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Roadworks information and who to contact

View contact information for roadworks

There are various pieces of legislation and government guidelines that we use to allow us to meet our network management duties.

Who can undertake work and when

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 a given 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

Promoters 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.

We are not responsible for works on private roads.

Co-ordinating works

There is a common mis-conception that the Traffic Authority "approves" works, but this is not the case, because we cannot stop them from happening. With best endeavours, we co-ordinate and facilitate the works of all promoters.

Notification to us

Utility companies in particular are currently required to serve "notice" as required by legislation, and we co-ordinate their works alongside highway maintenance and private works through the checking of notices sent and received on a daily basis.

Most work is planned ahead and a period of advance notice is given. Occasionally, emergency works are required to put to an end a dangerous situation (like a gas leak, burst water main or structural damage to the highway), or reconnect services to one or more customers. Advance warning does not need to be given in these circumstances, and the work can start immediately, with a notification following shortly after.

The amount of notice required before certain works start is dependant on the duration or the impact. With our agreement, occasionally we may permit works to start sooner than the normal notice period allows, should the road network be able to accomodate it.

Extensions to the duration of works are also permitted, should a promoter be unable to complete their work in the initial timeframe. The expectation remains that promoters make reasonable attempts to complete their works as quickly and as safely as possible.

Notification to you

It is the responsibility of a promoter to carry out consultation and engagement with affected parties, but this isn't a requirement for all works.

You should be contacted if your normal access will be affected, or if there is likely to be some other disruption, like noise. Planned and current works are published on our roadworks map, we also give updates on works likely to cause notable disruption on Twitter @TravelDorset and through our travel disruptions feed which is updated 24 hours a day.

In emergency situations, you probably won't be notified personally.

Minimising disruption

As Traffic Authority, our position is to direct and advise at the planning and construction stage to help a promoter mitigate against disruption. We are not directly responsible for the work of third parties or the impact, and so complaints sent to us may be redirected to a Promoter, should we have the relevant permission to.

Promoters are encouraged to consider the type of roads they are working on, all road users including pedestrians and those with a disability and the volumes of traffic, and carry out their works safely and appropriately - again this is large covered by legislation.

Should we consider some proposals inappropriate when reviewing works, we may request that works take place overnight or at weekends, during term-time or avoiding school holidays; or propose amendments to traffic management plans, if there is a need to mitigate against patterns of likely disruption.

Access during road closures

  • access will 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 or use an alternative route
  • council services like rubbish and recycling collections, school transport, library and social services as well as emergency services and bus operators, are notified of road closures in advance
  • 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 may have to wait a short time to pass through, or may be redirected to approach from another direction
  • operatives should be available at closure points who will be able to offer guidance on access arrangements

Contact information

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

If you wish to find out more about works being undertaken, then you should attempt to contact the promoter responsible for the works.

If you know who to contact

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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