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Street works permit scheme consultation responses

We held a consultation about the street works permit scheme, which ran from 30 July 2019 to 30 October 2019.

View the responses we received about the consultation below.

Responses to the street works consultation Consultation responses
Company nameCommentsCouncil responseWas the scheme amended?
Northern PowerGridNorthumberland have included fees for a PAA, clearly not as generous as you.Added PAA in summary document (Completed)Yes
Comment on section 9.8 - Variations for Immediate Activities
Bullet 2 states that promoters will telephone the permit authority to apply for permit variation. This is incorrect, permit variations must be submitted electronically.

 
To avoid the risk that any variations may be missed during exceptionally busy periods, South Tyneside Council would request that all extensions are discussed via telephone and then confirmed electronically once agreed. The text in the scheme document has been updated to reflect this. Yes
Department for TransportComment on section 1.1 - Background
The above would apply to any wording around condition use and the March & October 2015 Statutory Guidance etc.
Agree to amendYes
Comment on section 1.8 - Aligned Objectives
Across the beginning of the document it says that the scheme will be developed ... but the final document might better reflect that it has been developed or similar
Agree to amendYes
Comment on section 1.9 - Operation of the Permit Scehme
If there is a chance that in the future you may wish to consider a Lane Rental scheme you may wish to add it into your permit
Agree to amendYes
Comment on section 1.9 - Operation of the Permit Scheme
Across the document there is references to EToN but you may wish to consider future proofing it to reflect ' by electronic means' or the 'current electronic system' to take account of the move to Street Manager
Agree to amendYes
Virgin MediaDo you consider that the permit scheme is suited to the needs of the people, residents and road users of ---------------- Council? No If not why not?
Virgin Media are disappointed that the Permit Scheme and associated fees will apply to all classification of roads. If the council chooses to apply permits to 100% of streets, contrary to advice from Ministers, Virgin Media requests that the Authority  grant permits for category 3 and 4 roads by default and for those permits to be at zero fee levels
South Tyneside Council does not believe the scheme is contrary to ministers' advice. An authority should have the power to control activities, including its own on all streets and believes that activities on type 3 & 4 roads are just as important to the roads users as those on 0, 1 and 2. The application of a permit scheme and the tasks associated with that should be cost neutral. Given the volume of notices processed in 2018/19 for type 3 & 4 streets (on which our matrices have been based) to charge a zero fee would not allow for the scheme to be cost neutral. Regulation 30 provides the PA with the power to charge for permits. The DfT permit fee matrix has been used to determine the allowable costs and therefore the permit fee by works type and road category. The annual evaluations will determine whether the costs of running a scheme have been covered and fees may be adjusted either up or down to ensure the scheme remains cost neutralNo
Are there any other aspects of the scheme for which you require further clarification? If works continue beyond the end date of a permit, Virgin Media believe this would be classed as breach of permit condition, not working without a valid permit.For clarification, this is treated as an overrun which constitutes a Section 74.No
Do you have any suggestions for improving the scheme? Virgin Media would suggest a monthly review meeting to be held every month for the first 3 months of a scheme to review issues encountered within the start-up period of the scheme and are happy for this to be a joint meeting with other undertakers, which we can review statistics on refusals, FPN's etc, would this be of benefit ?South Tyneside Council will be happy to meet with utilities on a monthly basis for the first three months following implementation. This would also be an excellent opportunity to discuss lessons learned and share best practice.No
Are there any other aspects of the scheme for which you require further clarification? I realise in your C.B.A you have mentioned a review will be done in 3 years' time, however it is normal practice for a review to be done after the first operating year to ensure the scheme is not working at a loss and fees can be adjusted, can N.C.C please confirm if this is intended or will they be sticking to the first review being in 3 years' time from the start date of the scheme?The CoBA summary states: "The scheme will be subject to review at the end of each of the first three years and every three years thereafter, with any surplus remedied by a reduction in fees"No
OpenreachComment on section 2.3 - Collaborative Working
Openreach do not agree that when sharing a trench that only the primary promoter will register the reinstatement regardless of who carried out the reinstatement. In this instance both promoters should submit a registration of reinstatement with the primary promoters' subsumed by the secondary promoters
This is industry standards in which South Tyneside Council  will follow, no changes will be madeNo
Comment on section 3.4 - Activities for which no Permit is required
Works not involving excavation in non-traffic sensitive streets Openreach request that this is removed from the document, in some instances such as when traffic management is required, a permit would be required regardless of whether the works require excavation or are in a traffic sensitive street.
Agree to amendYes
Comment on section 7.18 - Traffic Management, Parking and Traffic Regulation Orders
Openreach request that 'where the Council is prepared to do so' is removed, TTRNs should only be requested in the most urgent situations and where a statutory undertaker can evidence the need for one then we would expect the Highway Authority help us with our request.
It is the responsibility of the Council to consider whether a request meets the criteria for a TTRN and assess what disruption the works will cause on the network so therefore 'where the Council is prepared to do so' will remain in the document.No
Comment on section 18.2 - Permit Fee payment and reconciliation
The Permit Authority will submit a draft invoice to the promoters for a specified period prior to the generation of an invoice to enable them to reconcile the charges. A two week timescale will be allowed for reconciliation of the charges prior to actual invoice This timescale is not really sufficient for us to check all the permits on a monthly list, our teams are dealing with approx. 55 Highway Authorities each team. If the draft charges presented by the Authority are all correct for discounts on Traffic Sensitive roads and zero charges for AIVs or Portable Traffic Signals then we could possibly make the two week deadline but invariably authorities send the initial report of their draft charges without filtering or checking it. This means our team have to check each individual line to confirm the charge is correct or if we need to challenge for incorrect charges.
South Tyneside Council will allow the industry standard of ten working days for the reconciliation of the charges prior to the actual invoice. Whilst extensions will be considered in exception circumstances, other authorities in the area work with the same processing times so no changes will be made to the procedureNo
Openreach request that the permit fees are reviewed taking into account the Statutory Guidance for Permit Schemes, 'it is strongly recommended that permit fees are only applied to the more strategically significant roads: Category 1, 2 roads and Traffic Sensitive roads. This will mean that although permits would still be required for works on non-strategic routes, it should be very unlikely that these works would attract a permit fee. These permit applications would receive only 'notice' equivalent treatment by the authority.' South Tyneside Council does not believe the scheme is contrary to ministers' advice. An authority should have the power to control activities, including its own on all streets and believes that activities on type 3 & 4 roads are just as important to the roads users as those on 0, 1 and 2. The application of a permit scheme and the tasks associated with that should be cost neutral.  Given the volume of notices processed in 2018/19 for type 3 & 4 streets (on which our matrices have been based) to charge a zero fee would not allow for the scheme to be cost neutral. Regulation 30 provides the PA with the power to charge for permits. The DfT permit fee matrix has been used to determine the allowable costs and therefore the permit fee by works type and road category. The annual evaluations will determine whether the costs of running a scheme have been covered and fees may be adjusted either up or down to ensure the scheme remains cost neutral. No
During the initial move of North Yorkshire County Council from notices to permits Openreach found it really useful to have meetings to go through what was going wrong on both sides. Especially in the first couple of months. Would your authority be willing to do this?South Tyneside Council will be happy to meet with utilities on a monthly basis for the first three months following implementation. This would also be an excellent opportunity to discuss lessons learned and share best practice.No
NWLComment on section 3.4 - Activities for which no Permit is required & 4.5 - Non-Maintainable Highways
Do we need non-chargeable permits for works in private streets? If so, are timescales the same as these 2 points appear to contradict each other
A permit scheme can only be applied to roads that are maintained at public expense No
Comment on section 9.5 - Electronic Application for a Variation & 9.6 - Telephone Application for a Variation
Both of these lead us to believe we can put through extensions electronically if more than 20% duration is remaining. However, we have been informed if we do this, regardless of stating the requirements set in the permit scheme, they will be refused. Is this your stance and if so, should this be amended so not to mislead?
Variations can take place at any time after the permit has been issued and before or during the activity itself. However as stated in 9.6 where the criteria in 9.5 is not met the promoter shall contact the Authority to ascertain whether they are prepared to grant the variation, then apply electronically.  If the promoter requests a variation electronically before the 20% or 2 day window without contacting the Authority first this does not constitute grounds for the Authority to refuse.No
Traffic Management - do lights need manual control at peak times on all traffic sensitive routes?NO. However there will be large percentage of locations which may require the lights to be operated manually, this should be discussed and agreed with the Authority.No
Gritting Routes - There appears to be no mention of charges on gritting routes when the weather is mild. Is it the case that the reason for a street designation as TS due to it being a gritting route, then should it be charged at the non TS rate when the weather is mild?If an identified gritting route is for a number of months, then each day of said months will be designated traffic sensitive, regardless of the weather.  No
There are many references to the EToN specifications throughout the scheme. What will the implications if the introduction of Street Manager brings in procedures that are not aligned to the proposed Permit Scheme?Although South Tyneside Council will still be technically using EToN when our permit scheme goes live we have agreed all references to EToN  will be replaced with by electronic means .Yes
We expect that the document will become a legal one, if this is the case, would also expect that the document be in line with other regulations. In the scheme there is a reference to FPNs being "issued", this is not in line with FPN Regulations whereby FPNs are "given". Not sure if this should be amended before rather than after and then having to re-issue?Agreed to amendYes
Just 2 very minor points - that if this becomes a legal document the use of apostrophe throughout, should read FPNs not FPN's. Also in the 4th paragraph of section 7.26, the word "it" is missing after "however".Agreed to amend FPN's  to FPNs              
Agreed to amend 7.26 to include "it" 
Yes
Network RailComment on section 6.2 - Provisional Advance Authorisation (PAA)
'unless other conditions have been met by pre-agreement with the Authority' - Network Rail would ask for clarification on what this means as there should be no conditions that are not NCTs?
South Tyneside Council will only use the national conditions however we have updated the text in this section of the document for clarification.No
Comment on section 12.5 - Circumstances where fees may be reduced
Please see point 9.
The reference to 12.5 should have been 12.6 therefore the following text in Section 3.2 has been updated to say "Where the statutory undertaker has specified diversionary works in their permit application, the permit authority may use its discretion with regard to fees as stated in Section 12.6.No
Comment on section 16.5 - Working near Rail Tracks
Network Rail would ask that the need to contact Network Rail when working within 200m of the tracks is included here.
Yes as stated in 16.5 Working near Rail Tracks  Particular attention must be given to the possible effects of activities taking place at or in the vicinity of the
railway. Promoters planning activities in such locations must refer to the advice of the Code of Practice for
the Coordination of Street Works and Works for Road Purposes and Related matters and its successors,
which sets out Network Rail's requirements.
No

View the permit scheme at South Tyneside Council permit scheme242.18KB.

 

 

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