Evaluating the road works and street works management permit scheme in Derby, UK

Road works (highway works) and street works (utility works) activities are vital for society to travel, enjoy amenities, and to access essential services such as water, electricity, gas and telecommunications. However, road works and street works can be disruptive, inconvenient and have high social costs. The Permit scheme is a relatively new management regime which seeks to reduce the disruption caused by highway excavations by giving English Street Authorities greater control of works in their areas. The Derby Permit scheme commenced on October 2013. This research aims to understand whether the adoption of the Permit scheme has resulted in any change to the city’s road works and street works landscape. A time series model using an intervention variable was run. 61 months of average works duration data was analysed along with several independent variables including daylight hours, economic activity and precipitation. The results showed that the Permit scheme had a positive effect on Derby by reducing the overall average duration of works by a third of a day. This is a 10% reduction overall, being equal to 8434 days per year, and in monetary terms equivalent to saving £769,048/$1,179,777 in societal costs per annum. This research is significant as it provides impact information for policy makers and practitioners on a relatively new type of scheme, and it is original, in that this is the first time that an intervention analysis approach has been applied to this area of public policy.