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The Traffic Management Permit Scheme


Surrey permit scheme

Part 3 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 (TMA) introduced permit schemes as a different way in which activities in the public highway could be managed to improve a highway authorities ability to minimise disruption from street and road works.

A permit scheme has the potential to improve management of all works on local road networks and significantly reduce unnecessary disruption to road users.

Within a permit scheme, anyone carrying out works in the road will legally need to apply to us for permission, in advance of the works.

As an authority, we can choose to grant a permit, apply conditions to a granted permit or decline permission for work. Using these powers, not available under existing schemes, we can improve the management of all works on the road network and because of that reduce unnecessary disruption to road users.

Since 11 November 2013, as the Highway Authority for the whole of Surrey, we have been using the permit scheme legislation to better manage street and road works across our 3,000 miles of road network. The scheme excludes the motorways and trunk roads, for which the Highways Agency is the Highway Authority.

From 1 October 2015 The Surrey County Council Permit Scheme has been varied to comply with the Traffic Management Permit Scheme (England) Regulations 2007, as amended by the Traffic Management Permit Scheme (England)(Amendment) Regulations 2015. As such, we have made The Surrey County Council Permit Scheme Order 2015 (PDF) on 11 August 2015.

The over-arching principles and objectives of the permit scheme remain the same, with changes to scheme content limited to only those required to meet the amended National Legislation.

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The objectives of the permit scheme

We have a duty under Section 59 of The New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (NRSWA) to co-ordinate works of all kinds. In addition section 16 of the TMA requires us to manage our road network with a view to achieving so far as may be reasonably practicable having regard to our other obligations, policies and objectives, the following overriding objectives:

  • Securing the expeditious movement of traffic on the authorities road network
  • Facilitating the expeditious movement of traffic on road networks for which another authority is the traffic authority

Effective co-ordination and management by the highway authority is therefore essential to minimise traffic disruption whilst allowing activity promoters the necessary time and space to complete their activities. We are committed to reducing congestion and managing the network more. We recognise that the long-term solution lies in using the network more efficiently.

The strategic objectives for the permit scheme are taken from the council's Local Transport Plan, namely:

  • To help people to meet their transport and travel needs effectively, reliably, safely and sustainably within Surrey; in order to promote economic vibrancy, protect and enhance the environment and improve the quality of life

The aim of the permit scheme is to improve the management of the road network through the better planning, scheduling and management of activities so as not to cause avoidable traffic disruption to any road user.

Co-ordination of activities through the permit scheme will enable differences between those competing for space or time in the street, including traffic, to be resolved in a positive and constructive way.

The specific objectives for the permit scheme are to:

  • Manage and maintain the local highway network to maximise the safe and efficient use of road space and provide reliable journey times, including:
    • Providing for people with a disability
    • Minimising other impacts on the community
    • Improving public satisfaction
  • Encourage a proactive, rather than reactive, attitude to activities by activity promoters. This change in culture will result in the supply of more information to us, which will better enable us to manage our network
  • Protect the structure of the street and the integrity of apparatus in it
  • Ensure safety for those using, living or working on the street, including those engaged in activities controlled by the scheme, with special emphasis on people with disabilities

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Measuring the performance of the permit scheme

We will be introducing ways to review and measure the benefits of the permit scheme in Surrey. These measurements will assess the positive effect a scheme will have on the roads in Surrey. Information on subsequent reviews will appear here in due course.

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Consultation on scheme changes

Following a consultation on proposals to make changes to the Surrey Permit Scheme, responses have now been considered and changes made to the Scheme document. A new Council Order will now be made to enable these changes to be introduced. The pertinent documents are available for viewing below including the new Scheme Document, a version with the changes identified and also responses to comments made during the consultation.

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