The County Council, as Highway Authority, has a duty to manage and coordinate all works programmes that affect the highway i.e. their own work, those of the utility companies (water, electricity, gas, telecommunications), property developers and private citizens.
The Council currently coordinates a rolling six month programme of planned works in conjunction with the Utility companies. The intention is to extend this programme to 12 months with larger schemes and programmes being identified years in advance.
All organisations, businesses and individuals attempt to plan their work (or expenditure) so that there are no surprises. The County Council, in liaison with the Utility companies, endeavours to inform residents as soon as possible about road works. Nevertheless, unforeseen problems with underground apparatus can occur with little advance notice . Therefore, not all works can be planned well in advance.
The Government has recently introduced additional legislation in the form of the Traffic Management Act 2004 (TMA 2004). The primary aim of this legislation is aimed at tackling traffic congestion and reducing the disruption caused by work undertaken on the public highway with the objective of producing more reliable journey times.