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Roadworks information and who to contact

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Roadworks need to happen to maintain roads, pavements, bridges, develop our villages and towns; and maintain our gas, water, electricity, phone and broadband connections. There are various pieces of  legislation and government guidelines that we can use to allow us to manage and co-ordinate these works.

Contact details

Should you observe any problems with roadworks like abandoned roadworks signs, failed reinstatements, inactivity on site, or concerning practises by a workforce, then you should contact us. Depending on the situation, sometimes charges can be incurred on works promoters for subsequent inspections.

Get more information about roadworks taking place

However, if you wish to find out more about the works actually being undertaken, then you should attempt to contact the company responsible for the works. Details below are of those who carry out the most work:


If you don't know who to contact

If you don't know who to contact, submit a general enquiry and we will get back to you.

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Who can undertake work on the highway

Those parties who can undertake work on the highway are known as "promoters", and include:

  • utility companies - connecting and maintaining your gas, water, electric and telephone supplies. They are Statutory Undertakers who have the right to work in the highway to install, upgrade and maintain their apparatus
  • private contractors - which can include those working at sites of new developments, installing new utility apparatus before it is adopted or changing road layouts
  • highway maintenance - the council, or it's sub contractors carrying out routine maintenance or improvement works on its network

They are required to notify us of most of the works they undertake, and particularly when the road is dug up or there is traffic management placed in the road - like temporary lights.

Works on private roads needs the prior consent of the land owner(s).

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What to expect at sites of roadworks

There is a national code of practice which anyone setting out or working at roadworks should comply with.

As a road user, you should expect roadworks sites to be safe, with clear instructions about exactly what is required of you to pass through the site safely. Site managers must also pay particular attention to the needs of disabled people and should also consider other vulnerable groups such as elderly people, children and those with push chairs.

Dorset Council inspects roadworks sites to ensure compliance, but due to the number of works we can only inspect a sample. If you believe there to be a problem at a site of roadworks, please tell us.

Report a problem with roadworks

If you believe there to be a problem with a roadworks site, please report it to us. If it is a dangerous situation, please call 01305 221020.

Notification of works

All works should be notified to us. Sometimes, work happens without our authorisation and in some cases financial penalties are incurred.

Those works that we are notified of are co-ordinated through the checking of notices and applications sent and received on a daily basis between works promoters and Dorset Council.

Out of courtesy, anyone carrying out work on the road should use best endeavours to notify affected parties of their work. This might be directly, by letter drop, or more locally by the placing of advance warning signs.

In reality, there is no requirement to formally notify every property, business of any works taking place on the public highway, unless there is a credible

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Access during road closures

When a road is closed:

  • access should be maintained to and from residences, businesses, schools, healthcare services etc. as appropriate and access will never be prohibited altogether. Any exceptional circumstances should be conveyed before works start
  • you cannot pass through a closed section of road from one end to the other on a normal journey, you should follow the diversion, which is normally signed. Locals will know other alternative routes and may choose to use them as opposed to the signed diversion. So long as they are used appropriately, any public highway can be used as an alternative
  • council services like rubbish and recycling collections, school transport, mobile libraries and social services, as well as emergency services and bus operators, are notified of planned road closures in advance so that they may make alternative arrangements for access. It is not possible to notify everyone who may affected by all road closures - should you have reason to think you'll be directly affected by a road closure, please contact the promoter responsible
  • due to the nature of most works requiring road closures, local access arrangements will largely depend on the operational situation on site at any one time and aren’t known in advance. Allow extra time for journeys in affected areas
    • those requiring access in to a section of closed road may have to wait a short time to pass, or may be redirected to approach from another direction, dependant on the current activity on site
    • operatives should be available at closure points who will be able to offer guidance on access arrangements

Should an active road closure not be operating in this matter, please contact us.

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