Consultation on the use of narrow trenching in Scotland's roads

Closed 7 Dec 2018

Opened 19 Oct 2018

Feedback Updated 20 May 2019

We Asked

We asked for views on the inclusion of Narrow Trenching as a technique to the Specification for the Reinstatement of Openings in Roads in Scotland, and held a public consultation which was open for 12 weeks from 18 October 2018.

You Said

In total 49 responses to the consultation were received: 26 Roads Authorities responses, 8 responses from Statutory Undertakers, 7 Responses from Contractors/Service providers, 4 responses from Private Individuals,  2 responses from Industry Groups and 2 responses from Trunk Road Operating Companies.

We Did

All responses have been fully considered. The SROR will be amended to include 'narrow trenching' as a technique in 2019.

Results Updated 26 Mar 2019

In total 49 responses to the consultation were received: 26 Roads Authorities responses, 8 responses from Statutory Undertakers, 7 Responses from Contractors/Service providers, 4 responses from Private Individuals,  2 responses from Industry Groups and 2 responses from Trunk Road Operating Companies.

Most respondents agreed there should be a minimum width for a narrow trench, there is currently only a maximum depth.

Around half of respondents believe the current tolerance limits within the code to be acceptable. Analysis of those that did not believe the current limits were acceptable showed support for the current tolerance limits if certain materials were used or with other caveats and conditions.

There was support for mandating a minimum depth of cover for narrow trenches, for  having preferred materials in some or all layers, and for having a requirement to store evidence that the correct depth has been achieved.

The use of photographs submitted to the Scottish Road Works Register was indicated by many as the correct way to keep and provide this evidence.

There was no clear preference for trenchless methods over narrow trenching. However, trenchless methods were generally discussed as being less disruptive when conditions allow them to be used.

There was a preference for the restriction of the use of the method in certain ground conditions

The current safety code was agreed generally to be acceptable

Respondents showed  support for cutting a slot into rock when encountered; requiring a joint site visit; , and laying apparatus at a shallow depth as standard.

Several related comments were received, including how notification, early planning and engineering difficulties such as geotextile grids should be handled.  

Links:

Published Responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.

Overview

This consultation seeks opinion on a proposed revision to the code which is made under Section 130 of the New Road and Street Works Act 1991(“NRSWA”). The Scottish Government believe a revision to the code is now necessary to take into account the increasing use of narrow trenching as a method of installing new apparatus – particularly broadband apparatus throughout Scotland.

 

Why We Are Consulting

In order to update the code to fully cover the use of this technique, including determining a standard definition for Scotland, it is essential that practical and technical feedback is reviewed from those affected.

Download the consultation paper.

Interests

  • Transport