Delivering North Tyneside’s street works permit scheme

Like many other boroughs and cities across the UK, North Tyneside’s roads are a hive of activity for residents, businesses, visitors and commuters.

It’s vital that these roads are kept free from congestion as much as possible to help road users reach their destination in a timely manner and to encourage further investment and visitors to the area by reducing congestion on key routes.

What was the challenge for North Tyneside?

Utility companies, transport authorities and local authority highway departments were completing works on North Tyneside’s roads all at the same time and on key busy routes, causing traffic disruption and delays on a regular basis. Unfortunately the local authority had limited powers to influence how these organisations carried out their works.

What was the solution?

In 2015, Capita worked with North Tyneside Council to implement a street works permit scheme. This now means any organisation, such as utility companies, authorised contractors and highway engineers, are legally obliged to obtain and in some cases, pay, for a permit from the Council before they can start any works on their highway. This means the Council has full visibility and approval on proposed works and can also request certain conditions are met during the works, such as off peak working times or weekend only working on key routes to reduce disruption as much as possible.

What did we do?

There is quite a lot of work that needs to go into setting up a permit scheme which in today’s’ climate, understandably local authorities can struggle to resource. Our experienced team designed, implemented and managed the permit scheme on behalf of North Tyneside Council. This reduced the burden on Council resources while at the same time ensuring an effective and efficient permit scheme was put in place.

As part of the service provided we

  • Applied to the Department for Transport on behalf of North Tyneside Council to introduce the Road Activity Permit Scheme.
  • Carried out full consultation with all stakeholders as required under the regulations including statutory undertakers, emergency services, neighbouring local authorities, Councillors, community groups, Passenger Transport Executive, Regional HAUC, Section 50 licence holders and other Council departments.
  • Submitted relevant documents through authority governance.
  • Completed the full scheme design.
  • Submitted the completed scheme through authority governance.
  • Commenced a transitional implementation plan.
  • Completed software upgrade to test the new system.
  • Completed software training.

What are the benefits?

By introducing a permit scheme in North Tyneside it:

  • Allows the Council to have better control and coordination of road works on their highway at all times.
  • Generates £350k of revenue each year from permit application fees (based on an average of 7000 permits per year).
  • Allows a better user experience by reducing unnecessary delays for drivers and allows the Council to be proactive in communicating major street works to the public to help manage expectations.
  • Reduces carbon emissions in North Tyneside through a reduction in the time spent on the highway in standing traffic.
  • Increased the amount of fixed penalty notices issued for non-compliance with permits by 387%. This generated £31k for the Council over a 12 month period.
  • Increased S74 fines by 120% which generated £8.5k for the Council over a 12 month period.
  • Developed a better working relationship with statutory undertakers in the area. By having a clear and fixed process in place, the scheme provides an improved visibility of works and engenders a closer working relationship with all undertakers.