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Site visits could check road closures are real emergencies

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ENVIRONMENT will conduct site visits if it believes emergency road closures are not genuine, it has said.

ENVIRONMENT will conduct site visits if it believes emergency road closures are not genuine, it has said.

The department explained what action it took to ensure companies did not try to short-cut procedures, after announcing a change to its road closure planning policy.

From next year it will only allow seven major roads to be closed at one time, instead of eight, to give more flexibility for emergencies.

Environment said that an 'emergency' was considered to be a serious situation requiring urgent attention to prevent danger to people or damage to property or vehicles.

It also includes any loss of service that is considered by the provider as essential.

'Obviously, in many circumstances the need for emergency traffic-management measures and closures are clearly evident . i.e. in cases such as a burst water main, where there is a strong smell of gas, a fallen tree, damaged earth bank, collapsed sewer, damaged road surface/dangerous pot holes etc,' a spokesman said.

'However, in other cases, such as when electricity or telephone cable faults occur, the department has to trust, to some degree, that the contractor is genuinely carrying out emergency works.'

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