Scheme paves the way for reduction of road works

The number and duration of road works have been dramatically reduced thanks to the introduction of a permit scheme which has been hailed an overwhelming success.

Thousands of days’ worth of disruption caused by roads being dug up in Leeds have been saved thanks to the introduction of the scheme, which is a first for Yorkshire.

Over 13,000 days of road works on the city’s most heavily used highways have been avoided in the first year of operation.

Companies planning to work on congested roads or bus routes must now apply for a permit in advance. They could face a fine if they fail to do so as the council aims to reduce the amount of time companies take carrying out work on key highways.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive member responsible for highways, said:

“Motorists have been saved from countless hours of sitting in traffic jams thanks to the permit scheme, which has proved to be a huge success. We are now in a position where companies are carrying out works more efficiently saving road users from unnecessary delays and journeys in our city are running much more smoothly.

“Road works are necessary to provide essential services and well maintained roads, but we are pleased to see the management of them come more into our control. It is making life easier for all involved and we will continue to improve as we move forward.”

The council may refuse to grant a permit if it is not happy work will meet special conditions aimed at minimising potential traffic delays. Those companies that break the agreed conditions or carry out work without a permit are fined.

Under the new system the council can also direct where the work will take place, what traffic management should be used to ease congestion, what time of day the work will be carried out and most importantly set deadlines for completion.

The average duration of works is down from seven days before the scheme to five days since the scheme was introduced.

During the 12 months reporting period 6279 works were undertaken on the permit street network compared with 7615 works over the equivalent period before the scheme was introduced.

The amount of works has also reduced as utility companies have planned their works more carefully or diverted them away from busier roads. Quality and accuracy of information has improved which has enabled the council to co-ordinate works more effectively while keeping road users and residents informed.

Yorkshire councils were among the first to adopt the scheme following trials in Kent and select London boroughs.

Leeds, Doncaster, Barnsley, Kirklees, Rotherham, and Sheffield were the first six councils to begin using the scheme following the introduction of new powers in June 2012. Due to the success of the scheme more authorities in Yorkshire and across the country are set to follow suit.

Information about current or planned road works in Leeds can be found at roadworks.org.


For media enquiries please contact:

Dan Johnson,

Leeds City Council press office,

Tel 0113 247 4450

Email: daniel.johnson2@leeds.gov.uk