Drivers set to be spared disruption under permit scheme to regulate companies digging up South Tyneside's roads

A £100,000 project council bosses hope will reduce congestion and improve air quality has been given the green light.

Sunday, 3rd November 2019, 8:00 am
File picture of works taking place on the gas network.

Chiefs at South Tyneside Council have approved a new permit scheme to regulate when and where gas, electric and internet providers, and others, can dig up the borough’s roads.

The initiative, which is backed by the government, beefs up the council’s currently ‘limited’ powers to enforce conditions on highways works and even allows fines to be dished out to those who break the rules.

“The benefits are a greater level of powers to enforce conditions, improved planning and management,” said Coun Joan Atkinson, cabinet member for area management and community safety.

“The scheme should not generate surplus revenue and costs have been set to make the scheme cost neutral.

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“There are set up costs of about £100,000 and these set up costs will be recoverable through the permit scheme.”

Coun Atkinson was speaking at a meeting of South Tyneside Council’s ruling cabinet on October 30.

The meeting also saw councillors approve the annual accounts of the Westoe Educational Charity, which provides grants to people under 25 living in South Tyneside who are in care or who have previously been in care.

According to the report, five awards worth a combined total of £1,565 were handed out in 2018/19 and the charity ended the financial year with savings worth £9,829.

A similar scheme was approved by Northumberland County Council over the summer.