New Roads and Street Works Act 1991: Code of Practice for the Co-ordination of Works in Roads


Road works are a necessary fact of life if we wish to have a safe and well maintained road network and to continue to enjoy essential utility services such as gas, water, drainage, electricity and telecommunications.

At 55,515 km, the Scottish road network is a significant asset. Within it there are over 300,000km of electricity cables, gas pipes, water pipes, sewers and drains. In addition there is estimated to be well over 100,000 km of telecommunications cables.

With such a significant asset, it is inevitable that works in roads will be required to ensure that the structure of our roads and the pipes and cables under them are well maintained and that they remain available now and for future generations. In the last full year more than 110,000 works were carried out on Scottish roads of which 95,000 were excavations or surfacing. This does not include short duration localised works such as filling in potholes.

With such a significant volume of works being undertaken on our roads, it is essential that they are well planned, well managed and well co-ordinated with the aim of ensuring that they are completed as quickly as possible causing the minimum inconvenience to the public.

Although primary legislation and regulations set out the general framework for the co-ordination and planning of works on roads, it is this Code of Practice which sets in place the practical guidance which allows the process to operate on a day to day basis.

I am therefore delighted to endorse this Code and trust that it will take us further towards our aim of delivering high quality road works which are undertaken speedily and effectively with the minimum of disruption to the public.

Keith Brown
Minister for Transport and Veterans
January 2013