UTILITY companies that want to carry out roadworks in Warwickshire will soon have to ask for permission before they start.

At the moment, if a utility company wants to do work on a road in Coventry or Warwickshire, it just has to notify the individual council of the work rather than asking for any form of permission.

Under the new scheme, agreed by Warwickshire County Council’s Cabinet, a company will have to apply for permission to access the road and will not be able to start any work until this permission is obtained.

The aim of the new scheme, called the Joint Permit Scheme, is to ensure that any repairs made to Warwickshire’s roads are to the highest possible standard, as well as giving residents and the council more control over when potentially disruptive roadworks will take place. The council will also be able to raise funds by charging for the issue of permits.

Councillor Peter Butlin, cabinet portfolio holder for transport and planning, said: “This is a real victory for the residents of Warwickshire who may have felt under-informed and with little say over when and where roadworks happen.

"While we appreciate that utility companies have to make repairs from time-to-time on our highways, it is important that the work is done to a consistently high standard and that any disruption to the lives of our residents is kept to a minimum.

“All too often, roadworks have been carried out with little thought to the disruption that they cause to local communities. This permit scheme will give us more control over when roadworks take place, which should help to keep our traffic moving and our residents happy.”

The new scheme will come into legal effect by mid-2015.