COVID-19: New guidance on street works
Highway Authorities and Utilities Committee (HAUC) has today published Government-endorsed guidance on street works during the COVID-19 pandemic. The document has been agreed by the Department for Transport (DfT), HAUC, JAG (UK) and Streetworks UK, and is designed to provide clarity to all English Highway Authorities (HAs) on the continuation of street works, with separate advice notices expected from the Welsh and Scottish Governments.
The guidance follows the classification of those working in the telecommunications sector as key workers, in which broadband is an essential component to keeping the nation connected in these exceptional times. Broadband activities are characterised as network maintenance and fault repairs, customer repairs, network build, and increasing network capacity where possible. The provisions are designed to set out a framework for Highway Authorities, and include the avoidance of any blanket refusals of permits or notices as they apply to street works.
DCMS will be communicating the guidance document to local authority digital contacts and other local government channels. Given the sensitivity, and visibility of telecoms workers operating during a time where movement is otherwise so restricted, BSG industry sponsors will be keen to ensure that the communications around these exemptions are carefully managed, and that there is a consistent approach in the application of the guidelines.