Since November 2012, we’ve been responsible for the delivery of a range of core highways and property services on behalf of North Tyneside Council.
1. What is your team responsible for?
The Streetworks team in North Tyneside manages all activities on the public highway in the borough. This was previously co-ordinated through a notice system where the likes of telecoms and utility companies would inform us of their plans to dig up a road.
In 2015 we enabled North Tyneside Council to become the first local authority in the North East to introduce a permit scheme instead. This provides us with a power to agree conditions with those carrying out the works. It means we have greater control of highway activities, minimising unnecessary delays for the public.
We also have a team of inspectors and their role involves ensure that works are being carried out as they should and are completed to an acceptable standard.
2. Roughly how many people are in the Streetworks team?
There are nine members of the team on North Tyneside - five are office-based and four are inspectors.
3. Describe a typical day in for the Streetworks team
Our office-based team will liaise with the companies that want to work on the highway network – we can receive dozens of requests each day. We can choose to grant the permit, decline the request, or apply a range of conditions ranging from limiting the amount of road space used to the times the work must take place.
There are occasions where emergency works are needed, such as because of a gas leak. Although these works can be introduced without permission, we need to be notified within two hours. Because these works are often disruptive, it means we need to then work quickly to ensure the public are aware of what’s happening and how their journeys may be affected.
Meanwhile, our inspectors are out and about across the borough inspecting works that are underway to ensure they are safe and being carried out in accordance with any conditions we’ve set. They will also visit completed schemes to check that that the road’s reinstatement is up to scratch.
4. What is the proudest moment for your team?
To be the first team in the North East to launch a permit scheme is something we’re proud of. We know that our work has helped keep traffic moving in North Tyneside - in the first 12 months of the scheme, 1,130 out of 11,759 permit requests were either refused or modified.
We’re also proud of the fact that we have been recognised for the quality of the information we hold on the borough’s road network. We have a gold standard from GeoPlace, the organisation that maintains the National Street Gazetteer (NSG).
5. Tell us something that people may not know about the Streetwork team
In addition to all of the above, we also have a range of additional duties including granting licences for skips, scaffolding and A-boards.