We own and maintain the electricity network across London, the South East and East of England. To ensure we deliver a safe and reliable electricity supply, we make regular investments in developing our electricity network, which means that sometimes we have to carry out essential works.
There are number of reasons why we need to dig up the road which include:
- Maintaining a safe, secure and reliable electricity supply
- Installing new electricity connections to homes and businesses
- Upgrading the electricity network to ensure there is enough power to meet demand
- Diverting and altering our electricity network to accommodate infrastructure and urban regeneration projects.
We work closely with local authorities when carrying out road works to help us plan efficiently and co-ordinate our work with other utility companies. This also helps us keep disruption to a minimum, which is one of the requirements of the ‘New Road and Street Works Act 1991’ and the ‘Traffic Management Act 2004’.
It is therefore very important that anyone requesting installation/connection of services within the road or footway from utility companies gives adequate notice of requirements. Failure to do so will result in the local authorities not granting permission for the time requested.
The safety of our staff and members of the public is our number one priority.
All of our staff have received training on the Safety at Street Works and Road Works Code of Practice, which outlines the necessary requirements on the use of signing, lighting and guarding to maintain a safe work site.
The environmental impact of road works is something which we take seriously. Whilst preventing the risk of increased noise levels, damage to trees and surrounding areas, we carefully manage the disposal and recycling of waste materials from our work.
From the road works which we carry out, we remove more than 170,000 tons of spoil, the vast majority of which is recycled. This means, we are able reduce the amount of new material we use and are currently sending less than two per cent of our excavated material to landfill.
We are continuing to work with our partners to further increase the volume of recycled materials used and reduce the volume of material we send to landfills.
We play a leading role in a number of national groups, including Street Works UK, the Highways Authorities and Utilities Committee (HAUC) UK, the Energy Networks Association (ENA) and working parties chaired by the Department for Transport.
By working at a national level, we demonstrate our commitment to the highway authorities on effective street works management.
We have shown our support for the Street Works UK Vision for Street Works and are working with the other stakeholders to make this a reality. Further information can be found on the Street Works UK Vision. Visit their website.
The Government considers that well-designed and well-targeted lane rental schemes, focused on the most critical parts of the highway network and with charges applying only at the busiest locations at traffic sensitive times, should encourage those undertaking street works to carry out their works in a less disruptive manner.
The schemes only target the most critical roads and locations and if our works impact upon these locations a charge of up to £2500 per day is charged by the local authority whilst we are occupying the road or cycleway.
We try our best to avoid these locations for new connections but this may not always be possible because of the location of our power cables.