Utility companies may have to dig up footpaths, not roads

1 August 2019

The Times reports that a Department for Transport consultation document has revealed that utility companies may be told to bury new cables and pipes under footpaths and verges, under new plans to reduce traffic congestion and prevent potholes caused by repeated disruptions to road surfaces.

The document said the change would be introduced by the start of next April to prevent “significant disruption” to the road network. Exceptions would be made in cases where work would involve uprooting trees, or for work on the biggest infrastructure projects.

The proposal has drawn criticism, with Tanya Braun from charity, Living Streets saying: “This is a particular blow to older adults and people with disabilities, who are more vulnerable to trips and falls on poorly maintained footways and could be forced into the carriageway whilst works are under way.”

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