If you are reporting a problem outside normal working hours – Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm – and you believe it is an urgent problem and a risk to public safety, please phone the police on 101.
What we do
We manage the maintenance of the public highway in Somerset. Before digging up the public highway, companies must tell us what they intend to do and on what dates they are going to work. The notice that they must give us before they start work can vary from as little as 2 hours to 3 months, depending on the type of works they need to carry out.
As part of the management and co-ordination of works being carried out on the highway, financial penalties may be issued for offences such as:
- Failure to maintain adequate signing and guarding to safeguard the general public
- Prolonged unnecessary occupation of the highway
Each year we receive around 57,000 notices, detailing 18,000 works, from Statutory Undertakers telling us of their intention to dig up roads. Co-ordinating this is often challenging.
We deal with concerns such as:
- The work has finished but equipment and material remains
- The work has finished but you are concerned with the workmanship
- You are unable to pass by the works site adequately by car or on foot
- Defective utility access and maintenance covers
Utility and cable companies
To maintain their existing pipes, cables, other apparatus or to install new ones, all Statutory Undertakers (utility and cable companies) and licenced individuals have a legal right to dig in the public highway under the New Road and Street Works Act 1991. They also have a duty to maintain their apparatus to a reasonable standard, which includes access and maintenance covers.
Contact the company doing the works if:
- You were not informed that the works were going to take place
- You want to know how many days or hours in the day they will be working
Common reported problems
I have been disturbed with the noise from street or roadworks
Each works site should provide contact details for the company carrying out the works. If this is not available, we should be able to provide contact details.
The work has finished but equipment and material are still on site
The company concerned is under a legal obligation to return the highway to a state similar to before works started. Where material or equipment is left they may face financial penalties. We can arrange for an inspection and the collection of this equipment or material.
The work has finished but I am concerned about the workmanship
We may visit the site to assess the workmanship against National Specifications and guidelines. We are bound by these guidelines and specifications.
I was not informed that these works were going to take place
You can find a list of scheduled road and streetworks here. This is a list of all works that we have been notified about. It is the responsibility of the individual company to notify the general public and you should contact them with any enquiries.
How many hours in the day will they be working?
We may have told the company in question the hours they can work. This is for the benefit of the travelling public. The company may be contacted directly for information on their works programme outside of that.
I was unable to pass the works site adequately by car or on foot
In general the works site must ensure that the general public can pass (for road closures there are different criteria) as specified in national guidance documents. We can arrange for the works to be visited to resolve this.