A NEW scheme set to help ease congestion in and around Burton has been described as a ‘common sense’ approach to dealing with the problem.
Conor Wileman, who represents Burton Tower division on Staffordshire County Council, spoke out after the authority revealed plans for a scheme that would see anyone wanting to carry out work on roads in the area, such as utility firms, forced to apply for a permit and made to adhere to special conditions to ease the burden on drivers.
The Tory councillor has been campaigning for changes to the road network in the town and most recently proposed major changes in and around the Brizlincote Valley and Stapenhill areas.
He said: “Much of the congestion that happens on Burton roads is caused by utility works.
“Utility companies do not directly deal with the consequences of their works and, as a result, Burton residents are left annoyed as to why the works are taking place at a particular time or day.
“The utility company will now have to consider road users when applying for the permit and the county council can advise accordingly.
“This common sense approach is what we need to see more of. The public demand answers to badly-timed road works and this proposal goes some way to addressing the issue.”
The permit scheme for work will be discussed at a county council cabinet meeting next week.
Cabinet support member for transport Simon Tagg said: “A new permit scheme for any work being carried out on our roads gives us greater control and enables better co-ordination.
“It will mean anyone wanting to carry out work will need the permit first and we can set conditions.
“We can also better inform people and businesses about the planned works.
“Having an efficient road network is vital for our economy and for Staffordshire people. Reducing congestion in any way we can is an important part of our highways management and this scheme can help us achieve this.
“While both road improvement schemes and utility works are necessary to ensure we have the services and connections we need, we know we can improve on their co-ordination and scheduling.”