traffic signals not being correctly operated, to works sites being unsafely guarded. Depending on the severity of the issue, utilities are in some instances instructed to stop work and their permit may be revoked.