As a partnership with Swift Argent, PTC carries out Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) and Annual Reviews of Streetwork Permit Schemes for Local Authorities since 2013 and is the lead consultancy in the UK offering expert advise for Local Authorities wishing to implement a Streetwork Permit Scheme (SPS).

A SPS concerns the authority to undertake works on the highway either utility companies or highway works. Streetwork Permit Schemes are included in the Traffic Management Act (TMA) 2004 prior to this the only requirements were for utility companies to notify the local authority that they were carrying out works under the New Roads and Streetworks Act (NRSWA) 1991. The objectives of a SPS can include the following:

  • reduction in safety hazards and incidents in and around works sites;

  • reduction in the adverse impact of works;

  • protection of the structure of the street and apparatus within it, in a way that helps manage long-term maintenance costs;

  • better information for road users about works in the highway;

  • greater compliance with highways legislation by works promoters;

  • greater cooperation between different works promoters;

  • greater adoption of minimally invasive works methods, and measures to mitigate the impact of excavations (e.g. plating);

  • reduction in the environmental impact of works (less noise, greater cleanliness, recycling of materials etc);

The Local Authority will take over the management of when and where works can take place on the highway and can work closer with utility works to coordinate works, collaborate, set durations and extent. This is based on a fee structure depending on duration and traffic sensitivity of a particular road. The Local Authority will need to employ extra resource to manage and run the scheme that is funded by permit fees. A works promoter not meeting the requirement can risk a penalty (FPN).

A SPS will affect everyone using the highway and this requires consultation and assessment so that the scheme is appropriate. The Department for Transport (DfT) have set certain requirements such as a maximum fee structure and conditions a Local Authority can impose. A CBA will test whether the proposed scheme is likely to deliver value for money. This requires a basic appraisal of the costs and benefits of the scheme, demonstrating that the scheme, on the balance of probabilities, is likely to deliver net benefits to road users and wider society that exceed the additional costs of the scheme. Such an appraisal should be consistent with the principles of the Department’s New Approach to Transport Appraisal (NATA). Advice on preparing NATA-consistent appraisals of transport schemes is in the Department’s appraisal guidance at, and further advice of direct relevance to Permit Schemes is in Annex C.

For the purposes of an application all the significant costs and benefits of the proposed scheme are required – not just those envisaged by the stated objectives of the scheme - to be set out clearly in an appraisal summary document, and, where practicable, quantified. An overall assessment of costs and benefits should set out a net present value (NPV) and a benefit to cost ratio (BCR) for the proposed scheme, alongside a commentary on the scale and likely effect on the NPV and BCR of the benefits and costs that could not be quantified.

PTC developed a methodology endorsed by the DfT using modelling techniques with the use of QUADRO that models the impacts of delay caused by works on the highway to evaluate the benefits of a scheme against the set-up and running costs.

The Traffic Management Permit Scheme (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 state that a procedural requirement for any permit scheme is to evaluate the permit scheme so as to measure whether the objectives have been met.

The requirement is an evaluation of the schemes effectiveness after the first 12 months of operation and to publish that evaluation to demonstrate that the scheme has delivered the intended objectives. Subsequent evaluation is required on the second, third anniversary and every third anniversary thereafter.

The evaluation shall include whether the fee structure needs to be changed in light of any surplus or deficit; the costs and benefits (whether or not financial) of operating the scheme; whether the permit scheme is meeting key performance indicators where these are set out in the Guidance.

An evaluation demonstrates that the scheme has provided value for money and a lesson learnt for future improvement of the scheme. It is a consistent evidence base to enable a clear demonstration that the intended outcomes and impacts have been delivered effectively and scheme objectives have been achieved.

PTC carry out scheme evaluation for Local Authorities through data collection and performance against Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Objective Measures (OMs).

 Pelham Transport Consulting, 3 Mill Hill Drive, Shoreham-by-se, West Sussex BN43 5TJ