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Scottish government introduces code of practice to speed up utility works.

The Scottish government is introducing a new code of practice that will speed up utility works and reduce disruption on roads.

A national code of practice will see the standardisation of faster and more modern techniques for trench digging for improving utility services. Communities will face less disruption with new standards to manage road works and speed up the installation of fibre

The development of more compact cables has seen modern techniques, such as requiring narrower holes and less excavation required, increasing the speed of delivery. The technique also safeguards the roads by reducing the need for return visits to repair failed trenches.

Connectivity Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “The Scottish Government has listened to the views of companies who tell us that narrow trenching can help companies deliver fibre broadband faster and with less disruption to communities.”

“We understand that utility companies operate in a competitive market. They are therefore constantly looking for ways to improve their efficiency and to reduce their costs in order to keep ahead of their competition. This has led to innovation in how infrastructure, such as broadband, is deployed.”

“We have updated the code to enable narrow trenching to take place consistently, and in a manner which protects our pavements and road network, and this has the added benefit that will result in the faster deployment of broadband across Scotland and a reduction in the disruption communities face during the roll out itself.”

The minister visited the site where part of the work is being undertaken by Virgin. The code of practice is now in effect and will also cover power, water, and gas works.

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